Oct. 4, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After recording the fastest 8,000-meter time of his collegiate career, University of Kentucky cross country junior Luis Orta has been named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Runner of the Week. The honor is Orta’s third of the season and fourth in his career.
Orta finished in 10th out of 240 runners at the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday with a time of 24:17.72. Orta has now finished in the top 10 in each of Kentucky’s three races this season, including back-to-back first-place marks at the Belmont-VU Opener and the Tennessee Invitational. The native of Caracas, Venezuela has led Kentucky with the fastest time in eight of its last nine races dating back to the 2010 season. Orta’s race helped propel the men’s team to an eighth-place finish at the grueling Greater Louisville Classic which featured 29 schools. Orta’s time of 24:17.72 is currently the second-fastest 8K time in the SEC.
This is the fourth time in Orta’s career that he has been named SEC Men’s Runner of the Week. The junior won the award two weeks ago after his first-place finish at the Tennessee Invitational and also two weeks prior to that after he won the Belmont-VU Opener in Nashville, Tenn. Orta also won the award as a sophomore in 2010, when he won the San Francisco Invitational.
The 2009 All-SEC freshman and second-team selection has been a staple up front for the men’s cross country team. Orta earned three top-five overall finishes in 2010, and five top-31 finishes.
The men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete again Oct. 14 at the Panorama Farms Invitational in Charlottesville, Va. The SEC Championship meet then follows at the end of the month. The conference meet is being held in Knoxville, Tenn., this year.
Go to UKathletics.com for any and all cross country news.