Thomas Morgan Takes First at SEC Cross Country Championships
Brooke Patterson, Caitlin Phillips finish second, fourth
ATHENS, Ga. - University of Kentucky senior Thomas Morgan won the individual title at the SEC Cross Country Championships Monday morning at the UGA Golf Course in Athens, Ga., leading the UK men's team to a fifth-place finish. The UK women placed fourth in the team competition as Brooke Patterson and Caitlin Phillips were second and fourth, respectively, in the women's race.
Morgan was the only runner to complete the 8k race under 25 minutes with a time of 24:59.25. David Freeman, an All-SEC performer last year, finished in 20th place with a time of 26:05.34. Nick Davenport (24th, 26:14.01), Hunter Spencer (27th, 26.18.37) and John Richardson (51st, 27:27.13) also placed for the Cats.
"It's a great feeling to finish my career and go out with a bang," Morgan said. "It's one of my proudest moments. To be able to mention my name along with some of the previous winners of this race - that's a big honor for me."
With the win, Morgan becomes the ninth men's individual winner from Kentucky at the SEC Championships and the first since Richard Ede took the title in 1987. Morgan is also the first runner since 1993 to capture first place from a school other than Arkansas or Alabama. The Cats' fifth-place finish marks only the second time since 1992 that Kentucky has been among the top-five teams in the championship race.
In the women's division, Patterson took second in the 6k race in a time of 21:55.58, followed by Phillips, who finished less than four seconds behind in a fourth-place time of 21:59.12. Leah Kerstetter came in 16th in 22:51.28, and Candace Leep and Emily King rounded out the scores for UK with 41st (23:54.33) and 43rd (24:03.22) times, respectively.
Angela Homan of Auburn came in first on the women's side, while Tennessee took home top team honors. Arkansas captured its 13th consecutive men's title, as the Razorbacks placed five runners in the top 10 for an impressive team score of 33. By placing in the top seven of their respective races, Morgan, Patterson and Phillips were all named first team All-SEC for the 2003 season.
The Cats will look to build on their success with a trip to the NCAA Southeastern Regional on Saturday, Nov. 15 in Greenville, S.C.