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Golden Eagle cross country teams get season started Saturday

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech men's and women's cross country teams get the 2009 season underway Saturday morning when they run in the Sewanee Invitational. The starting gun for the women's 5K event will sound at 10 a.m., followed by the men's 8K race at 11 a.m.

The race will be held in Sewanee,  Tenn., and is the first of six regular season competitions for the 2009 Golden Eagle squad, as coach Tony Cox announced the 2009 schedule this week.

The teams will compete at the Vanderbilt Invitational on Sept. 19 in Nashville, before returning home to host the TTU Invitational on Oct. 2.

“It’s always exciting to come home and host the TTU Invitational,” Cox said. “It’s a great chance for us to welcome other schools to Cookeville, and it’s fun for our athletes to compete in a home meet.”

After its home meet Tech will head to Greenville, S.C. on Oct. 10 to compete in the Furman Invitational, before wrapping up the regular season at the Evansville Invitational in Evansville, Ind. on Oct. 17.

The Ohio Valley Conference championships are scheduled for Oct. 31 in Nashville, and the 2009 NCAA South Regional will be held in Tuscaloosa, Ala. on Nov. 14.

Both teams will have a host of talent returning for the 2009 season. The men’s team will be led by returnees Sam Taylor, Joseph DeLorenzo and Peter Woerner, among others.

The women welcome back Tiffany Palmer back for the 2009 season. Palmer finished second in the 10,000 meter run in the OVC track championships in the spring, and will be a senior on the 2009 squad. Also headlining the returnees on the women’s side are senior Amanda Simmons and sophomore Traci Jones.

“Our whole team is looking forward to the upcoming season, and we have high expectations for 2009,” Cox said.

The Golden Eagles were picked to finish in fifth place in the OVC on the women’s side, and seventh place on the men’s side of things.