OXFORD, Ala. – Geoffrey Sambu set the school record and finished sixth overall to earn first-team all-OVC honors, and five of Tennessee Tech's seven runners posted career-best times as the Golden Eagle men's cross country team claimed seventh place in a field of 12 teams at the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference championships.
Tech was edged out for sixth placed by Southeast Missouri by just four points in the 8K race at Oxford Lake Park.
As expected, Eastern Kentucky cruised to the title with a perfect score of 15, capturing all of the top five positions. Morehead State placed all five of its runners in the top 25 to grab second place with 90 points, slipping ahead of SIU Edwardsville (93) in third place and Belmont (97) in fourth. Eastern Illinois (109) rounded out the top five, followed by SEMO (177), Tennessee Tech (181), Murray State (222), Austin Peay (282), UT Martin (297), Jacksonville State (301) and Tennessee State (382).
Ambrose Maritim of EKU won the individual title, the lone runner to cover the 8K course in less than 24 minutes. He won with a time of 23:59.29, edging teammate Luka Ndungu in 24:02.07.
Sambu broke his own school record by 13 seconds, covering the route Saturday in 24:28.18 to place sixth. The top seven runners are first-team all-OVC.
"I was very pleased with the men's performance today," said first-year Golden Eagle head coach Wayne Angel. "They listened to me and excuted the race plan with outstanding results. We had quite a few personal bests today.
"Sambu and Huber were special. They ran out of their comfort zone and demonstrated what a few motivated Golden Eagles could do," Angel said. "We are young as a program and still learning and growing. The future is very bright for Tennessee Tech cross country."
Sophomore Brennan Huber narrowly missed earning second-team all-OVC honors, which go to the runners who finish in eighth through 14th place. Huber smashed his own PR and ran the third-fastest time in school at 25:05.41 to finish 16th, missing the all-OVC list by a mere four seconds.
Sophomores Jordan Roth and Wesley King and freshman Ian Barclay also posted PR times in the race. Roth was Tech's third finisher, placing 54th overall in the time of 26:44.86, while King was 57th in 26:50.81. Tech's fifth finisher was sophomore Daniel Williamson, whose time of 27:01.52 was short of a personal best.
Freshman Ian Barclay's PR time of 27:43.09 placed him 69th overall, followed by Blake Rhoden in in 72nd place with a time of 27:57.77 while running that distance for the first time this year. Freshman Collin Gwaltney rounded out Tech's entries, placing75th in 28:07.70.
Tech's next action is the NCAA South Regional on Nov. 14 in Tallahassee, Fla.
Sambu first-team all-OVC, Golden Eagles seventh at OVC Championships
Nov 01, 2014