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Once again, for the fourth time, Place is OVC Runner of the Week

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Every time that Stephanie Place has run a meet this season, she has added a new number to the Tennessee Tech record book, and has now posted the eight fastest 5K times in TTU women's cross country history.

Simultaneously, every time she has run a race this year she has also been named the Ohio Valley Conference Runner of the Week. On Tuesday, she claimed her second consecutive and fourth overall award of 2008.

Place earned this week's honor after finishing second in a field of 139 runners at the Furman Invitational in Greenville, S.C. She finished the 5K race in 18:10, which was just four seconds behind the individual winner. Despite running in windy conditions and over a sandy course, Place still recorded the seventh-fastest time in TTU history, helping the Golden Eagles to a afourth place finish among 18 teams.

"Stephanie is obviously the best distance runner Tech has ever had, and she works extremely hard to win or be at the top of all her races," said Tony Cox, Tech cross country and track coach. "She's certainly deserving of it.

"She has a great work ethic, she runs twice a day most days. She runs a lot of mileage, and that's one of the keys to being at her level. She's a great peson to work with, as well," Cox said. "She fits in well with the team. They admire her for how hard she works and for how fast she runs."

Cox said hard work and strength have been the keys to Place's success, including all-OVC honors as a sophomore and junior.

"She strong, and maintains her pace and finds ways to speed up during the race," Cox said. "Most runners try to hold their pace, or they slow down, by she's strong enough to continue to pick up the pace as the race progresses."

Tech's cross country teams run Saturday morning at the Evansville Invitational, the final events of the regular season before the OVC Championships on Nov. 1.