By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Tech women's cross country team participated in the 14th running of the Commodore Classic, hosted by Vanderbilt at Percy Warner Park on Saturday morning.
Tech totaled 378 points to earn a 13th-place team finish. Compared to last year's appearance at the Commodore Classic, Tech improved nine spots on its final 2016 placement of 22nd.
"I am pleased with our performance as a team today," said head coach Wayne Angel. "Our team finish this year was nine spots better than last year, so we are moving in the right direction. All in all, it gives us a good starting point to move forward."
Newcomer Purity Sanga ran to a top-10 individual finish, placing sixth with a time of 17:38.1 in her Golden Eagle debut. Her time marks the third-fastest 5k in Tech history, and her sixth-place finish stands as the highest placement by a Tech female runner at the meet ever.
"It appears that we have a superstar on the horizon," said Angel. "Purity Sanga was phenomenal today. She is a fearless competitor. Out of a field of 176 runners, she was sixth. What's more impressive is that she was the top freshman in the field, and she defeated all the runners from Vanderbilt."
Micayla Rennick followed in 73rd, clocking a time of 18:58.7. She improved nine spots on her place at last year's meet. Madison Stremler finished 145th at 20:28.0, shaving nearly 43 seconds off her 2016 time of 21:10.7. Anna Cooper placed 159th at 21:04.8, and D'Airrien Jackson rounded out the Tech contingent in 176th with a time of 24:33.2. She moved up 84 spots from her finish last season.
"We will wisely use the momentum of this meet to continue our preparation for Gainesville next week," said Angel.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
- Ohio State (60 points) – No. 6 in the Great Lakes Region
- Vanderbilt (93 points) – No. 3 in the South Region
- Missouri (103 points) – No. 14 in the NCAA DI National Coaches' Poll
- Eastern Michigan (123 points) – No. 21 in the NCAA DI National Coaches' Poll
- Lipscomb (127 points) – No. 7 in the South Region
- Xavier (OH) [128 points]
- Miami (OH) [147 points] – No. 12 in the Great Lakes Region
- Belmont (226 points) – No. 13 in the South Region
- Middle Tennessee (246 points)
- Butler (278 points) – No. 9 in the Great Lakes Region
- IUPUI (335 points)
- Southern Illinois (338 points)
- TENNESSEE TECH (378 points)
- Kennesaw State (411 points)
- Marshall (445 points)
- Austin Peay (452 points)
- Western Kentucky (523 points)
The Tech women will rejoin the men's team this upcoming weekend on a trip to Gainesville, Florida, for the Mountain Dew Invitational. The shotgun start is set for 6:55 a.m. CT for the men's 8k and 7:30 a.m. CT for the women's 5k on Saturday, Sept. 23.