Cross country teams open 2012 season Saturday at Huntsville Invitational

Cross country teams open 2012 season Saturday at Huntsville Invitational

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Tech men's and women's cross country teams will open the 2012 season Saturday when they compete in the Fleet Feet Sports Earl Jacoby Memorial Invitational, hosted the the University of Alabama-Huntsville.  The men will get the day started with an 8K race at 9 a.m., followed at 9:45 a.m. by the women's 5K event.

A dozen schools will participate in the race, which will be held at Sharon Johnston Park, located 18 miles northeast of the UAH campus. In addition to host UAH and the Golden Eagles, teams in the field include West Florida, Montevallo, Stillman, Miles, Tuskegee, North Alabama, Young Harris, Morehouse, Delta State and Alabama A&M.

Tony Cox enters his ninth season as Golden Eagle head coach, and will brings two Tech teams each featuring a bevy of veterans.

For the men's team, the top seven runners are all back in action, led by John Greene, a senior from Friendsville, Tenn. Greene paced Tech inn all seven meets a year ago, and is expected to fill that role again this season. His biggest challenge from the Tech lineup will come from junior Matthew Bishop and senior Michael Mahan. Bishop was second on the team in every meet in 2011, and Mahan placed third.

The other top returnees include sophomores Charlie Jordan, Matt Pennycuff and Sterling Smith, who switched roles in the fifth, sixth and seventh position on the team all last year.

On the women's squad, juniors Rebecca Cline and Peri Winborne have been the top two finishers the past two years, and should once again pace the team. Cline was second on the team in the third three meets, then moved to the lead for the final four events of the year. Winborne opened the year as the team's pacesetter, then claimed second and third place spots later in the year while battling minor injuries.

A couple of key runners last year have graduated in Leah Bradley and Traci Jones, but Tech has plenty of other returnees ready to move up the ladder including senior Beth Miller, and juniors Meghan O'Dnoghue, Amelia McCoy and Kara Webb.

Results from the meet will be posted on as soon as they become available.