Tech runners earn strong fourth, sixth place finishes at Furman

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Sophomore Sam Taylor led a balanced effort for the Tennessee Tech's men's cross country team, while the Golden Eagle women had a second place finish from senior Stephanie Place plus strong performances from Keri Light and Tiffany Palmer as both teams earned high finishes in the challenging Furman Invitational Saturday morning.

The Tech men placed sixth among 17 teams in the 8K race held at the Furman Golf Course. Tech's women were fourth among 18 schools in the 5K event.

A sophomore from Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., Taylor covered the course in 28:24 to place 33rd overall, one of four Golden Eagle runners with Top 50 spots. Junior Ben Thompson was 38th in 28:30, and junior Joseph DeLorenzo was right behind in 39th place with a time of 28:33. Just two spots back, Jarrad Read crossed the finish line in 28:35 for 31st place.

Peter Woerner was Tech's fifth counter, placing 56th in 29:32. Also in the field for Tech, Ben Shassere was 65th in 29:40, while freshman Ethan McGroom was 66th in 29:43.

Host Furman won the team title with 36 points while Samford was second (57). Marshall (82) placed third, followed by North Florida (107) and Barry (189) in fifth. Tech had 195 points for its sixth place effort, with 11 schools finishing behind the Golden Eagles.

In the women's race, two-time all-OVC runner Stephanie Place beat 138 of the other 139 runners, finishing in second place at 18:10 by a mere four seconds behind Furman's Megan Lordi (18:10) for the individual honors. It wa the seventh-fastest time in Tech history.

Light was 12th in 19:40, while Palmer posted a 20:18 time to place 28th overall for the Golden Eagles. Freshman Traci Jones was next for the Golden Eagles, finishing in 21:31 for 50th place, while Ashley Evans was just behind in 51st place at 21:39. Amanda Simmons (22:01) was 62nd and Sarah Kmet (26:19) was 92nd in the field of 140 runners.

In the team standings, the top two squads switched places with Samford (38) first and Furman (47) second. College of Charleston (140) was third, matching Tech's 140 points but earning the higher spot with its sixth runner. USC Upstate (145) rounded out the top five, with 13 teams trailing.

The Tech teams run their final regular season event next Saturday (Oct. 18) at Evansville, then take two weeks to prep for the Ohio Valley Conference meet on Nov. 1.