Women's cross country team paced by pair of California runners

Women's cross country team paced by pair of California runners

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech's California connection of Sarah Brandt and Jenna Storms led the way for the women's cross country team as the Golden Eagles placed 16th at Vanderbilt's Commodore Classic in Nashville Saturday morning. Tech's first five finishers each ran personal-best times.

Brandt was the first Golden Eagle to negotiate the 5K course at Percy Warner Park, doing it 18:32.8 to place 68th overall. It was a personal-best effort for the Oroville,Calif., native and registers as the 11th fastest 5K time in school history in women's cross country.

Storms, a native of Cottonwood, Calif., was seconds behind, finishing 70th in the time of 18:35.2. Also a personal-best, it is the 12th best time in school history.

Tech also saw PR runs from Purity Murray (97th place/19:17.6), Sonel Bezuidenhout (124th/20:31.9), and Madison Stremler (127th/20:49.4) Angela Jepchirchir established a personal-best of 20:57.1 while running the event for the first time in her career. Sophomore Anna Cooper, running for the first time since returning from an injury that has sidelined her for a year, was the final Tech entry. She postd a time of 22:10.2.

"I though our ladies raced well today as a team," said coach Wayne Angel. "We still have some challenges with our fourth and fifth runners, but I'm sure that time and maturity will fix that.

"Our California girls were awesone," he added. "Sarah and Jenna continue to improve each week. They were tough as nails today."

Michigan won the event with 39 points, far ahead of runnerup Vanderbilt's 92. The Commodores waged a close battle for second place, edging out Mississippi State (95) and Lipscomb (97), while Mississippi (115) rounded out the top five teams. Belmont was the leader among four Ohio Valley Conference teams in the field of 21, placing seventh with 278 points. Among the other OVC entries Southeast Missouri (343) was 12th, followed by Murray State (460) in 15th and Tech (486) in 16th place.

Following a weekend off next Saturday, the next action for the Golden Eagles is Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Greater Louisville Classic.