By Jonathan Caudle, TTU Sports Information
EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. - Tennessee Tech freshman Nancy Jesang rewrote the Tech history books on Saturday as she became the best-ever freshman finisher at the OVC Cross Country Championships, claiming a third-place finish with a time of 17:55. As a team, both Tech's men's and women's teams finished with ninth-place finishes on the day.
Jesang's time of 17:55 set a personal best for her as she turned in the first sub-18 mark of her career. Her finish also earns her All-OVC first team honors.
Only two other Golden Eagles have claimed better finishes at the OVC Championships than Jesang, Stephanie Place and Purity Sanga, but neither did it during their first year of eligibility. Place finished third as a junior and first as a senior in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Tech's most recent top-5 finisher was Sanga, who earned a first-place finish during her sophomore campaign last season.
The Golden Eagle's women's team finished in ninth as a team, claiming 231 points.
Rahab Sawe was Tech's second finisher as she finished 47th with a time of 19:27.
Sharon Chepkemboi finished as the Golden Eagle's third scorer, placing 59th overall and crossing in 20:03.1.
Alexa Brugere crossed the line as Tech's fourth finisher, turning in a time of 21:02.9 to finish 77th overall.
Tieara Norman was the Golden Eagles final finisher as she placed 81st and turned in a time of 21:30.
The men's team also earned a ninth-place finish in Edwardsville.
The Golden Eagles were paced by Ababu Mohamed, who crossed in 26:00.5 to place 32nd overall.
Gabriel Kiprono was Tech's second-best finisher as he turned in a time of 26:18.3 and crossed in 36th place.
Hannes Vohn finished as the Golden Eagle's third placer as he finished 45th with a time of 26:41.4.
Benard Sigei earned a fourth-place team finish and placed 67th overall, crossing in a time of 27:52.8.
Tech's final finisher was Sam Eastin who set an 8K personal-best as he crossed with a time of 34:35.3 and finished 103rd overall.
Athlete of the Year: Alexis Grandys, UT Martin
Athlete of the Championship: Viola Seromot, Eastern Kentucky
Coach of the Year: Erin Howarth, Eastern Illinois
Freshman of the Year: Viola Seromot, Eastern Kentucky
All-OVC First Team
Viola Seromot, Eastern Kentucky
Grace Rowan, Eastern Kentucky
Nancy Jesang, Tennessee Tech
Alexis Grandys, UT Martin
Maddie Keller, Southeast Missouri
Kortney Schardt, Belmont
Avani Flanagan, Eastern Illinois
All-OVC Second Team
Laura Taborda, Eastern Kentucky
Grace Kilroy, Eastern Kentucky
Carli Knott, Southeast Missouri
Erica Fisher, UT Martin
Shelby Siltman, Eastern Illinois
Sierra Lax, Belmont
Agok Ayuen, UT Martin
Photo by Kyle Schwartz, Ohio Valley Conference