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Tech runners prepare for OVC Championships

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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — A season's worth of hard work and preparation come to a head for the 16 Tennessee Tech cross country runners who will compete Saturday in the Ohio Valley Conference Championships in Richmond, Ky.

The event, hosted by Tennessee Tech a season ago, moves to Eastern Kentucky this fall and will be held at The Arlington Club. The men will race first with an 8K at 8:30 a.m. CDT, followed by the women's 5K at 9:30 a.m.

The Golden Eagles have run in five regular-season meets this fall and last competed at the UE Invitational in Evansville, Ind., on Oct. 15, where six runners posted personal-record times. Tech was led by John Greene on the men's side while Rebecca Cline was the top finisher on the women's team.

Greene has had an outstanding junior campaign, posting new personal-bests in all five of the team's meets and leading all Tech runners in each event. He has chopped his best time down to 26:17 from 28:00 a season ago.

Greene, a native of Friendsville, Tenn., represents Tech's best chance at individual success at the conference championships as he could become the first male Golden Eagle ever to earn All-OVC accolades.

Joining Greene in Tech's eight-runner lineup at the championships will be Matt Bishop (season-best time of 26:51), Mike Mahan (27:36), Adam McLeod (27:37), Sterling Smith (28:32), Matt Pennycuff (29:15), Charlie Jordan (29:30) and Kolbe Andrzejewsi (30:05).

The women's lineup will consist of Rebecca Cline (19:29), Peri Winborne (19:53), Leah Bradley (19:54), Amelia McCoy (19:56), Beth Miller (20:01), Kara Webb (20:12), Traci Jones (20:39) and Meghan O'Donaghue (20:45).

"Our women's team has had a tough year with several nagging injuries to some of our best runners, and we're just now starting to get healthy," said head coach Tony Cox. "The men are really excited about this meet and want to place well. It would be great if we could get John Greene onto the all-OVC team and have a first for our team."

At last year's championships, held in Cookeville at Southern Hills Golf Course, the Golden Eagle women placed seventh while the men took sixth. Then-senior Sam Taylor paced the men's team with a time of 27:11 while Peri Winborne was the top finisher for the women, coming in at 20:01.

Cox said he expects Arlington to be a rolling-to-hilly course that will challenge runners.

Results from the meet will be posted on TTUSports.com as they become available on Saturday.