Golden Eagles will run alongside South's best at NCAA Regional

Golden Eagles will run alongside South's best at NCAA Regional

Teams will run at University of Alabama Arboretum

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Tech will run against the best teams the South has to offer this weekend at the NCAA Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Coming off an Ohio Valley Conference Championships performance on Oct. 29 that wasn't quite what the Golden Eagles had hoped for, Saturday's meet offers a chance at retribution heading into the offseason.

Tech's men placed seventh at the OVC Championships while the Golden Eagle women were ninth. Junior John Greene led the men with an 8K time of 26:44 while sophomore Rebecca Cline paced the women, running the 5K in 20:02.

"The OVC meet didn't go quite as well for us as I had hoped," head coach Tony Cox said. "I thought some injuries we were fighting through on the women's side held us back a little bit. We're looking forward to going down there this week and running against the biggest field and the strongest competition we see in our season."

The South Regional will be held at Harry Pritchett Running Park located inside the University of Alabama Arboretum. The men's race will begin at 10 a.m. with the women's race following at 11:15 a.m. The field is a large one, consisting of runners from 35 teams and including powerhouse SEC and ACC programs.

The Golden Eagles will encounter distances different from the ones they have run for most of the season at the Regional — the men's race is a 10K rather than an 8K while the women's race is a 6K rather than the traditional 5K. Tech's men have yet to run a 10K this season while the women ran 6K in their first two meets of the season at the Sewanee Invitational and Georgia State Invitational.

Sophomore Peri Winborne has posted the best 6K time of any Golden Eagle this season, running a 24:40 at Sewanee. On the men's side, Greene and sophomore Matthew Bishop are the only Golden Eagles to have participated in a 10K race during their collegiate careers. Bishop ran a 33:10 at last year's South Regional while Greene posted a 36:04 in the same meet.

"The longer distances are going to be a challenge," Cox said. "Bur our runners are prepared and looking forward to it."

Sixteen runners in all — eight men and eight women — will run at the Regional. The women's lineup consists of Cline, Winborne, seniors Leah Bradley and Traci Jones, junior Beth Miller, sophomores Amelia McCoy and Meghan O'Donaghue and freshman Kara Webb while the men's lineup is made up of Greene, Bishop, junior Mike Mahan, sophomore Adam McLeod and freshmen Charlie Jordan, Matt Pennycuff and Sterling Smith.

Full results from the meet will be reported on when they become available Saturday.