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By Rob Schabert, Tennessee Tech Sports Information Director
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech's women's and men's cross country teams open the 2013 season Friday evening when they compete in the 12-school Western Carolina Invitational in Cullowhee, N.C. The women's two-mile race begins at 6:30 p.m. EDT, followed by a men's 5K event at 6:50 p.m.
Veteran coach Tony Cox expects nine women and nine men to represent the Golden Eagles, capping off a summer of individual training to prepare for the season.
Running for Tech in the women's race will be seven returnees and a pair of newcomers, while the men's race will feature four newcomers and five returning distance runners.
The Tech women's lineup will include five seniors, led by Rebecca Cline from Spring Hill, Tenn., and Peri Winborne from Knoxville, Tenn. Cline finished either first or second on the team in every meet last season, including leading Tech at the OVC Championships. Winborne, still working her way back from injury, placed fourth on the team in most meets during the 2012 cross country season before returning to form during the spring track season.
The other seniors are Yeshi Dohrman, Amelia McCoy and Meghan O'Donoghue. The returning group also includes junior Elizabeth Mitchell and sophomore Landy Loving. Dohrmann, Loving, and McCoy all saw action last year, while O'Donoghue did not run in the fall. Tech's two new faces who will run Friday are sophomore Sarah Willson and freshman Claire Cashin.
John Greene, who headlined the team in 2011 but sat out all of 2012, returns to the course this fall and should run near the front of the pack in every race. He will be joined among the leaders by senior Matthew Bishop, who topped Tech a year ago in half of the races. Senior Sterling Smith, who led Tech in one race and was second on the squad in most other events, will also challenge for team leadership. Other returnees back in action are junior Matt Pennycuff and senior Nathan Snow.
The four new faces in Tech's lineup include freshmen Brennan Huber, Sam Lariviere, Jordan Roth and Daniel Williamson.