Men's cross country places 31st, Boit in top 20 with new school record at Pre-Nationals

Men's cross country places 31st, Boit in top 20 with new school record at Pre-Nationals

By Layne Weitzel, TTU Sports Information

LOUISVILLE – Tennessee Tech received a preview of November's NCAA Championships during its appearance at the adidas® Pre-National Invitational, hosted by the University of Louisville on Saturday morning.

Tech totaled 765 points, placing 31st in the men's seeded 8k race at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park, the future site of the 2017 NCAA Division I National Championship.

FINAL TEAM STANDINGS (men's red seeded 8k) full standings

  1. BYU (41 points) – No. 2 in the USTFCCCA National Coaches' Poll
  2. Colorado (118 points) – No. 7 in the Coaches' Poll
  3. Oregon (129 points) – No. 8 in the Coaches' Poll
  4. Virginia Tech (148 points) – No. 12 in the Coaches' Poll
  5. Ole Miss (193 points) – No. 24 in the Coaches' Poll
  6. Utah State (312 points) – No. 27 in the Coaches' Poll
  7. Texas (317 points) – No. 2 in the South Central Region
  8. Campbell (340 points) – No. 6 in the Southeast Region
  9. Arkansas (347 points) – No. 5 in the Coaches' Poll
  10. Liberty (383 points) – No. 10 in the Southeast Region
31. TENNESSEE TECH (765 points) – No. 12 in the South Region

"I'm very proud of how our men raced today," said head coach Wayne Angel. "We had personal bests from Boit, Cheplak, Kipkirui, Vohn, Mohamed and Daugherty.

"As a team, we gained valuable experience from running against the best teams in the country. We've still got some tweaking to do before OVCs, but I am confident that we will be ready when the time comes."

Gilbert Boit earned a spot in the top 20, finishing 19th in 23:29.6, a new career-best time by 30.1 seconds. With that, he smashed his own 8k school record of 23:59.70, which he set last October at the Greater Louisville Classic. Boit's time was the fastest among all male OVC runners in 8k races this weekend.

Brannon Cheplak followed in 96th with a time of 24:27.5, another career-best. He now stands as sixth-fastest in Tech's all-time bests for the 8k. Sammy Kipkirui was next in 161st place, timing a career-best 24:57.9, while Benard Sigei placed 250th with a time of 25:51.0.

Hannes Vohn and Ababu Mohamed finished one spot apart with another pair of career-best times, as Vonn placed 266th in 26:10.8 and Mohamed finished 268th in 26:13.0.

Joshua Daugherty rounded out the Tech contingent in 282nd place, timing 27:43.9, which is also a career-best.

"It was a great team effort," said Angel. "We were able to defeat some Power Five schools."

Tech will spend the next two weeks preparing for the OVC Championships, which will be run at Eastern Illinois in Charleston, Illinois, on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Photo by Thomas Corhern