By Holly Weber, TTU Sports Information
COOKEVILLE, Tenn.—The Tennessee Tech men and women's cross country head down the highway to Nashville on Saturday for the Commodore Classic.
"It's great for our athletes to compete in front of a home crowd again," head coach Wayne Angel remarked. "I can assure you that they are pumped up and ready to rock and roll."
The Golden Eagles will face a field of 25 teams including: Alabama State (w/m); Auburn (w/m); Belmont (w/m); Butler (w/m); Creighton (w/m); Davidson (w/m); Eastern Kentucky (women only); Eastern Michigan (women only); Georgia (w/m); Lipscomb (w/m); Louisville (w/m); Marshall (w/m); MTSU (w/m); Mississippi State (w/m); Missouri (w/m); Morehead State (w/m); Murray State (w/m); Northern Kentucky (w/m); Ohio State (w/m); SE Missouri (w/m); Tennessee (w/m); UT Martin (w/m); UAB (women only); Vanderbilt (w/m); and Western Kentucky (w/m).
"The Commodore Classic is shaping into one of the most competitive meets in the South," Angel continued. "I expect it to be a very fast race. I believe the teams from Auburn, Georgia, Louisville, Middle Tennessee, Missouri, and Ohio State will be battling for the title."
"Racing in such a large field is not the same as running in the OVC or our home meet," Angel said. "It's more physical and can take a toll on your mind if you allow it to. This meet will also allow us to see how we stack up against our OVC adversaries (Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Murray State, Morehead State, Southeast Missouri, and UT Martin)."
The Purple and Gold teams enter this weekend after a successful last showing, where both teams collected first place finishes at the Azalea City Classic.
"Coming off last week's performances at South Alabama has definitely motivated these Golden Eagles to step it up a notch or two on Saturday," Angel remarked. "Hopefully we can feed off the momentum of last week's success and come away with a positive experience and without any injuries."
At the Azalea City Classic, the men's team standout Gilbert Boit took home another individual first place finish to stay undefeated on the season. Boit beat out runners from South Alabama, Alabama State, Troy and Southeastern Louisiana. He finished his 8K with a time of 24:09.34, clocking in 29 seconds than any other participant and 35+ seconds faster than the next Division I runner, breaking a Tech school record in the process.
On the women's side, Micayla Rennick once again was the top finisher for the Golden Eagles. Rennick came in second overall with a 6K time of 22:06.17.
The Tennessee Tech men kick things off on Saturday with an 8K set for a 9 a.m. shotgun start. The women's team will follow with a 5K set to begin at 10 a.m.
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Photo by Thomas Corhern