By Rob Schabert, TTU Sports Information Volunteer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three meets into the 2016 cross country season, junior newcomer Micayla Rennick has firmly established herself as the top runner on the Tennessee Tech roster.
Rennick led the Golden Eagles Saturday for the third time this year, posting her best 5K time on head coach Wayne Angel's team with a time of 18:30.2 to place her 78th individually in a tough field of 261 runners. An addition to the roster from American River Community College, Rennick sliced 23 seconds from her previous best, which came on the opening weekend at Ironwood Golf Course.
Senior Sarah Brandt was Tech's second to cross the finish line, posting a time of 18:59.3. Two seconds separated the next two Golden Eagles to finish, with Purity Murray at 19:26.5 and Jenna Storm at 19:28.2.
"The women struggled today with rain delays and bad weather," head coach Wayne Angel explained. "They did the best that they could do under the circumstances. Micayla [Rennick] looks like one of the better runners in the OVC; she did a really nice job today. Sarah [Brandt] had a strong performance as well."
Madison Stremler (21:10.7) was the fifth counter for the Golden Eagles, followed by a pair of teammates who established career-best numbers with their first action at the 5K distance. Crystal Liebenberg finished in 22:06.9, while Andrea Retano clocked in at 22:15.0.
"We've got to keep improving though," Angel continued. "We came here to be in the top half and we've got to make progress over the next four to five weeks. In assessing who we are and where we were three weeks ago, we are making progress, but we've got to keep raising the bar. They have to trust in the process."
Eastern Michigan (68) claimed the team championship, edging Ohio State (87) with host Vanderbilt (124) third. Butler and Missouri rounded out the top five. Eastern Kentucky was the top finishing team among six Ohio Valley Conference schools, the Lady Colonels placing eighth.
Missouri's Karissa Schweizer was the individual winner in 16:46.7.
The Golden Eagles will see many of the same teams in two weeks (Oct. 1) when they compete in the Greater Louisville Classic.
Photo by Thomas Corhern, TTU Sports Information