UT Martin Runners show youthful look
Posted: Friday, September 9, 2011 5:54 am
The University of Tennessee at Martin cross country squads took part in their season-openers this weekend, competing in the Belmont Opener on Friday and the Memphis Twilight Classic on Saturday.
A half-dozen Skyhawks ran in the 5K race on Friday at Percy Ward Park in Nashville. Freshman Adam Merook led the way with a time of 16:41.60.
Jimmy Watkins-Lynch crossed the finish line in 17:28.79, while freshmen Josiah Roberts (18:03.65) and Hunter Kesse (18:29.83) occupied the next two slots for UT Martin. Blake Anthony’s time of 19:39.52 and Trevor Hancock’s 20:23.32 finish rounded out the action for the Skyhawks on Friday.
“Adam opened his year well,” UT Martin head coach Gordon Sanders said. “Jimmy got in his first race since mid-spring and an Achilles problem.”
Coming off a spectacular freshman campaign, Colin Johnson picked up where he left off. In the 4-mile competition at the Mike Rose Complex in Memphis, Johnson finished 12th out of 200 runners with his time of 20:34.25.
Tallon Scott was the next highest finisher for the Skyhawks, making short work of the course with a final time of 21:56.82.
Benji Sparks (22:19.89) and Ryan Pett (22:22.46) ran in a tight pack, with Tyler Holmes (23:00.72) not too far behind. Vance Pounders and Cody Lemmons completed the Skyhawk scoring with times of 23:15.38 and 24:08.09, respectively.
Emily Jones paved the way for the women’s team, leading the squad with a 20:51.14 time in the 5K.
Laura Wind (20:58.81) and Paige Waldron (21:33.38) were the next-highest finishers for the Skyhawks, followed by the freshmen duo of Makaila Offutt (21:38.39) and Hannah Northam (21:40.97).
Grace Lucas (22:38.52) and Lauren Lancaster (24:48.32) finished the race strong for UT Martin.
“With only two personal bests to start the season, I am still pleased with the good start of our top four men and almost all of the women,” Sanders said. “Having six to eight guys fighting for the five scoring spots, we are sure to see much improvement. The three returning scorers that came in injured are getting fixed, but we have three others ready to lead that pack. The next two competitions will be very telling.”