October 1, 2011

Tornado Finish Regular Season Strong at Greater Louisville Classic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – At one of the more anticipated regular season races of the year, the King College men's and women's cross country team ran through cold and overcast weather conditions and on to impressive individual and team marks at the 10th Annual Greater Louisville Classic (Louisville, Ky.). Both teams took to E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park to run one of the more heralded courses in the region in an event that invite more than 50 teams and saw more than 500 individuals compete in the day's festivities.

Spencer Frantom (Morristown, Tenn.) continued to run impressively, leading the men's team and finishing 11th overall in his race. Frantom ended with a time of 25:17.94, just three seconds from a top-ten finish and less than 30 seconds off the pace from the race winner. His time at Saturday's event was just 16 seconds behind his own school record that he set on Sept. 16 at the Clemson Open.

Naseem Haje (Hagerstown, Md.) was the second King harrier to cross the finish line with a time of 26:01.16. Finishing third on the Tornado team was Jordan Noe (Morristown, Tenn.), who set a new personal record with a 26:07.95 time in the men's 8k race.

All five King runners on the men's side that scored crossed the finish line prior to the 27-minute barrier. Justin Humphries (Bristol, Tenn.) finished at 26:39.53 and Jordan Smith(Lebanon, Va.) crossed at 26:55.13.

Of the 33 teams that participated in the men's field, King placed 12th with a total time of 2:11:01.71 and an average individual run time of 26:12.35. King placed in front of in-state competitor University of Tennessee-Martin by eight spots in the team standings and more than 10 spots ahead of NCAA Division I schools Creighton, East Carolina and Austin Peay.

Head Coach Peter Dalton said, "The men's team looked really strong today. Spencer [Frantom] looked great and the freshmen are really engaged and ready to run in regionals."

The Lady Tornado were paced by Winchester, Va. native, Danielle Beauvais, who finished the 5k course in 19:20.15. Her 71st overall finished was followed by teammate Kendra Sokol (Kingsport, Tenn.) who was just one second behind her with a 72nd place finish.

Sophomore Evan Ferrell (Richlands, Va.) finished just short of accomplishing a new personal record with a time of 19:51.98, on Saturday.

The team ran very well as a pack, decreasing their team spread time by more than 40 seconds from their last race at the Clemson Open. Their team spread at Clemson was 1:25.76 compared to their 39.71 time difference at the Greater Louisville Classic.

Contributing to the solid team run and finishing short of the 20-minute mark, Danielle Alfano (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Mariah Arnold (Abingdon, Va.) both finished together with milliseconds separating them in the standings.

"The ladies made a big stride forward as a team today," said Dalton. "They are going to be a very strong pack when it is time to qualify for nationals as they continue to train and compete together."

The Lady Tornado finished 23rd in a 32-team field with a total time of 1:38:33.43 and an average individual time of 19:42.69. King again finished in front of UT-Martin and Western Kentucky University (DI).

"Both teams did a great job today with a lot of adversity thrown at them. The course is a little slower than the last two we have raced at. It was a cold day and featured a lot of great competition with lots of Division I schools and athletes. Overall, I believe we did quite well and now we go back to work to prepare for the conference championships," said Dalton.

The Greater Louisville Classic completes the Tornado regular season schedule before they head to the Conference Carolinas Championships, held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Both teams will compete on Oct. 22 before the regional championships commence in November.