JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 15, 2004) -The East Tennessee State men's and women's cross country teams competed in the Blue Ridge Open, hosted by Appalachian State, Friday evening from Boone, N.C. The women's squad finished fourth in the event while the Buccaneer men's team placed eighth.
Texas dominated the men's event, winning the team championship as nine Longhorn runners, led by individual champion Mark Nichol (19.34.20), finished in the top ten places. Appalachian State's Katie Sujkowski (18:25.90) won the women's individual title as the Mountaineers took the women's team crown.
ETSU junior Christine Ward (Candler, N.C.) turned in an excellent performance for the Buccaneer women, placing sixth on the 5,000-meter course in a time of 19:17.20. Senior Jennifer Habbestad (Tampa, Fla.) finished 18th in 19:53.80 while freshman MacKenzie LaBonte (Port Charlotte, Fla.) was the third Buccaneer finisher, crossing the line in 20:03.60 to finish 25th. Sophomore Maggie Hunter (Roanoke, Va.) and seniors Tatiana Arriaran (Cochabamba, Bolivia) and Tiffany Collier (Atlanta, Ga.) rounded out the competition for the Bucs.
Junior Peter Dalton (Dublin, Ireland) led the men's team once again, pacing the Buccaneer men in the four-mile event with a 14th place finish in a time of 20:29.60. Junior Josh Gibson (Johnson City, Tenn.) and a trio of freshmen, James Coggins (Jonesborough, Tenn.), Graham Foster (Greenville, S.C.) and Patrick Loven (Kingsport, Tenn.) also competed for ETSU.
ETSU cross country returns to action on Oct. 30 as the men's and women's teams compete at the Southern Conference Championships, hosted by Furman University in Greenville, S.C.