Men’s cross country takes second as women’s Hirko named Freshman of the Year

Saturday, October 27, 2012

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 27, 2012) – The ETSU men’s cross country team finished second, just four points behind defending Atlantic Sun champion USC Upstate, while the women’s cross country earned a fifth-place finish at the Atlantic Sun Championships on Saturday morning.

First year head coach George Watts said, "Overall I am very pleased with both team’s performances. We improved significantly from the 2011 season. That is what you are supposed to do, and both teams return all but one runner and the future is very bright."

The Bucs’ 53 points was just five points away from dethroning the defending champion Spartans (49).  The four point margin was the closest championship since 1998 when Campbell won with 68 points just edging Georgia State by two points.

Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) and Landon Milhorn (The Woodlands, Texas) led the Bucs with first-team all-conference performances. Jalovy ran a career-best 24:48.2 which was good for third-place, while Milhorn was right on Jalovy’s heels completing the 8,000-meter course in 24:51.1 to garner his first career A-Sun accolade. Sophomore Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) earned second-team all-Atlantic Sun by running a personal-best 25:26.7 for 13th-place.  Anders Ludvigsen (Odense, Denmark) placed 15th with a time of 25:35.3 as Desmond Pierce (Morristown, Tenn.) rounded out the Buc’s top-five and the meet’s top-20 with an 18th-place finish and a time of 25:47.4.

"The men finish was bittersweet as they are happy with their improvement from last year, but had higher aspirations. They can use this for motivation next year," said Watts. "Filip and Landon ran excellent races to finish three and four. Adam earned his first all-conference selection and has more room for improvement." 

Since joining the A-Sun in 2005, the Lady Bucs earned their best finish with fifth and were led by Freshman of the Year, Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.). Hirko completed the 5,000-meter course with a personal-best time of 17:36.8 which was good for fourth.  The Oley, Pa. native’s fourth-place finish made her the first Lady Buc to earn all-Atlantic Sun honors.  Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W.Va) recorded a personal-best time of 18:22.3 which was good for 19th-place.  Freshmen Lisa Pallotta (Leesburg, Va.) crushed her personal-best by 30-seconds to finish 28th with a time of 18:55.2.  Melissa Peters (Mesa, Ariz.) clocked a time of 19:18.4, while Jessica Palmer (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) rounded out the Lady Bucs’ top-five with a time of 19:23.4.

"The women missed fourth by one point and made an impact at the meet. Katie continues to impress and we are proud of her all-conference and top freshman performance. All of the women ran personal bests and in the case of Chelsea, Melissa and Lindsay they had their best places ever at the A-Sun championship, noted Watts.

Lipscomb took home its second straight title by having all five of their scorers in the top-12 for a total of 40 points.

"As a program, we preformed the best in the conference today with the second-place finish by the men and women’s fifth-place," said Watts. "Both teams continued to make great strides throughout the season and have given us a lot of confidence going into the South Regional."

The Bucs now gear up for the NCAA South Regional meet, which will be contested on Friday, Nov. 9 in Tallahassee, Fla.

For more information on Buccaneer cross country, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.

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