Women runners-up, men third at A-Sun Championship
ETSU women raced to a runner-up finish at the 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship.
ETSU women raced to a runner-up finish at the 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Hirko earns first-team all-conference honor, Jalovy second-team

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 2, 2013) – Contenders for the titles coming into the weekend, the ETSU cross country program came up short with the women’s team tallying a second-place overall finish, while the men rounded out the top three overall at the 2013 Atlantic Sun Cross Country Championship Saturday morning at Vaughn’s Gap Course at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.

The men began the action on the day and failed to perform up to their season standards. As they have been the last past two races, the Buccaneers were paced by junior Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) who raced to an eighth-place overall finish with a time of 25:30.16. Jalovy’s time allowed him to secure second-team All-Atlantic Sun honors after earning first-team accolades in 2012.

Following Jalovy in the standings were three teammates in 17th, 18th and 19th place. Desmond Pierce (Morristown, Tenn.) led this threesome with a time of 26:01.11, trailed by Sean Duffy (Jonesborough, Tenn.) with a 26:01.61 time and Anders Ludvigsen (Odense, Denmark) with a time of 26:02.65. A couple other Bucs were bunched up in the top-25 with Angus Baldwin (Tumbi Umbi, Australia) in 21st with a 26:09.54 time and James Miller (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) in 24th with a time of 26:18.84.

Junior Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) snuck into the top-30 with a 26:28.78 time in 29th, while Dylan Harper (Pikeville, Tenn.) came in 32nd with a collegiate-best time of 26:32.02. Bringing up the rear for ETSU was Simeon Roberts (Greeneville, Tenn.) in 43rd with a time of 27:02.12.

These scores added up to 83 points for the Bucs, one point behind second-place Northern Kentucky and way back of winner Lipscomb who posted a score of 26.

“We had a disappointing day and fell far below our expectations,” said ETSU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts. “It’s difficult to say why we didn’t run well but we are better than what we showed. Our five-man spread was good but we simply didn’t finish high enough in the standings for it to make a difference.”

“There is no excuse to finish one point behind a team we’ve beaten three times this season. We need to rebound and have our best race of the season at the regional championship.”

Though the men had a tough race, the women followed with a superb showing. Sophomore sensation Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.) was once again the catalyst for the Bucs, this time with a third-place overall finish and a time of 17:41.13. This placement allowed Hirko to earn first-team all-conference honors for the second-consecutive year. Joining Hirko in the top-10 was the other end of the one-two punch, Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W.Va.), who raced to ninth place with a collegiate-high 18:20.12 time which solidified second-team all-league accolades for the senior.

Trailing the top two were teammates were Victoria Hutchens (Stuart, Va.) and Jessica Palmer (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) in 23rd and 24th with times of 19:01.01 and 19:03.52, respectively. Lisa Pallotta (Leesburg, Va.) and Carmen Hilliard (Oak Island, N.C.) slotted into the top-35 with standings of 31st (19:24.09) for Pallotta and 33rd (19:27.69) for Hilliard.

These scores added up to a score of 84 for the ETSU women, good for second place overall. Lipscomb also took the crown on the women’s side with 26 points.

“Our women’s team ran their best race of the season and surprised some people today,” said Watts. “They have great team chemistry and a great team leader in Chelsea Clark. Katie Hirko battled for the individual title but fell a little short and Chelsea saved her best for last with her finish.”

“Five of the six runners return next year so we have a bright future. We have an excellent chance to improve on last year’s regional championship in two weeks.”

The ETSU cross country teams will be back in action on Friday, Nov. 15, when they travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala. to compete in the NCAA South Regional.

For more information about ETSU cross country please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the cross country links.

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