Rotich, Ronoh lead Bucs to first-place finish at Hatter Invitational
Rotich
Rotich

Friday, October 16, 2009

Kenyan cousins go first, second in the Sunshine state

 

DeLAND, Fla. (Oct. 16, 2009) - In a little over two weeks the Atlantic Sun Cross Country Championships will be contested at the Sperling Sports Complex in DeLand, Fla., and on Friday evening the ETSU men's squad got acquainted with the same course by claiming both the individual and team titles at the 16th annual Hatter Invitational.

 

The Bucs, who are the reigning conference champions, posted a stellar race on Friday evening thanks to the one-two punch of Kenyan cousins Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi) and Ben Ronoh (Sotik).

 

Rotich led the way by claiming the sixth individual title of his career after finishing the 8K race with the top time of 25:18. Meanwhile, Ronoh followed 35 seconds behind Rotich with a mark of 25:53. Finishing four spots behind Ronoh was red-shirt senior teammate J Penny (Jonesborough, Tenn.) - posting a time of 26:26.

 

Overall, ETSU defeated a field of 18 teams on Friday, as the Bucs scored a total of 65 points. The Bucs edged out cross country power Embry-Riddle (69 points), while conference rival North Florida came in third (79 points).

 

In addition to ETSU's big three, freshman standout Landon Milhorn (The Woodlands, Texas) came away with his highest placing of the year - crossing the line in 18th with a time of 27:13.

 

"We came down here today to catch a preview of the conference championship course and walked away with both the team and individual titles," commented head ETSU cross country coach David Walker. "I was pleased with our overall effort, but our guys know they need to continue to work hard if they want to repeat as conference champions here in a few weeks."

 

On the women's side, junior newcomer Caitlyn Epps (Cookeville, Tenn.) shattered her season best time for a 5K race. Epps, who crossed over from soccer to cross country in the beginning of the year, led the Lady Bucs with a respectable time of 19:47 (27th overall). The Cookeville, Tenn. native's time was 30 seconds faster than her previous best.

 

North Florida claimed the overall team title by beating out South Florida (67 points) and Florida Atlantic (77 points).

 

Mackenzie Howe from Kennesaw State won the individual crown by crossing the tape in 17:42.

 

The Buccaneer cross country team will now have two weeks off before heading back to DeLand, Fla. to compete at the 2009 A-Sun Cross Country Championships on Halloween Saturday (Oct. 31).

 

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

 

 

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