ETSU men's cross country finishes third at Virginia Tech Invitational; Crane places second

Saturday, September 08, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. (Sept. 8, 2007) - The ETSU men's cross country team opened up its 2007 season with a third-place finish Saturday morning at the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. Junior Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.) led the Bucs across the finish line, finishing second overall.


"To open up the season with a second-place finish says a lot about Jeff as a runner," said head ETSU men's cross country coach David Walker. "He ran very well today, and hopefully he can continue to build on this as the season progresses."


Crane's second-place mark tied his collegiate best finish, as he accomplished the feat during the 2005 season at the Greensboro Invitational. The South Carolina native finished the 6K race with a time of 18:42.


Rounding out ETSU's performances included Jordan Ladd (Lyn, Ontario), who crossed the line in 10th with a mark of 19:05. Junior Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.), last season's team Most Valuable Runner, finished the race in 19:49; ending the morning in 21st. J Penny (Telford, Tenn.) posted a 26th place finish with a time of 20:08.


"It is hard to judge how our runners performed today, as this was only a 6,000-meter course," added Walker. "Runners like Ladd and Deren showcase their talent on a much longer run; however, Penny put together a nice effort after battling through early preseason injuries."


The Bucs tallied 57 points and finished behind host Virginia Tech (45 points) and Concord (53 points).


The men return to action next weekend when they compete in the Winthrop/Asics Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 15. The ETSU women's cross country team opens its 2007 schedule tomorrow afternoon, as they run in the Irish Brigade Commemorative 5K, at nearby Elizabethton.


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