The Tennessee men’s and women’s cross country team hosted their first meet of the season at the Tennessee Tri-Star Cross Country Challenge on Friday.
The event also featured system schools UT Martin and UT Chattanooga at the Cherokee Farms Cross Country course in Knoxville.
Both the Vols and Lady Vols completed a sweep of the event with the men’s team scoring 15 points compared to Martin’s 52 points and Chattanooga’s 79, and the women’s team scoring 16 points against 54 and 66 points for the competition.
“It was a good day,” Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Beth Alford-Sullivan said. “We felt like we were going to have a good shot to run up front and control the race and control the tempo. We did that on both sides.
“We were supposed to run that as a nice, strong temp with a good close and we did that.”
The big part of Tennessee’s success on both teams could be attributed to the performance of sophomore tandem Karl Thiessen for the men and Sydney Seymour for the women.
Thissen, who was named to the 2018 SEC All-Freshman Team last season, ran the four-mile course in 20:56.83 for first place overall, placing him ahead of teammates Alex Crigger (21:15.15), Brayden Hamblen (21:15.24), Georde Goodwyn (21:29.70) and Max Barbour (21:32.25), who all finished in the top five of the competition.
All of the top-10 finishers on the men’s side were Vols.
On the women’s side, Seymour finished the three-mile with a 17:36.43 time, eclipsing her previous best of 17:50.01 in the same category last season.
The rest of the Lady Vols’ top four in the three-mile included Katie Thronson (17:40.09), Megan Murray (18:02.29) and Abigail Smith (18:07.80).
Smith’s time turned out to be a person best, beating out the 18:43.51 time she had previously held.
“The Tennessee staff did a great job putting this meet on,” Alford-Sullivan said. “We had President Boyd out here, our athletic director Phillip Fulmer out here, many of the administration. It was just really well supported and we felt the love for Tennessee cross country.”
Both teams will have two weeks off before heading to Charlottesville, Virginia to compete in the Cavalier Classic on Sept. 14 at the University of Virginia.