This Friday the Vols took to Madison, Wisconsin where they faced off against some of the best cross-country runners throughout the nation. They raced at The Thomas Zimmer Cross Country Course, which host the 2018 NCAA championships that will take place on November 17.
“It was good to see Coach Nuttycombe again and run on Wisconsin's course before the NCAAs,” stated head coach Beth Alford-Sullivan. “Their course is beautiful and competitive. It's going to be a wonderful championship."
The women made their presence known by placing second as a team in the women’s B 6k race. Katie Thronson continues to make a name for herself at Tennessee and in the SEC by leading the Vols in third place with a time of 21:01.9.
Despite only being a freshman, Thronson has been a game-changer for Tennessee, recording top-three finishes in her first three career collegiate races. Coming up behind Thronson, was Megan Murray who finished fourth with a time of 21:07.1.
Murray has been a leader for the Vols over her time at Tennessee and continues to earn the women great finishing times. She gained her second top-ten finish of the fall with the B 6k.
"The women's race was a great competition for us,” Alford-Sullivan said. “The B race was a close team competition, and we had two place in the top 10 in Katie (Thronson) and Megan (Murray). It was another step forward for the team as a program. It was a beautiful course, and they handled it really well.”
The men finished with five of their runners scoring in the B 8k. Gashaw Duhamel led the Vols by earning 16th place (24:58.2). Behind Duhamel was Brad Swiney in 36th (25:17.7), Georde Goodwyn in 64th (26:00.0), Nick Boogades in 82nd (26:38.8), and Andre Hillsman in 84th (26:47.7).
The men also ran an 8K championship race, in which they came slightly short of expectations. Zach Long continues to lead the team, as he finished 30th with a time of 23:50.4. Coming up behind Long was true freshman Karl Thiessen in 95th at 24:25.8. Additional scorers for Tennessee included Alex Crigger at 110th (24:30.5), Nick Brey (146th 24:48.8), and Wesley Robinson at 182nd (25:14.4)
“The men's championship race was so competitive,” Alford-Sullivan said. “We had 34 teams start, and 33 finished. It was a feeling of walking away oh so close. We were hoping to finish 18-20, but oh so close.”
The Vols will race next in Birmingham, Alabama for the Blazer Classic, which will take place on October 12.