Oct. 29, 2011
Complete Results |
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
On the strength of a third-place finish from redshirt senior Matt Hughes and all five scoring runners placing inside the top 30, the University of Louisville men's cross country team raced to a third-place finish in the team standings at the BIG EAST Cross Country Championships on Saturday morning at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park. The women's team placed 11th.
"I feel like the group really came to compete," assistant coach Joe Walker said. "We lined up, we put it out there, and we were a team that we felt we could contend for the win. You have to give it to Villanova today. That was an unreal performance."
Hughes was the lone Cardinal to earn league accolades, taking all-BIG EAST honors for the second-straight year with his top-15 finish. An Oshawa, Ontario, native, Hughes navigated the 8K course in 23:38.21, a season-best mark, and it also was more than a minute better than his time of 25:25.30 at last year's championships.
"He's a confident kid," Walker added of Hughes. "We didn't talk too much about the win, more so about team goals, but in the back of my mind, I thought he could pull it off. The way (Cincinnati's Eric) Finan ran today, he's clearly the best in the league right now. Matt, potentially, could have been right there for second, but a great effort to get third."
Sophomore Tyler Byrne, who was sick early in the week, was able to battle the cool, sub-45 degree conditions to record a solid 18th-place showing with a time of 24:06. Redshirt junior Gordon Dooley crossed the finish line moments later to take 22nd overall (24:11.16), while redshirt senior Matt Bruce (No. 24 in 24:11.76) and senior Luke Lovelace (No. 29 in 24:22.40) rounded out the team's five scoring runners.
Dooley, Bruce and Lovelace all registered season-best times in the 8K race.
Junior Ariel Briggs paced the women's squad with a season-best time of 22:18.01 in the 6K to finish 60th overall [55 in scoring]. Briggs trailed freshman teammate Madie Davidson throughout the race, but overtook the team lead late in the course. Davidson completed the race in 22:22.64 for 65th overall, 59th among scoring runners.
"You've got the best women's cross country conference in the nation, so for our very young, inexperienced women's team, it's a great opportunity for them to go out there and compete against some of the top females in the country," assistant coach Taryn Sheehan says. "I think they handled themselves with poise and composure. For a very young group, I'm very happy with the result."
Finishing third on the women's squad was freshman Michelle Molodynia (No. 79 , 22:43.24), while junior Cassie Martin (No. 83 , 22:48.83) and sophomore Maria Frigo (No. 96 , 23:12.49) rounded out the women's scoring runners.
Louisville will be idle for two weeks before returning to E.P. `Tom' Sawyer State Park on Nov. 12 for the NCAA Southeast Regional. This marks the third-straight year the course has been home to the meet.
For all of the latest information on Louisville cross country and track and field, log on to UofLsports.com, or, for up-to-the-minute updates, follow the team's Twitter account at www.twitter.com/louisvilletrack.
MEN'S TEAM RESULTS
1. Villanova, 43; 2. Georgetown, 94; 3. LOUISVILLE, 96; 4. Syracuse, 97; 5. Providence, 116
MEN'S INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
3. Matt Hughes, 23:38.21; 18. Tyler Byrne, 24:06.83; 22. Gordon Dooley, 24:11.16; 24. Matt Bruce, 24:11.76; 29. Luke Lovelace, 24:22.40; 44. (42) Mattias Wolter, 24:47.97; 59. (53) Evan Hibbs, 25:09.82; (76.) Ryan Eaton, 25:55.13; (94.) Andrew Stewart, 26:37.42
WOMEN'S TEAM RESULTS
1. Villanova, 54; 2. Providence, 63; 3. Georgetown, 77; t-4. Syracuse, 92; t-4. West Virginia, 92; 11. LOUISVILLE, 340
WOMEN'S INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
60. (55) Ariel Briggs, 22:18.01; 65. (59) Madie Davidson, 22:22.64; 79. (70) Michelle Molodynia, 22:43.24; 83. (73) Cassie Martin, 22:48.83; 96. (83) Maria Frigo, 23:12.49; 109. (93) Megan Klein, 23:47.49; 113. (97) Paige Dooley, 23:58.24; (122.) Kacey Cox, 24:32.44; (129.) Olivia Horvath, 25:12.29