Sept. 20, 2014
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Georgia Tech men’s cross country team won the 8K and the women’s team placed second in the 5K Saturday morning at the Florida Mountain Dew Invitational. The men’s team won its second meet of the season with 41 points, 10 points in front of second-place finisher Florida (51), who was ranked third in the South Region heading into the weekend.
Senior Jeremy Greenwald finished first in the collegiate race with a career-best time of 24:17, crossing the finish line eight seconds ahead of Daniel Garcia (24:25) of Kennesaw State. Unattached runner Mark Parrish won the overall race with a time of 24:04.
Greenwald established himself among the leaders from the outset with the goal of making sure he was the first collegian. Late in the race, with the collegiate race secured, he struck out after the unattached leader, finishing second overall.
“Jeremy did a great job today, followed the race plan, and looked strong throughout,” head coach Alan Drosky said. “We’re very pleased with where he’s at, and he’s really becoming a great leader for the team.”
All five point scorers for the men finished within the top 15 as Alec Clifford (4th; 24:53), Alex Grady (9th; 25:07), Austin Veith (13th; 25:16) and Troy Hayden (14th; 25:20) rounded out Tech’s top five finishers.
Behind Greenwald, a group of Clifford, Grady, Veith and Hayden moved up well and chased down teams that had established an early lead. Coburn made a big move in the last mile to get into the sixth position and true freshman, Solomon, hung on well in his collegiate opener to finish out the top seven.
“It’s difficult to single out any individual as so many of the men did an outstanding job today,” Drosky said. “I’m proud of them for a great team win and excited to see where this team goes from here. Our strength right now is in our depth, along with an outstanding front runner in Greenwald. On any given day anyone can step up and contribute.”
Senior Kelly Meyer led the women’s team with a time of 17:36 and finished in seventh place out of 146 collegiate runners.
Katie Townsend followed in eighth with a time of 17:39. Melissa Fairey (10th; 17:45), Hayley Keadey (17th; 17:56) and Rachel Thorne (25th; 18:13) rounded out Tech’s top five finishers. Caroline Kissel (18:14), Rachel Hammond (18:19), Morgan Jackson (18:23), and Erin Radcliffe (18:27) ran solid for Georgia Tech as well.
After getting buried in the field off the starting line, the women rallied well over the last half of the race to secure second place behind Florida, who is ranked eighth in the South Region. Led by Meyer, Townsend, Fairey and Keadey, the foursome moved strongly through the field. Thorne hung on well after slightly dropping off the group of four, to be a solid fifth, while Kissel and Hammond moved well to round out the team’s top seven.
As a team, the women placed second out of 13 teams with 67 points. Host Florida won the women’s race with 35 points, with North Florida (3rd; 90), UCF (4th; 117) and South Florida (5th; 124) rounding out the top five teams.
“We got a strong effort from the women and we’re proud of how well they fought through the field today,” Drosky said. “Hopefully we can adjust some things in training to enable them to get out in a better position early on in the race. But they are a fit and determined group, and as with the men, a very deep team. They are coming along as we have hoped. It’s great to see Meyer lead the team and Thorne has stepped up big in the first two meets of the season.”
The Yellow Jackets return to action Oct. 14th at the Upstate Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C. Competition kicks off at 9 a.m.