Oct. 8, 2003
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech cross country teams will compete in Auburn, Ala. this Friday afternoon at the Auburn Invitational, to be contested at the Indian Pines Golf Course, sight of the 2003 NCAA South Region Championships. The men’s eight-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. local time, with the women’s five-kilometer to follow at 4:45 p.m.
Mahoney was the Jackets’ top competitor a year ago, finishing as the top Tech runner in both the 2002 Auburn Invitational and the ACC Championships. He finished in the top-15 in both races. The other top runners on the men’s side are seniors Kyle Rabbitt and Neil McDonagh. Both raced in the Wake Forest Alumni Invitational in the middle of September, with McDonagh recording a third-place finish in a time of 25:31 and Rabbitt following in fifth at 25:46; this will be the second race for both in 2003.
Other key competitors for the men are senior Jimmy DeYonker, sophomore Rob Kuhn, and freshman Cristan Duvall. DeYonker finished third and fourth, respectively, in the first two meets of 2003, while Kuhn was the top Tech finisher in the UTC Opener to begin the season. Duvall has been a steady performer for the Jackets as well, finishing two seconds behind Kuhn in the first meet and third in the Wake Forest Alumni Invite, behind seniors McDonagh and Rabbitt.
On the women’s side, Griffin will be running in her first cross country race since being diagnosed with a stress fracture in her leg following the 2002 Auburn Invitational. Before suffering the injury, she had finished first or second in three of her four races, including winning the Georgia Intercollegiates and finishing as the top Division I runner in the Auburn meet. She joins Dock, who returns for her senior year after earning All-South honors for the second consecutive season in 2002. She was the Jacket’s top runner at the end of the year, finishing second for the Jackets at the conference championships and first for the women in the NCAA South Region Championships.
Seniors Neta Ezer and Jennifer Lentz and freshmen Kirby Cross and Jenny Sims have led the Tech team thus far this season. Ezer had the best race of her career at the Wake Forest Invite, where she was fifth overall with a 5K time of 18:36 as the top Jackets’ competitor. Following her in the race was Cross, who finished ninth after leading Tech two weeks earlier at the UTC Opener with a seventh-place overall finish. Lentz and Sims have followed Cross, with both finishing in the top-15 in the first two meets.
The meet boasts SEC teams Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt along with the host school Auburn and many others. This will be the Jackets’ final race before the conference championships on November 1st.