Lagat Takes Second, Sybert 10th at SBC Championships

November 4, 2002 · MT Media Relations
DENTON, Texas - Middle Tennessee's Geoffrey Lagat finished second and the Blue Raiders were third Monday at the Sun Belt Championships at the North Texas Research Park.

Lagat, the two-time defending champion, had a strong finish after suffering a stress fracture in his right shin in the spring and not being able to run at all until the middle of August. The Kapsabet, Kenya, native finished in 26:22.63, just behind race winner Brent Corbitt of Arkansas-Little Rock.

Senior Levi Sybert also had a strong race on the wet, sloppy course, coming in 10th in 27:13.34. By virtue of their top 10 finishes, Lagat and Sybert both earned All-Sun Belt honors.

The Blue Raiders also placed two other runners in the Top 20, as Anthony McGary (28:00.56) and Edwin Koech (28:05.05) were 19th and 20th, respectively. The fifth scorer on the day was Murfreesboro native Josh Carroll, who placed 38th (29:12.13).

For the Lady Raiders, freshman Trisha DeValcourt finished 49th to pace the squad to an 11th-place finish. DeValcourt crossed the finish line in 27:42.25. Other finishers for the Lady Raiders included: Erin Russell (54th, 29:07.00), Fran Haas (59th, 30:24.64), Chelsea Taylor (60th, 30:57.73) and Rosemary Okafor (63rd, 32:48.14).

"Geoffrey ran a really great race, especially considering the leg injury he had in the spring," Middle Tennessee head coach Dean Hayes said. "Levi also ran a terrific race, as did all of our top five guys. We ran about as well as we could run, but it did hurt us not to have Steve Safstrom available.

"The women ran hard and Trisha ran pretty good after being hurt this fall. It was a sloppy, wet and windy day, which made it tough for everyone and made the times slow."

2. Geoffrey Lagat, 26:22.63
10. Levi Sybert, 27:13.34
19. Anthony McGary, 28:00.86
20. Edwin Koech, 28:05.05
38. Josh Carroll, 29:12.13
62. Sean Rabe, 32:08.12

49. Trisha DeValcourt, 27:42.25
54. Erin Russell, 29:07.00
59. Fran Haas, 30:24.64
60. Chelsea Taylor, 30:57.73
63. Rosemary Okafor, 32:48.14
65. Laura Smith, 33:49.47

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