Lunning, Carufe Lead Harriers at Belmont Opener

September 1, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Senior Sara Lunning and junior Tony Carufe were the top finishers for Middle Tennessee Friday at Percy Warner Park at the Belmont Opener on the Vaughan's Creek Course.

Lunning led the female squad, running 16:13.53 to place 49th overall on the 4K course. Junior Marjorie Gombert finished 58th in 16:43.38, while freshman Sangau Zamzam was 63rd in her Blue Raider debut in 17:27.32.

Sophomore Ashleigh Thaler placed 68th in 18:00.29, with sophomores Tiffany Sawyer and Catherine Chester finishing 69th (18:03.36) and 71st (18:08.53), respectively, in their first race since being hit by a car in January.

Sophomore Ashley Comstock, the team's top runner last season, turned an ankle during warm-ups and did not run, while the other runner hurt in January's accident, Kaitlyn Hammond, also did not participate in the first event of the season.

For the men, Carufe placed 44th overall on the 5K course in 17:17.37 to lead the Blue Raiders. Newcomer Phillip Benevides was 46th in 17:32.06, while junior Matt Young finished 49th in 17:52.57 and sophomore Luke Pfleger came in 52nd in 18:51.25. Sophomore Ryan Hood rounded out the Middle Tennessee contingent in 19:16.33 in 53rd place.

"We ran well for the first race of the year, about what we expected," head coach Dean Hayes said. "It hurts not having Ashley run and right now we're still waiting on at least one more guy. We'll keep working and building one meet at a time."

Middle Tennessee runs next at the UTC Opener, September 8, on the Moccasin Bend Course in Chattanooga, Tenn. Full results from Friday's meet may be found at cfpitiming.com.

MEN - 5K

44. Tony Carufe, 17:17.37
46. Phillip Benevides, 17:32.06
49. Matt Young, 17:52.57
52. Luke Pfleger, 18:51.25
53. Ryan Hood, 19:16.53

49. Sara Lunning, 16:13.53
58. Marjorie Gombert, 16:43.38
63. Sangau Zamzam, 17:27.32
68. Ashleigh Thaler, 18:00.29
69. Tiffany Sawyer, 18:03.36
71. Catherine Chester, 18:08.53

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.