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Four Raiders Earn All-Conference Honors

Marla Bailey earns SBC Freshman of the Year honors

October 27, 2007 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Zamzam Sangau and Marjorie Gombert finished third and sixth, respectively, for the women, and William Songock and Isaac Biwott both placed in the Top 10, leading Middle Tennessee's cross country teams to third-place team showings Saturday at the Sun Belt Championships in Bowling Green, Ky.

Sangau, Gombert, Songock and Biwott all garnered All-Sun Belt honors for their performances while Marla Bailey was the SBC Freshman of the Year after placing 13th in the women's race. Songock was the SBC Freshman of the Year in 2006. It is the most All-Conference performers in cross country in the history of the program.

Sangau finished third on the Kereaikes Park course in 18:01.50, the second-highest finish ever for the Blue Raider female in a conference cross country championship and the best finish for any Blue Raider woman since the school joined the Sun Belt Conference. Kiya Thomas placed second at the 1991 OVC Championships for the best finish in school history.

Gombert, a senior, was one of the big stories of the day, finishing sixth in 18:14.07 on the 5K course, while Bailey was 13th in 18:50.22 and junior Ashley Comstock placed 16th in 19:06.75.

Junior Tiffany Sawyer was the fifth scorer for the Blue Raiders, finishing 31st in 19:54.32, while sophomore Kaitlyn Hammond was 35th in 19:58.98 and junior Ashleigh Thaler placed 46th in 20:32.00.

"Marjorie had an extremely good race. She was all smiles and deservedly so," head coach Dean Hayes said. "Zamzam was tough again, just as she has been all year, and Marla really had a good race along with Ashley. The women really had a good year all the way around and finished just about where we thought they would."

Songock had his second straight All-SBC performance, placing eighth in 26:01.49 on the five-mile course. The sophomore finished seventh at last year's SBC Championships.

Biwott, a freshman, had a big day, as well, coming in 10th in 26:09.38, while freshman Festus Chemaoi struggled with equipment issues but still placed 11th in 26:15.91. Freshman Julius Kirui was 14th in 26:18.10, and sophomore Philip Benavides finished 33rd in 27:30.91.

Senior Matthew Young placed 60th in 29:39.54, while freshman Adam Cunningham was 61st in 30:02.31.

"Isaac ran a heck of a race, really ran well, and William was very solid," Hayes said. "Festus had all sorts of trouble, losing his shoe and several other things. We probably would have finished second if he hadn't had all the problems, but UALR really earned the victory because their 3-4-5-6 guys ran really hard."

The Blue Raider men finished with 76 points, just one point behind second-place North Texas, while the women had 69 points, six points behind second-place UALR.

Full results may be found at sunbeltsports.org or http://www.goblueraiders.com/content.cfm/id/28458.

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS
MEN

8. William Songock, 26:01.49
10. Isaac Biwott, 26:09.38
11. Festus Chemaoi, 26:15.91
14. Julius Kirui, 26:18.10
33. Philip Benavides, 27:30.91
60. Matthew Young, 29:39.54
61. Adam Cunningham, 30:02.31

WOMEN
3. Zamzam Sangau, 18:01.50
6. Marjorie Gombert, 18:14.07
13. Marla Bailey, 18:50.22
16. Ashley Comstock, 19:06.75
31. Tiffany Sawyer, 19:54.32
35. Kaitlyn Hammond, 19:58.98
46. Ashleigh Thaler, 20:32.00

TEAM RESULTS
MEN - 5 miles

1. UALR 53
2. North Texas 75
3. Middle Tennessee 76
4. Western Kentucky 81
5. Florida International 154
6. Troy 159
7. Arkansas State 193
8. South Alabama 196
9. Florida Atlantic 224
10. Louisiana-Lafayette 264
11. Louisiana-Monroe 278

WOMEN - 5K
1. Western Kentucky 52
2. UALR 63
3. Middle Tennessee 69
4. Florida International 80
5. Florida Atlantic 138
6. North Texas 178
7. Arkansas State 207
8. Louisiana-Lafayette 211
9. Louisiana-Monroe 217
10. Troy 230
11. South Alabama 274

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