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Lagat Wins Belmont Invitational

August 31, 2001 · MT Media Relations
Middle Tennessee got its cross-country slate underway on Friday with a good showing at the Belmont Opener Invitational.

Geoffrey Lagat continued to exert his excellence by winning the men's event and helping lead the Blue Raiders to a very strong third place showing in the race. Levi Sybert ran a strong race, finishing sixth.

Following Sybert was Josh Carroll in 18th place, Anthony McGary on 21st, and Steve Safstrom in 27th.

Middle Tennessee also saw Carlos Gonzales finish 36th, Bryan Picklesimer 56th, Dallas Jones 65th, Sean Rabe 71st, and Brent Greer 73rd.

None of the runners in Friday's race had a timed finish as the equipment used for that purpose failed in the rain that fell during most of the races.

"Geoffrey ran a great race," said head coach Dean Hayes. "It was a competitive race at the end and he was able to hold on for the win. He played it nicely and didn't get excited when he fell back about halfway through the race. He just reeled them in."

"I was proud of the way the team ran today. Levi [Sybert] ran well again and Josh Carroll is showing big improvement. Showing how competitive we could be this early was the biggest thing for us today."

On the women's side, the Lady Raiders finished 10th overall and were paced by freshman Regina Reccuglia's 45th place finish. Kapreia Kirk, who missed the cross-country season a year ago, finished in 51st.

Tori Blander in 52nd place, Sabrina Smith in 52nd, and Jameka Collins in 64th completed Middle Tennessee's scoring.

"I thought the women did a good job today," said Hayes. "Regina ran a good race and Kapreia was better than I thought she might be in her first race back. Tori may have run the most competitive race of her career."

The teams will be back in action in Sept. 15 in Bowling Green, Ky., at the Western Kentucky Invitational.

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