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Cross Country performs well in Sun Belt Championships

Women place second, men tie for third

November 1, 2008 · Russell Luna
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Middle Tennessee's quest to win the men's and women's cross country team championships came up short at the Sun Belt Conference Championships at WKU Saturday. The valiant effort was not enough as the women placed second in the 5K and the men tied for third in the 8K.

Zamzam Sangau led the Blue Raider women with a second-place finish clocking a time of 17:45.89. The junior's outstanding performance was her fourth top three finish of the year. Senior Ashley Comstock finished second for the women earning her third Top 10 finish of the season with a ninth overall placement time of 19:01.84.

Sophomore Marla Bailey rallied two spots behind with a time of 19:12.71. Freshman Kristen Tithof rounded out the Top 20 with a time of 19:45.18.

Ashley Thaler, Sarah Nambawa and TraMayne Gillyard completed the remainder of Middle Tennessee's run with finishes of 32, 57 and 67.

The second-place finish for the women was the highest placement for the team since joining the Sun Belt in 2001.

"Zamzam really did a great job. She has been running very well," said Blue Raider coach Dean Hayes. "Marla, Ashley and Kristen all ran well. All of them did a good job. As a group we did really well. A lot of our runners got personal bests."

Sophomores Festus Chemaoi and David Emery paced the Blue Raider men with eighth and ninth place finishes to help the men finish behind WKU, UALR and tie for third with North Texas.

Chemaoi delivered his fifth Top 10 finish of the year with a time of 25:57.97. Emery placed ninth after finishing nearly five seconds behind his teammate with a mark of 26:01.54.

Julius Kirui and Isaac Biwott managed Top 20 showings with finishes of 11 and 18. Josh Wheeler and Darnell McCurdy rounded out the men results with placements of 67 and 76. Roscoe Payne and William Songock did not finish the course. "We were in it," said Hayes. "We had five solids. Unfortunately, our number one guy couldn't finish the race. It was just one of those things. We had our opportunity, but we just couldn't take advantage. The rest really performed well. Sometimes it falls in place for you, but sometimes it doesn't."

The men and women's teams will resume competition at the NCAA South Regional on Nov. 15, in Knoxville, Tenn.

Men's Results - 8K:
8. Festus Chemaoi - 25:57.97
9. David Emery - 26:01.54
11. Julius Kirui - 26:08.53
18. Isaac Biwott - 26:22.79
67. Josh Wheeler - 29:58.84
75. Darnell McCurdy - 34:05.70
DNF - Roscoe Payne
DNF - William Songock

PHOTOS
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Men Team Results
1. Western Kentucky - 50
2. Arkansas-Little Rock - 94
3. Middle Tennessee - 110
3. North Texas - 110
5. South Alabama - 153
6. Troy - 159
7. Florida Atlantic - 173
8. Florida International - 177
9. UL-Monroe - 183
10. UL-Lafayette - 222
11. Arkansas State - 231

Women's Results - 5K:
2. Zamzam Sangau - 17:45.89
9. Ashley Comstock - 19:01.84
11. Marla Bailey - 19:12.71
20. Kristen Tithof - 19:45.18
32. Ashley Thaler - 20:17.92
57. Sarah Nambawa - 22:25.51
67. TraMayne Gillyard - 24:18.12

Women Team Results
1. Western Kentucky -32
2. Middle Tennessee - 74
3. Arkansas-Little Rock - 112
4. North Texas - 113
5. South Alabama - 138
6. Florida Atlantic - 140
7. Arkansas State - 166
8. Troy - 193
9. UL-Lafayette - 214
10. Florida International - 231
11. UL-Monroe - 269

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