Cross country continues 2009 campaign in Louisville

Teams still looking to get better at halfway point

October 1, 2009 · Christian Lemon

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Halfway through 2009, the Middle Tennessee cross country teams continue their season Saturday in Louisville, Ky., as they compete in the Greater Louisville Classic hosted by the University of Louisville.

"Right now the teams are progressing well. Everyone is running good, but we still need to get better. This week should help us get stronger in longer races as they prepare for Sun Belt Championships," said head coach Dean Hayes.

The Greater Louisville Classic races will be run on the E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park on the outskirts of Louisville. The men's 8,000 meter and women's 5,000 meter layouts feature slight rolling hills on a mostly flat fast race. The teams are familiar with the Sawyer trek. At last season's race, all the Blue Raider men had season-best times on the course.

William Songock and Festus Chemaoi will lead the men on Saturday. Last season, Songock placed 15th in a field of nearly 300 entries, while Chemaoi placed 45th. Both are having superb 2009 campaigns with Chemaoi having two first-place finishes and a runner up and Songock earning two third-place results and a fifth-place finish.

Zamzam Sangau has continued her stellar Middle Tennessee career by posting three runner-up showings in the three races. She finished 13th at the 2008 Greater Louisville Classic.

Both teams are coming off a bye week and all Blue Raider entrants should have strong showings.

Saturday's meet will feature the largest competitive field this season with an estimated 30 teams in both the men's and women's races. Competing in larger fields should help the Blue Raiders in the upcoming smaller events, including the Sun Belt Championships.

Entering the weekend, the men's team is ranked ninth in the USTFCCCA South Region, while the women are listed 12th. The men's team moved up one spot from last week's poll and the women's team dropped two slots.

Full results and coverage will be available after the meet on goblueraiders.com and uoflsports.com.

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.