Arkansas Tech Golden Suns Cross Country finishes second at meet

From Arkansas Tech University

Arkansas Tech Golden Suns Cross Country finished second out of four teams here Friday evening at its fifth-annual Tech Twilight Run held on the grounds surrounding Tucker Coliseum on the Tech campus.

Tech scored 49 points at the meet as it had three runners finish in the Top 10 overall. Arkansas-Little Rock took home first place for the fifth consecutive year as the Lady Trojans put seven of its 10 runners in the Top 10 to score 19 points.

On the individual side, freshman Olivia Campbell (Harrison, Ark.) continued her strong start to her collegiate career as the transfer from North Arkansas Community College finished second overall as she crossed the finish line in a school-record 2-mile time of 11:17. Campbell, who finished fourth at last Saturday's Memphis Twilight Meet after running the fourth fastest 5K time in school history (18:14), bettered the school's old 2-mile mark of 11:22 set by former Golden Sun Bailee Miller in 2009.

"Today was a big jump for us. We showed a lot of positive improvement from last weekend," Golden Suns Head Coach Tom Aspel said following the meet. "The girls are really starting to claw their way back to where we need to be as we head into the remainder of the season."

Tech opened its 2011 season with a 14th place finish at last weekend's Brooks/Memphis Twilight Meet. Tech scored 389 points at the Memphis meet.

In Friday's meet, the Golden Suns had five runners place among the top 20 individuals as Campbell was followed into the chute by sophomore Cheryl Nolan (Carlow, Ireland), who place eighth overall with a time of 12:03 and sophomore Kaitlin Bounds (Russellville, Ark.) ran a 2-mile time of 12:26 to finish in 10th place overall. Sophomore Amanda Bradbury (Bauxite, Ark.) ran a time of 12:51 to finish in 14th place, while sophomore Elizabeth Gean (Fort Smith, Ark.) run the 2-mile course in a time of 13:12 to finish 15th overall and sophomore Ashley Perisho (West Plains, Mo.) ran a time of 13:56 to finish in 18th place overall.

In addition to Tech and UALR, John Brown (71 points) and Hendrix College (107 points) finished third and fourth respectively.

UALR's Sanna Mustonen won the race individually in a new course record time of 11:01. Mustonen broke the previous record of 11:07 held by former Lady Trojan runners, Whitney Kerth and Kata Lovrantova, who ran those times in 2008 and 2007, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the men's race, UALR took home the team title for the fifth consecutive season as the Trojans finished with a perfect team score of 15 points, meaning that their top five runners were also the top five overall finishers in the race. The Trojans were followed in the team standings by Hendrix College (61 points), John Brown University (64 points) and Shepherd Tech (113 points).

UALR's Dustin Mettler finished first individually among the men's runners as he ran the 4-mile course in a time of 19:54.

The Golden Suns will be back on the course next Saturday in Joplin, Mo., as they compete at the Missouri Southern Stampede. The women's 5,000-meter race is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.