With junior college transfer Peter Sigilai leading the way, the University of Tennessee men's cross country team opened its 2009 season with a second-place finish at the Crimson Classic on Friday evening.
Sigilai, running in his first race as a Vol after transferring from Rend Lake (Ill.) Community College, crossed the finish line in eighth place with a time of 25 minutes, 22.80 seconds on the 8,000-meter course at Alabama's Harry Pritchett Running Park. That impressive debut helped the Big Orange tally 55 points and finish second behind 10th-ranked Alabama, which won with 34. Bama's Tyson David claimed the individual title in 24:25.90 after unattached runner Elkanah Kibet was disqualified for cutting the course.
No. 13 Auburn, which like Tennessee did not field its full lineup, settled for third with 76 points. Belmont was fourth with 153, while Georgia Tech rounded out the top five with 161 points.
The only school with all of its scoring runners among the top 20 (actually top 18), Tennessee's one through five spread was only 29 seconds. Sticking close behind Sigilai were junior Mike Brodsky in 12th (9th) at 25:34.90, freshman Leoule Degfae in 15th (12th) at 25:41.90, junior Steve Fassino in 16th (13th) in 25:48.60 and sophomore Chris Bodary in 17th (14th) at 25:51.70.... read the rest of the story by Subscribing now.