Georgia Tunes Up At Furman Classic For National Showdown
Sept. 14, 2013
GREENVILLE, S.C. - Resting their top four or five in preparation for the Roy Griak Invitational in two weeks, Georgia's cross country teams battled the field at the inaugural Furman Cross Country Classic in Greenville, S.C., on Saturday morning.
The Lady Bulldogs finished third at the meet with 63 points while Furman (48) edged Emory (50) for the victory. Clemson finished one spot ahead of Georgia with 62 points.
The Georgia men finished fifth out of nine teams after scoring 146 points.
Junior Carly Hamilton posted her first collegiate cross country victory after clocking a 20:25.53 on the 6k course. This marked the seventh consecutive meet that Hamilton has had the top finish in meets she has run in for the Lady Bulldogs.
Hamilton, who was a 2013 All-American and SEC champion on the track, missed the season-opening Georgia Cross Country Invitational with an illness.
"I'm very happy with the start that Carly had for us," said Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff. "She is close to the level she was at near the end of last season and that's exactly where we wanted her to be."
Senior Savannah Kirk was the second Georgia runner across the line after registering a time of 21:30.11 for seventh place. Another pair of Lady Bulldogs went 16th and 17th to make up Georgia's next two scorers. Freshman Morgan Ainslie and junior Brooke Koblitz came across the finish line back-to-back with times of 21:52.85 and 21:54.43, respectively.
"I thought Savannah ran a very nice race and hopefully will place herself in our top five as the season goes on," Cunniff said. "We have the potential to have a deep crew on the women's side, this group has to just keep moving up and improving."
Freshman Jenn Cora, who was 11th last weekend, broke into the scoring ranks this week with a 22nd-place finish (21:57.89).
In the men's 8k, junior Steven Spevacek led the Bulldogs for the first time in his career after taking 22nd. Spevacek crossed the finish line in 24:45.37 and was one spot in front of second-year freshman Morgan Malanoski. Malanoski, running in only his second collegiate meet as a Bulldog, was 23rd after clocking a 24:46.10.
"Our men had solid performances and will continue to develop as the year goes on," said Cunniff. "Hopefully they will look to take the lead of our top five and get faster and faster.
"Steven and Morgan showed me today that they can hang with a lead group in a race. Our top five is very solid and I think this pair and others can add to our depth."
Also racing in only his second collegiate meet, true freshman Brad Hort managed a 32nd-place finish after rounding the final turn at the Furman Golf Club in 25:03.02. Second-year freshman Trevor Grant completed the Georgia scorers after finishing 35th (25:05.42).
Junior Brendan Hoban was the fifth finisher for the Bulldogs after taking 42nd with a time of 25:19.90.
Georgia returns to action in Minneapolis, Minn., for the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, September 28. This meet is a traditional competition for some of the nation's top talent.
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