CHATTANOOGA (UTC/WRCB) -- Chris Berry ran the "race of a lifetime" last Friday at the Stanford Invitational.
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior placed himself among the best distance runners in the NCAA when he shattered a 14-year-old school record by nearly a minute with a time of 29:19.72 in the 10,000 meter race. Rodney Stoker previously held the UTC mark with a time of 30:14.00.
Berry's finish places him 40th in the nation and third in the NCAA South Region, as reported by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. He ranks behind only Middle Tennessee's Justus David (28:55.69) and Florida State's Michael Fout (28:57.89).
Berry's efforts on the track, as well as his 4.0 grade point average earned him Southern Conference Student-Athlete of the Week honors on Wednesday.
Berry also ranks among the top runners in the South Region in the 5,000 meter race, along with teammate Lucas Cotter.
Cotter ran the 5,000 in a time of 14:29.49 at the Stanford Invitational despite sustaining a foot injury during the race. UTC head coach Bill Gautier said Cotter was on pace to finish near the 14:10 mark, which put him at a near-school record pace. Still, his finish was good enough to place him fifth in the South Region rankings in the event.
Berry set his top time of 14:34.86 in the 5000 meter this season at the USF Bulls Invitational on March 15 in Tampa, Fla.
Josh izewski of Florida holds the region's top time at 14:02.57 followed by former Baylor School star and current Georgia standout Brandon Lord (14:21.03) and Tennessee's Chris Bodary (14:23.08).
The Mocs run this weekend at the Tennessee State meet before gearing up for the Southern Conference Championships April 21-22 in Cullowhee, N.C., at the Western Carolina Catamount Athletic Complex.