NASHVILLE, Tenn. (GoMocs.com)--- University of Tennessee at Chattanooga junior cross country All-American Teghan Henderson (Pickering, Ontario) claimed her fifth straight regular season victory with a top place finish at the Vanderbilt Commodore Classic Saturday morning at the Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn.
“It was a pretty exciting race,” UTC head coach Bill Gautier said. “The other girl [Mississippi State's Rhianwedd Price] took a pretty good lead. It took Teghan a couple of miles to catch up to her. She gapped her again, but Teghan caught up to her with 600 to go and got the win.”
Henderson won all three of her regular season races last year and is now 2-0 on the year for five straight victories. She finished the 5K race in Nashville in a PR time of 16:53.25, more than four seconds ahead of runner-up Price. Vanderbilt took the next five places to claim the title.
Senior Rebecca Greenwall (Bogart, Ga.) was the second UTC runner across the line placing 41st with a time of 18:17.17 with classmate Amanda Cotter (Bristol, Conn.) was next with a time of 18:23.47.
“I thought Rebecca is finally where she needs to be,” Gautier said. “Amanda struggled a bit then came back and kept it together. I'm very happy with the way the team performed.”
The Mocs finished ahead of Southern Conference foe Samford (11) and former member Davidson (12) as well as Memphis (9) and Western Kentucky (10). Vanderbilt grabbed the overall team title with 45 points and Mississippi State was second (114) followed by MTSU, Lipscomb, Louisville, Ole Miss and Belmont.
“We were beat by some very good teams,” Gautier said of the field. “My only disappointment was getting beat by Belmont. But I'm very happy and we continue to improve and be where we need to be. We're working toward conference.”
Sophomore Jessie York (Normandy, Tenn.) was the fourth UTC runner across the line in a time of 18:35.36 with senior Keeley Stewart (Winchester, Tenn.) running a PR time of 18:37.67 to finish 69th. Newcomer Emily Drouin (Verona, Ontario) was right behind in a time of 18:39.05.
On the men's side, the Mocs did not run an entire team, but instead got in some individual performances. Redshirt Paul Stuart (Brentwood, Tenn.), running unattached, finished 29th overall with a time of 25:34.11.
Senior John Gilpin (Nashville, Tenn.) once again paced the Mocs as the first UTC running across the line in a time of 25:48.64. Transfer Austin Casassa () was next placing 87th overall with a time of 26:32.68. Patrick O'Brien (Chattanooga, Tenn.) finished the 8K course in a time of 27:20.52.
“I thought Paul had a great race and Gilpin is running better every meet,” Gautier said. “We've got three weeks to train and I thought John did a great job leading these guys. Austin ran his first 8K for us and got a PR.”
The Mocs return to action October 4. Some will run the Greater Louisville Classic while others will compete in the Jacksonville State Classic.