Sept. 15, 2012
|Men's Team Finish||5/13|
|Women's Team Finish||3/15|
* - Personal Best
Manion broke his previous PR in the 8K by 52 seconds and ran 26:37.44 to place 16th overall at the Azalea City Classic.
MOBILE, Ala. - After having their season opener ruined by Hurricane Isaac, the Tulane Cross Country program finally opened their season at the South Alabama Azalea City Classic. Paige Callahan posted her highest career finish with a fourth place showing on the women's course and Mark Manion ran a major personal best to finish 16th overall in the men's race.
"I feel that coming into this meet I had mixed emotions about starting the season this late," said Tulane head coach Eric Peterson. "It was unfortunate that we had to cancel the first meet of the season due to the storm earlier this month. This is a much later start than we would normally have, but on the other side of that, it did give us a few more weeks to prepare and I think that paid off."
Manion opened his 2012 campaign the way that he ended the 2011 slate, at the front of the Green Wave lineup. The sophomore shaved 52-seconds off of his previous personal best at the 8000-kilometer to place 16th overall in 26:37.44. Fellow sophomore Geoffrey Zelek was the number three finisher in a personal-best time of 27:36.26, placing between rookies Adam Yohanan and Nick Meloro who ran 27:00.21 and 27:58.49, respectively.
Jack White rounded out the scoring runners for the Olive and Blue with a 53rd place showing in 28:5426 to open his collegiate career. Tulane scored 147 team points to finish fifth out of 13 teams.
Michael Villasin rounded out the TU finishers in 29:33.15.
"The men raced first this morning and had a really strong front runner in Mark (Manion). He has done a great job in practice every day and he started the season right where he finished last year, as the team's top runner. He ran a big lifetime best for 8000-meters and that was good to see from him. Freshman Adam (Yohanan) was racing 8000 for the first time in his career and was in our number two spot. Geoffrey (Zelek) had a great performance for us today and ran what I think was the race of his life and that was a big reason we finished fifth as a team. I think the men's squad really kicked off season in a big way."
The women's team scored 87 points and Callahan led the charge with a fourth place overall finish. The sophomore set a new personal best of 22:23.83 and was three second behind the third place finisher. Katherine Crabtree broke the tape in 23:25.75 to place 14th overall, while Emmi Aguillard placed 16th overall in a time of 23:31.78.
Freshman Mikayla Sonneborn competed for the first time in her collegiate career and grabbed a 24th place showing in a time of 24:01.09 and Callie Turlington rounded out the scoring runners for the women's squad with a 31st place showing in a time of 24:24.98.
Aimee Arceneaux was the final Green Wave competitor to cross the finish line, running 25:29.78 to place 49th out of 115 runners.
"Paige ran with a lot of confidence today," Peterson said. "She went right to the front of the race and ran very aggressively. She walked away from the meet with her highest finish on an individual level and an impressive personal best at the 6000-meters distance. Our two seniors, Katherine and Emmi, really showed their experience today and ran really solid races to open their seasons. Freshman Mikayla Sonneborn came out and showed a level that she hasn't shown in training, so far, after battling a chest cold during the week and that is exciting to see from a young runner."
Tulane will next compete at the Screamin' Eagle 5K Festival on Sept. 22 in Hattiesburg, Miss. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m.
You can follow the Green Wave cross country/track and field program on Twitter (@GreenWaveTkFld) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.