September 27, 2012

Frantom, Sokol Led the Pack at UNC-Charlotte Invitational

BRISTOL, Tenn. –  King Cross Country took to the open course against a competitive mix of NCAA Division I and II schools at the UNC-Charlotte Invitational on Friday night. They also received a sneak preview of the site designated for the Southeast Regional Championships while Spencer Frantom and the men finished among the top half of the field and Kendra Sokol led the way at Friday evening's event.

Frantom, a junior from Morristown, Tenn., finished 40th overall in a field of more than 240 runners. Amongst a field that included the likes of Marshall, Elon, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest, Frantom clocked in a time of 25:30.48 on the 8k course to lead all King runners.

Jordan Noe (Morristown, Tenn.) finished in 58th place, crossing the line in 25:51.04 while sophomore Dickson Kurgat (Naidi Hills, Kenya) cleaned up the trio's time at 26:01.12 for 74th place.

The freshman combination of Brent Swiney (Bristol, Va./John Battle H.S.) and Garrett Watts (Fort Blackmore, Va.) continue to improve, finishing 146th and 153rd, respectively. Watts made his first scoring mark for King, rounding out the Tornado lineup and setting a new personal record (PR) of 27:22.87 in the race.

"I am really pleased with how the men's team finished among a strong pack of runners," said Head Coach Peter Dalton. "The freshman are continually improving, which is key at this point of the season, and our veterans are setting a good tone as we prepare for our conference and regional championships."

The men's team finished 15th out of 35 teams that competed in the comprehensive meet that included skills levels of all three NCAA divisions and a separate high school division that ran prior to the collegiate division.

On the women's side, Kendra Sokol (Kingsport, Tenn.) crossed the line in 74th place overall with a time of 23:14.04. The junior's time led the Lady Tornado team.

"We are getting to the exciting part of the season," said Dalton. "It is the critical part of the season where we must keep the pedal down and continue to improve to achieve our goals of representing well at the conference and regional level and ultimately, earning our chance to compete at  the NCAA Nationals."

The course at which King participated in at the UNC-Charlotte Invitational is the same site that the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional Championships will be held on Nov. 3. Both teams will next compete at Belmont Abbey in a preview of the site for the 2012 Conference Carolinas Cross Country Championships in Belmont, N.C. The meet will be held on Oct. 5, leading into the conference championships on Oct. 19.