September 29, 2007

North Georgia faces toughest field of season at Auburn Invitational

Alan Schmitz records fastest time in school history

AUBURN, AL - North Georgia College and State University faced their toughest field in competition this season at the 15th annual Tiger Invitational hosted by Auburn University Saturday morning. The Saints came away with a 16th place finish, while the Lady Saints finished in 22nd place against some of the top Division I and II programs across the country.

In the women’s 5k race, the University of Florida finished in first with a total of 41 points, followed by the University of Iowa with 45, Davidson with 148, Auburn University 162 and Tulan University with 175 rounding out the top five. North Georgia finished the event with 568 total points.

The pace was set by Iowa's Diane Nukuri who finished with a time of 15:55.69, finished ahead of seven of the next nine runners who compete at the Division I level.

Emmy Lawalin led North Georgia in the morning, finishing 103rd with a time of 19:59.06. She was followed by Tiffany Rives at 116th place with a time 20:17.49, Bea Nelligan in 140th place with a time of 21:01.26 and Savannah Bryce with a time of 21:53.44 in 162nd place.

Candace Chumley finished in 169th place with a time of 22:12.25, followed closely by Jessica Anderson in 171st place with a time of 22:14.65. The final two runners for North Georgia were Clare Madrid in 173rd with a time of 22:29.67 and Loren Blake in 179th with a time of 22:57.42.

On the men’s side, the 8k race was won by the University of Florida with a total of 24 points, followed by LSU (74 points) and Auburn (80 points). Rounding out the top five were Jacksonville State with 108 points and Samford with 125 points.

Enoch Nadler of the University of Florida set the pace for the race, finishing in a time of 23:46.28 to pace nine of the top ten runners from NCAA Division I.

Alan Schmitz was the top finisher for the Saints, finishing in 70th place with a time of 26:38.73. He was followed across the line by Michael Valentine in 82nd place with a time of 26:54.06. Teale Marchette returned to the course and finished with a time of 27:41.09 to finish 113th, while senior David Beall finished in 146th place with a time of 28:58.76.

Rounding out the runners for North Georgia was Dustin LaBarge (148th) with a time of 29:05.59, Josh Kerzie (154th) with a time of 29:41.88, Tommy Stapleton (157th) with a time of 30:02.70 and Andrew Garritson (158th) with a time of 30:10.11.

Both teams are back in action October 11 in the Erskine Invitational.