Bull runners three-peat

Same course, same result.

For the third consecutive year, the USF women?s cross country team won the season-opening Mountaineer Open at Appalachian State?s Greenway Trail course Friday. The Bulls totaled 37 points, defeating nearest rivals Florida State (52) and Wake Forest (87).

?I was really impressed with the women?s team. They actually performed a little bit better than I had expected,? said USF coach Heather Curtiss. ?They ran as a team and that was the thing that I was emphasizing to them. They ran as a team through the first mile and then waited to make their individual moves after that.?

Junior Kristy Fuller (18 minutes, four seconds) was the top finisher for the Bulls, placing second overall behind freshman Brooke Novak of Tennessee (17:39:00).

?She was really brave and took it out ? separated herself from her teammates ? after the mile and really went for the race, and was in first place and leading with the girl from University of Tennessee,? said Curtiss. ?I thought that took a lot of courage on her behalf.?

The other top-five finishers for the Bulls were Tara Quinn (18:12:00, third), Cori Kill (18:28:10, seventh), Tiffany Quinn (18:36:00, 12th) and Christa Benton (18:37:00, 13th).

While the USF men?s team was also the two-time defending champion, the Bulls were unable to challenge for the title again because they did not have the requisite five runners to score as a team. Three freshmen were suspended for missing a practice, leaving sophomore Adam Chumbley and walk-on freshman Jack Galley as the only male runners competing for USF.

Running in overcast, 75-degree conditions Curtiss described as ?perfect,? Chumbley finished with a time of 25:56:00, bettering his 27:01:50 of a year ago, while Galley ran 28:57:40.

?Adam Chumbley really had a great race,? said Curtiss. ?(He) was really strong his entire race, looked good and ran about 25 seconds faster than what he ran at the course last year. So I was really proud of him.?

Contact Khari Williams at oraclekhari@yahoo.com