Peter Okwera advances to NCAA cross country championships

Tennessee will have a lone representative at the NCAA cross country championships.

Sophomore Peter Okwera finished sixth Friday in the NCAA South Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., to earn an at-large berth.

The UT men finished eighth with 250 points and the women 10th with 333. Neither team advances to nationals in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 17. The top two teams earned automatic qualifying spots.

Running his first 10,000 meters of the year, Okwera finished in 30 minutes, 41.10 seconds.

Okwera, a native of Uganda, has led UT in every race this season and also finished sixth at the SEC meet.

Host Florida State won the men's and women's regional titles.

Freshman Alexis Panisse led the Lady Vols with a 32nd-place finish. She covered the 6,000-meter course in 20:56.

Panisse was followed by Kelsey Kane (49th, 21:15), Amber Zimmerman (61st, 21:28), Kacey Nobert (94th, 22:01) and Chelsea Blaase (105th, 22:08).

Trailing Okwera for Tennessee was Stephen Derlath (44th, 31:57), Kyle Walter (58th, 32:16), Jake Rainey (65th, 32:27) and Daniel Tobin (83rd, 32:47).

In the men's race, the Vols finished one spot behind East Tennessee State, coached by former UT cross country coach George Watts. Georgia was second and Florida third.

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Comments » 6

calivoltrackster writes:

Pathetic! 10th for the Lady Vols and 8th for the Vols - getting beat by instate powerhouses ETSU & Chattanooga

It's clearly time to go in a different direction! JJ has run out of excuses - bring back Watts or someone else who can get the job done.

FormerTrackVol writes:

JJ is a complete joke. He fires Watts who, a little more than a year later, is hired by ETSU right before the season starts. Watts then takes his small school team and beats the all mighty JJ with very little time to prepare (not to mention JJ also brought in Okwera who is a ready-made product). He needs to be fired immediately before driving a once great program further into the ground.

83Vol writes:

Another residual impact from the Hamilton era. What a bad decision to put Clark in charge of the men's program. Time for Hart to make a move.

trgclychip writes:


budd#207344 writes:

How very sad

trgclychip writes:

peter okwera is running great. Good grief, imagine if he werent. on the team.........

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