Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee needed a tiebreaker Saturday to advance to the doubles final at the ITA All-American Championships in Tulsa, Okla.
Libietis and Reese beat 19th-ranked Nick Chappell and Will Stein of TCU 8-7 (1) in the top half of the semifinals to reach their first career national championship match.
The juniors will face UCLA’s Marcos Giron and Mackenzie McDonald on Sunday.
Cross Country: Tennessee junior Peter Okwera won for the second time this season, outlasting Ernest Kibet of Louisville by two seconds at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic.
Okwera covered the 8K course in 24 minutes, 20.39 seconds.
“Peter ran really well and it helps with his confidence on the national scale,” said J.J. Clark, Tennessee director of track and field/cross country in a school release. “Coming out of this meet with a victory is exciting.”
Stephan Derlath finished 21st in 25:07 to help the Vols place fourth in the team standings.
“From a team standpoint, we had a better team race in our last meet performance,” Clark said. “The fact that we’ve done better in the past, proves we can do better. We have to have everyone stay focused on the team goal at once.”
Sophomore Alexis Panisse was sixth in the women’s 5K in 17:23 and the Lady Vols finished sixth.
Chelsea Blasse of UT finished in 17:54.88 for 27th. Emily Williams was 29th in 17:55.48. Senior Kelsey Kane did not finish.
“We had a solid 1-2-3 showing,” Clark said. “Kelsey Kane was not her typical self today, so I know we have room there to grow,” Clark said.