News from MSU Media Relations--October 29

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Men's Tennis
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Mississippi State men's tennis team won three matches against competition from Georgia Tech and UAB Saturday at the Crimson Tide Fall Championships. The Bulldogs took two of four singles matches and split a pair of doubles matches.

Sophomore Ryan Farlow and freshman Pjotrs Necajevs both won their second consecutive matches on Saturday. Farlow knocked off Georgia Tech's Scott Blackmon 6-3, 6-2 while Necajevs won 7-6, 6-3 over Tech's George Gvelesiani. In other singles action, State sophomore Eric Lim fell 6-1, 7-6 to Georgia Tech's Luke Rossow-Kantor while junior Josh Irey dropped a 6-2, 6-0 decision to UAB's Thomas Weiss.

In doubles action, only two matches were contested. State's duo of Necajevs and Artem Kuznetsov defeated Georgia Tech's pair of Gvelsiani and Austin Roebuck 8-3 while MSU's Farlow and Irey dropped a 9-7 match to UAB's Kruno Despotovski and Weiss.

MSU will conclude play at the Crimson Tide Fall Championships Sunday, taking on players from Miami. Singles will begin at 9 a.m. while doubles are set to begin at 2 p.m.

Women's Golf
AUBURN, Ala. - After play was delayed a day due to rain, the Mississippi State women's golf squad concluded the first round of action at The Derby Invitational Saturday in 14th. The team shot a 320 and was led by sophomore Jillian Jones, who fired a 79 and stands in a tie for 44th.

Senior Amanda Mathis and sophomore Leigh Phillips both fired an 80 and stand in a tie for 55th. Junior Julia Huh shot an 81 while freshman Suzanne Stanley rounded out the scoring with an 83.

North Carolina leads the field after shooting a 301 and leads host-Auburn by two strokes. LSU is in third place, four strokes behind while Baylor stands in fourth after a round of 306. Auburn's Margaret Shirley shot an even-par 72 in the first round and leads the individual competition by two strokes.

The second and final round of The Derby Invitational will begin Sunday at 8:45 a.m. with a shotgun start. Live scoring is available at>

Cross Country
BATON ROUGE, La. - Both Mississippi State's men's and women's cross country teams finished in the top half of the 2006 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championship meet in Baton Rouge, La. on Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs claimed fifth place while the men finished sixth in the league wide event.

State's finish on the women's side is the best finish for them at the SEC Championship since the 2002 campaign in which MSU also placed fifth in the meet. On the men's ledger, the Bulldogs placement is best in 25 years for the program. MState registered 162 points in the women's 6K and the men's team posted 158.

MSU head women's coach Al Schmidt commended his squad for their performance at the conference-wide meet.

"Anytime you finish in the top half of the SEC it is pretty big," said Schmidt. "I really have to commend my team today; it was a real team effort today. Our 1-6 girls really ran great today."

Men's head coach Steve Dudley was equally proud of his team's performance in the 8K event after having brought back the program just four seasons ago.

"The only way that you can describe today is - 'wow', said Dudley. "The guys ran like rabid Bulldogs today and beat a lot of teams that we weren't supposed to today. Our guys not only represented the cross country program but as the entire MSU Athletic family."

Senior Jennifer McPherson turned in MState's best performance in the women's 6K race with a time of 21: 06.50 to finish 22nd in the individual standings. Annie Falor followed suit with a time of 21:16.43, which was 24th best in the field. Sophomore Michelle Corrigan finished 38th (21:44.48) followed by Mina Thorstenson (22:06.64) and Liz Grube (22:14.13) Thorstenson and Grube finished 48th and 50th respectively.

Leading the way for the Bulldogs in the SEC meet was senior Travis McKay, who crossed the line at 24: 41.66 in 15th place. He finished one spot in the individual standings from being named all-SEC. The top-14 finishers in the event are named all-SEC performers. Ashenafi Arega carded a time of 25:15.98 which was good for 27th place. Jonathan Rono finished at 25.40:71 (40th), followed by Robert Scribner (25: 42.60) and Pad Judd (25:48.40). Scribner and Judd both finished in the top-50 of the field. Wade Martin and Phillip Moore rounded out the MSU scoring with times of 25: 58.84 and 26.23:21 respectively.

Dudley also praised the hard work of his assistant coach Houston Franks, who prepares the work outs for the squad.

"It was a very successful weekend," said Houston Franks. "For us to finish in the top half of the SECs after just bringing the program back just four years ago it really says a lot about the guys on this team."

Arkansas swept both SEC Titles and marks the 16th-straight conference title by the UA men's team.

MSU will travel to Knoxville, Tenn. for the NCAA South Regional on Saturday, Nov. 11. If State finishes in the top five of the regional, it should receive an invite to the NCAA Championship.

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