Sarah Bowman collects SEC honors

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - University of Tennessee junior Sarah Bowman has been named as the initial Southeastern Conference Women's Cross Country Athlete of the Week for 2007, the league office announced Wednesday afternoon.

A native of Warrenton, Va., and a graduate of Fauquier High School, Bowman collected the second SEC cross country weekly honor of her career and the first by a Lady Vol since Katie Flaute was recognized on Oct. 4, 2005. Bowman did so by winning the Belmont Opener in Nashville on Aug. 31 with a career-best 4,000-meter clocking of 14 minutes, 00.58 seconds on an 87-degree evening in Music City.

Bowman's previous SEC Cross Country Athlete of the Week award came nearly two years ago to the day (Sept. 7, 2005), when she won the Belmont Opener that season in her first meet as a Lady Vol. Her readout en route to victory during that race was 14:09.82.

This time around, Bowman's effort enabled Tennessee to open its 2007 campaign with a team win, which was the Lady Vols' first in the program's four trips to Belmont. It marked the third time in Head Coach J.J. Clark's six seasons in Knoxville that his squad emerged victorious from its opening meet and the 17th time in 36 competitions that the Big Orange women took home the team trophy.

In her career, Bowman now has led UT to the finish line on five occasions, and she has claimed three meet victories during the process. Her triumphs include the Belmont Opener in 2005 and 2007 and the Tennessee Invitational in 2005.

The Lady Vol standout will join her teammates on Sept. 14, as they host the 2007 edition of the Tennessee Invitational at Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville. Race time for the 5K affair is 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

SOCCER STANDOUT HONORED: For the third time in two days, Tennessee women's soccer player Mick Imgram was recognized for her efforts during last week's First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic. Imgram was named to the Soccer Buzz "Elite Team of the Week" on Wednesday.

The Orange and White took home the tournament title thanks to wins over then-No. 7 Penn State and Minnesota. Against the Nittany Lions, Imgram notched the game-winning goal and added an assist.

In the 58th minute against Penn State, Imgram received a ball in the corner and crossed it on the ground at the top of the box. The pass found freshman midfielder Tanya Emerson, who finished with a shot into the upper right corner of the goal, tying the match at 1-1.

Imgram continued to have the hot foot, following the assist with the third game-winning goal of her career. After a Penn State foul in the 69th minute, Imgram blasted a rocket past the PSU keeper off the free kick from 35 yards out.

The Clifton, Va. native finished the weekend with eight shots and earned a spot on the First Tennessee Lady Vol Classic All-Tournament team. After a successful opening weekend, Imgram was named the Southeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

She also earned a spot on the Soccer America "Team of the Week."

The honor is the first of Imgram's career. She is one of just four sophomores on the team. Imgram is joined on the team by future SEC opponents Caroline Simpson, a freshman midfielder from Georgia, and Lindsay Thorstenson, a senior goalkeeper from South Carolina.

Imgram and the Lady Vols hit the road this weekend, traveling to Blacksburg, Va. for the Hawthorn Suites Hokie Invitational. UT will face host Virginia Tech on Friday and take on No. 24 Wake Forest on Sunday.

The soccer team saw a significant improvement in its ranking in the fourth and final poll of the week on Wednesday. The Lady Vols jumped to No. 13 in the latest poll after spending the preseason ranked 22nd.

The Orange and White has moved up in all four of the women's national polls, sitting at No. 13 in both the and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA)/adidas polls, at No. 14 in the Soccer America rankings and at No. 16 in the Soccer Buzz listing.

UT saw its greatest improvement in Soccer America, where it was unranked in the preseason poll.

With then-No. 1 North Carolina and then-No. 3 UCLA suffering upsets over the weekend, Soccer Times lists Portland as this week's top ranked team. The Pilots earned the consensus No. 1, sweeping the top spot in each of the four national polls.

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