August 29, 2013

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MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin cross country coach Gordon Sanders has announced the addition of 10 runners to this season’s cross country team. The five male and five female signing class spans four states, including Arizona, New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas.

Sanders announced the signings of Josh Diltz (Albuquerque, NM), Marne Helbing (Gilbert, Ariz.), Joey DeSantis (Frisco, Texas), Hayley Doty (White House, Tenn.), Dalton Hudlow (Bluff City, Tenn.), Olivia Owens (Columbia, Tenn.), David Wells (Brentwood, Tenn.), Heather Mullis (Frisco, Texas), Aaron Hall (Memphis, Tenn.) and Emily Pett (Thompson Station, Tenn.). Nine of the ten runners will enter the 2013 season as freshmen to the UT Martin program.

“I am excited to work with this large incoming group of self-motivated individuals,” said Sanders. “They do not shy away from putting in the work needed to excel. With three quarters of the team being comprised of freshman and sophomores, the early season will be revealing. Overall I am happy that we were able to branch out and have the most out-of-state talent on the team in a dozen years.”

Diltz comes from Hope Christian High School where he competed in cross country for two seasons and finished his senior season as the District 3A-4 champion while helping lead his team to a third place finish at the state finals. Afterward Diltz set a personal record of 16:18 in a 5k at the Nike Cross Southwest Regional, setting the fastest 5k time of the season in New Mexico’s 3A. His success continued in track a District champion in the 1600 meter and 3200 meter runs before also being named All-State in both events. Diltz placed fifth in the 3200 meter at the Marilyn Sepulveda Meet of Champions, the premier all-star invitational in New Mexico. In the classroom, Josh completed his senior year as the Salutatorian with a 4.00 GPA, receiving the National Honor Society award and being named a UT Martin University Scholar.

Helbing was named most valuable player for multiple sports at Campo Verde High School and was a 19:54 5k distance runner. Her second place finish in the Division III Section II cross country championships as part of the section championship team. She is a Golden Scholar and in the top five percent of her class with a GPA of 3.97. She was an integral member in student government, National Honors Society, president of Habitat for Humanity and is a UT Martin Chancellor’s Award recipient.

Doty comes from Lincoln Memorial University after prepping at White House Heritage High School. Doty was a five time state qualifier in cross country which included a 10th place finish, and a two time state track qualifier that included a third place finish in the 1600 meter run. She garnered personal bests of 20:04 in the 5k and 12:12 in the 3200 meter run. Also excellent in academics, she was a Tennessee Scholar, Beta Club and National Honor Society member, with a 3.94 GPA.

Hudlow joins UT Martin after a successful career at Sullivan East High School, highlighted with a breakthrough race at the Foot Locker South Regional with a 16:22 on the 5k course. This follows three years in which he led his team to three conference championships. He also added four years of All-Region honors and a three time All-State honoree.

Owens comes from Columbia Central High School where she had her best race at the MCSSA Championships her junior season with a 19:59 5k. Success came against in the MCSSA Championships a year later with a 20:05 which resulted in a fourth place finish in the Region 4 AAA Championship.

Still relatively new to the sport, Wells shows strong potential to build upon after concluding his prep career with personal best in cross country and track seasons. Along with increased expectations at the college level, Wells earned the UT Martin Dean’s Scholarship.

Mullis comes to UT Martin from Centennial High School where she proved to be a model of consistency for her team. With a significant personal best at her district track championships, she should look to only improve quickly across all distances. Along with being honored as an academic All-State honoree, she was a member of the National Honor Society and graduated in the top-10 en route to earning the UT Martin Dean’s Scholarship.

Hall prepped at Bolton High School as a 400 and 800 meter track runner with base work in his fall cross country seasons. He is quickly building his volume for the fall which will make him a strong competitor for the spring season.

Pett joins the Skyhawks out of Independence High School where she has grown into the sport. With time and a consistent build up to higher work load, she will look to contribute to the team quickly.

The Skyhawks will see their first action of the fall season this weekend as they travel to Nashville for the Belmont Opener on Friday, Aug. 30. The meet is slated for 5:30 p.m.

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