Rohe Track Era All About Us!

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE CROSS COUNTRY SEC CHAMPIONS 1963-72

THE CHUCK ROHE ERA (1962-1972)
CROSS COUNTRY

1966 Cross Country
Head Coach: Chuck Rohe
Regular Season Record: 5 Wins, 2 Losses
NCAA Region Three: 2nd
SEC: CHAMPIONS
NCAA: 24th

Bob Barber was Captain of the 1966 cross country team. Other members of the team were Steve Allison, Stan Barbato, Steve Deaton, Gerry Eddlemon, John Ellington, Roy Hall, Tim Henderlight, Larry Kelly, Jim Ray, Henry Rose, Andy Russell, Butch Stewart, Mike Tomasello, and Norm Witek.

The 1966 cross country team defeated Cincinnati, Kentucky, East Tennessee State, and Alabama, and lost to Ohio and Georgetown during the regular season. In the big meets the Vols finished second in the NCAA Region Three Meet, won the SEC Cross Country Championships, and finished twenty-fourth in the National NCAA Cross Country Championships.

Tennessee won the 1966 SEC Cross Country Championships in Birmingham, Alabama. Volunteer finishers on the 4.065 mile course were as follows:

Place Name Time
4
6
7
10
16
18
30
Bob Barber
Larry Kelly
Andy Russell
Steve Allison
Mike Tomasello
Gerry Eddlemon
Steve Deaton
20:02
20:33
20:34
20:44
21:02
21:29
22:20
Captain Bob Barber remembers a story of outstanding leadership, friendship, and courage from the 1966 SEC Cross Country Meet.

Our UT cross-country team was very strong in 1965 placing 3rd at the NCAA
Championships, with almost all members being seniors. Our 1966 team was not
real strong and if ever there was a chance for another SEC team to beat us out, it
was 1966. Larry Kelly was a great half-miler and quarter miler. He and the other
880 runners ran XC for conditioning. Coach Rohe may dispute this, but Larry
probably could have gotten out of running in the SEC XC meet---heavens, he
was our anchor on the mile relay, a 47 flat quarter miler! A week before the meet
I begged Larry to run, stressing the importance of our fifth man in the scoring. I
told Larry I didn't want to be the first UT captain to lose an SEC meet for Rohe.
All week I reinforced his importance as our fifth man. So at the finish of the race,
I'm in the chute at fourth place (not a good start to the scoring), and I immediately
look back and see Tomasello at about tenth place. I holler back to Mike, do you
see Larry coming toward the finish? Again, figuring he would be our fifth guy and
his finish would be so important. Just then, I hear this very faint voice gasp: “I'm
right here Bobby”. I turn around and here's Kelly, our anchor on the mile-relay,
right behind me in the chute in sixth place in the SEC XC meet!! Talk about
“having your back”, it was unbelievable. Spectators say Larry passed about 6-8
runners in the last quarter mile of the race. We won that 1966 SEC
Championship to keep the streak alive, and Larry, Mike and I will be friends till
we're in our graves.


Tennessee fielded another outstanding freshman team in 1966. Ken Rowlett, who was elected captain, describes them as follows:

Our freshman team was a group of six state champion milers, two- milers, and XC
champs. We won the SEC XC meet going away. I ran the 3.1 mile course in 14:01 (I
think that is correct) which broke the old record by a wide margin. 1966 was the last
year of freshman division, so my record stands 48 years later. We became a close-
knit team from the beginning.
we're in our graves.


In the 1966 NCAA Cross Country Championships Tennessee finished in 24th place. The meet was held on a 6.0 mile course on November 21, 1966, in Lawrence, Kansas.

Tennessee finishers and their times were as follows:
Place Name Time
65
98
159
169
181
Bob Barber
Steve Allison
Gerry Eddlemon
Larry Kelly
Steve Deaton
31:54.5
32:47.0
34:20.0
34:56.0
35:54.0
 
 

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