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    SEC Cross Country Today: September 29

    Duncan, Hayes Lead Florida Cross Country Squads to Team Titles at Saint Leo Invitational Saturday

    St. Leo, Fla. - Gator sophomore Phil Duncan (Orlando, Fla.) and Florida junior Shelby Hayes (Winter Park, Fla.) each turned in their first-ever event victories donning a Gator uniform, while both clocked collegiate-best times to lead the UF cross country squads to team victories Saturday morning at the Saint Leo Cross Country Fall Invitational .

    Florida (17), Tampa (39) and host institution Saint Leo (97) led the way as the top three teams in the women's standings, while UF (34), Florida Tech (40) and Tampa (59) rounded out the top three men's team finalists at the Abbey Golf Course in Saint Leo.

    "A big congrats to Phil Duncan on his first big college victory - a personal best on a difficult 8K course today," Florida assistant track and cross country coach Paul Spangler said. "Phil did a great job mid-way through the race of catching the lead pack and passing them over the last half of the race. Our fifth scorer, John Mitchell, also did a great job -he passed about 10 guys in the last half of the race to secure the team victory for us. On the women's side, Shelby Hayes did a great job as well today. We used a different strategy today, went out a more even pace, and her 5K mark was actually faster than her time at the Mountain Dew - also on a difficult course at St. Leo."

    Florida placed five runners in the top six on the women's side for a 17-point victory following the squad's first 6K of the 2012 season. Senior Mandy Perkins (Ormond Beach, Fla.) crossed second behind Hayes, while freshman Shelby Davidson (Melbourne, Fla.) and juniors Brittany Koziara (Orlando, Fla.) and Sarah Davis (Jacksonville, Fla.) crossed the finish line in third, fifth and sixth, respectively. Tampa's Laura Yarrow rallied for a fourth-place overall finish to break up UF's shot at a second-consecutive perfect score, achieved last at the Gators' own Mountain Dew Invite Sept. 15.

    Hayes cruised to her first college event victory with a career-best 6K mark (21:26.20), topping her previous best (23:21.94), established last season at the 2011 SEC Championship in Knoxville, Tenn. For Davidson and Koziara, Saturday's race marked their first 6K races for the Orange and Blue.

    On the men's side, Duncan helped lead a charge that placed four Gators in the top 10, while all five scorers finished in the top 15 of the 45-runner men's field to finish the competition first overall with 34 points. After clocking a then-collegiate best 26:01.86 in the 8K at Florida's Mountain Dew Invitational Sept. 15, Duncan topped that with his 26:00.40 first-place individual win Saturday.

    Redshirt freshman Harsha Torke (Viera, Fla.) scored second for the Orange and Blue in fourth place, while freshman Elliot Clemente (Miami, Fla.) turned in a sixth-place finish as the Gators' third scorer. In addition to Duncan, Clemente improved upon his personal-best collegiate 8K mark, dropping from 27:04.93 at the Mountain Dew Invite to 26:57.80 at Saint Leo. Florida distance track runners Dan Wehunt (Odessa, Fla.) and John Mitchell (Valrico, Fla.) crossed in ninth and 14th overall, respectively, to score fourth and fifth for UF.

    Both Wehunt and Mitchell suited up for their first cross country 8Ks since 2009, as Mitchell improved upon his 28:10.65 mark from the FSU Invitational in fall 2009 with Saturday's 28:02.60.

    The Gators will now take two weeks to prepare for the first big test of the season Oct. 13 at Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Ky.
     




    Bulldogs Record Third-Place Finish At Greater Louisville Classic

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Georgia men’s cross country team topped its Southeastern Conference competition and registered a third-place finish at the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday morning.

    The Bulldogs had three finishers in the top 30 during a competition that featured 255 runners and a handful of nationally-ranked squads.  Georgia (143 points) finished behind Iona (47) and Columbia University (110).  

    On the women’s side, the Lady Bulldogs were 10th (267) as Arizona (71), Washington (80) and Michigan State (135) rounded out the top three finishers.  

    “I’m really happy with how our teams jumped right into a meet that was loaded with nationally-ranked teams and mixed it up,” said Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff.  “I could tell our guys still had a little rust from sitting out a week but they ran a steady, strong race and competed hard and I think that paid off for them today.  The women stepped up versus a tough field and also competed well.  They are still looking to put it together but I think we have that potential.”

    The Georgia men topped Missouri, Kentucky, Auburn and Ole Miss from the SEC as senior Matt Cleaver led the way with a 14th-place finish (24:07.88) in the 8k showdown.  The only SEC runner to edge Cleaver was Kentucky’s Luis Orta, who Cleaver battled during his track and field career on the way to a pair of league championships in the 3000-meter steeplechase for Cleaver.

    Junior Brandon Lord, who won the season-opening Georgia Invitational, was Georgia’s second finisher after taking 21st with a time of 24:13.53.  The Bulldogs’ third finisher in the top 30 was junior Luke Baker, who took 29th (24:27.10).

    “I thought that was a really productive meet for Matt Cleaver in his fifth year and I’m proud of the way Brandon and Luke stayed with the front pack and fought until the end,” Cunniff said.  “Luke literally and figuratively was the key to our day.  He lost his timing chip during the race.  After he was done, he alerted the timers and luckily they had video evidence showing where he finished.  This immediately bumped us up from fifth or sixth, which is where we were originally, to our true place of third.”

    Completing the top five scorers for Georgia were seniors Brian Detweiler and Brett Richardson.  Detweiler, who sat out UGA’s opener while recovering from an injury, roared back into action with a 40th-place finish (24:35.66).  Richardson finished two spots behind Detweiler in 42nd (24:37.29).

    For the women, sophomore Carly Hamilton grabbed the top Lady Bulldog finish for the second time in two meets.  Hamilton, who was 19th at the Commodore Classic on Sept. 15, finished 20th overall in the 5k race with a time of 17:14.92.  There were 267 runners in the women’s event.

    “I think this was a breakout finish for Carly to get into the top 20 today,” said Cunniff.  “I can see her developing more and more as each meet passes.”

    Senior captain Morgan VanGorder was second for Georgia across the finish line after taking 32nd (17:27.51).  Fellow senior captain Leslie Boozer was the next finish at 51st place with a time of 17:38.20.  VanGorder and Boozer were 1-2 overall, respectively, in Georgia’s home opener.  

    “The senior leadership that Morgan and Leslie continue to show is also going to be key to our success when we hit the championship portion of the season,” Cunniff said.

    Another senior, Nicole DiMercurio, is also now two-for-two on scoring for the Lady Bulldogs this season.  DiMercurio managed to cross the finish line in 17:52.54 for 76th place.  Junior Bret McDaniel was the final scorer with an 84th-place finish (17:54.07).

    Georgia returns to action in Madison, Wisc., for the Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 12.






    Tesfaye paces team to third place at Louisville
         
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 10 University of Arkansas women’s cross country team placed three inside the top 14 and ran to a third-place finish Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. The Razorbacks collected 135 team points and were tied with Michigan State for the third-place spot. Semehar Tesfaye was Arkansas’ top performer with a 10th-place individual finish.
                
    “Our front three ran really well today,” head coach Lance Harter said. “Diane (Robison) is always solid for us and Paige (Johnston) had a good race as our fifth. For where we are in our training phase, we ran well. We’re in that interesting point of the season where people are starting to run fast and, at the same time, trying to stay ready for the NCAA Championship which is exactly eight weeks away.”
                
    For the second time in as many races this season, Tesfaye was the first Razorback to cross the finish line. She navigated the 5K course in a time of 17:05.7 which is 16 seconds faster than her season-debut time run two weeks ago at the adidas/UCI Invitaitonal. Andrina Schlaepfer finished in 13th place overall with a time of 17:06.70 and Grace Heymsfield followed immediately in 14th place, posting a time of 17:06.75.
                
    The Razorbacks’ top-five lineup was rounded out by Diane Robison in 34th place and Paige Johnston in 64th place. Robison clocked a time of 17:28.06 as Arkansas’ fourth finisher and Johnston crossed the finish line in a time of 17:45.38. Saturday’s race marked her second appearance in the team’s scoring lineup.
                
    Arkansas’ remaining runners in the race were Shannon Klenke in 87th place with a time of 17:55.29, Jessica Kamilos in 99th at 18:00.75, Kaitlin Flattmann in 103rd at 18:02.62, Keri Wood in 118th at 18:10.20 and Rachel Carpino in 128th at 18:13.49.
                
    Including the Razorbacks, the women’s Gold race featured seven ranked teams—top-ranked Washington, No. 8 Vanderbilt, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 12 Arizona, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 17 Penn State and No. 29 Wisconsin—and seven teams from the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas was first among the SEC teams, finishing ahead of Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Georgia, Ole Miss, Missouri and Auburn, respectively.
                
    During Saturday’s meet, Arkansas also had two runners in the Blue race. Kelsey Wheelhouse was 113th overall in that race with a 5K time of 19:22.06. She was followed by teammate Codi Fritchie who was 212th with a time of 20:11.58. Between the two races involving the Razorbacks, there were 604 runners—267 in the Gold and 337 in the Blue—on the course.
                
    Arkansas’ next competition is set for Oct. 13 with the 24th Annual Chile Pepper Festival at Agri Park in Fayetteville. As part of the championship season, the Razorbacks will also play host to the NCAA South Central Regional on Nov. 9 on its home course.

    Saturday’s race was run on the course at E.P Tom Sawyer State Park, site of the NCAA Championships which will be contested in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 17.For more information regarding Razorback cross country or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
     




    Breathitt Leads Way For Rebels At Greater Louisville Classic
     
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Katie Breathitt shined once again as the Ole Miss women’s and men’s cross country teams took part in their third meet of the year on Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic.

    Breathitt, a senior from Lexington, Ky., led the Rebels with an impressive eighth-place finish, completing the 5K course with a time of 17:01.68.
     
    Senior Anne Threlkeld and junior Kayleigh Skinner also had solid finishes, both placing in the top 65 out of 267 runners. Threlkeld came in 60th with a time of 17:42.01, while Skinner finished 65th with a time of 17:46.11.
     
    Junior Amy McCrory, senior Kelsey Breathitt, sophomore Haley Cutright and sophomore McKenna Coughlin rounded out the scoring for the Rebel women. The women’s team finished 11th out of 31 teams.
     
    The Rebel women outdistanced SEC foes Missouri and Auburn in Saturday’s meet. Arizona took the women’s team crown.
     
    Freshman Seumas O’Reilly was the first of the Ole Miss men to reach the finish line, completing the 8K course with a time of 25:34.57. Max Holman followed with a time of 26:15.75.
     
    Senior Riley Young, freshman Ian Carter, junior Al Lowe and sophomore Loren Newsom also scored points for the Rebels among the race’s 255 competitors. Ole Miss placed 30th overall, while Iona captured the men’s team title.
     
    Next up for the Rebels is the Crimson Classic on Oct. 13 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
     



    Kentucky's Macumber, Oswald Finish in Top-10 at Greater Louisville Classic

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s cross country team placed two runners inside the top 10 at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic, one of the most competitive meets in the nation, on Saturday.

    Cally Macumber finished second individually, crossing the finish line in 16:55.14 to back up her individual win a week ago.

    Macumber has now finished inside the top two at each of the three meets the Wildcats have competed in this season.

    Chelsea Oswald was the seventh runner to complete the 5,000 meter race with a time of 16:59.32.

    “Cally and Chelsea ran fantastic up front for us,” women’s cross country coach Hakon DeVries said. “For the team it was another step in the right direction. I was pleased overall with the group, but we need to keep working hard each day to continue improving.”

    Luis Orta led the way for the Wildcat men with a 12th-place time of 24:06.96 over 8K. It was the third-consecutive top-20 performance for the first team All-Southeastern Conference selection this season.

    The women’s team finished in eighth-place overall, and the men’s team ended the day with a 12th-place performance.

    “Today was a step in the right direction for us after last weekend’s result, but we still have a long ways to go,” men’s cross country coach Jason Dunn said. “We’ll look forward to making some more progress before our next race in two weeks as I’m confident we will keep improving.”

    On the women’s side Anna Bostrom finished 52nd (17:38.27) and Allison Peare came in 78th (17:52.90) to round out the Wildcats who were among the first 100 to cross the line. The women’s field was made up of 267 runners from 31 schools.

    On the men’s side MacKay Wilson finished 100th (25:17.92), Adam Kahleifeh placed 104th (25:20.63), Stacey Eden came in 109th (25:23.59) and Matt Hillenbrand was the 110th runner to cross the line (25:24.00).

    The men’s competition included 255 runners from 31 universities.

    The Wildcats return to the same course in two weeks’ time for Pre-Nationals before Sawyer Park hosts the NCAA Championships on Nov. 17.

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    CROSS COUNTRY POSTS STRONG PERFORMANCE AT COWBOY STAMPEDE
     
    LAKE CHARLES, La. – Seven Lady Tigers finished inside the Top 10 to lead the LSU women’s cross county team to their second-straight first-place team finish of the season with 19 points after competing at the McNeese Cowboy’s Stampede at the Enos Darbonne Recreation Complex on Saturday.
     
    The Tigers earned a third-place finish with a strong performance of their own as they scored 49 points in the final men’s team standings.
     
    The Lady Tigers were once again led by senior Laura Carleton, who finished first in 17 minutes, 51 seconds over the 5k course in Lake Charles.
     
    This is Carleton’s second-consecutive first-place finish after the LSU Invitational last weekend, and her third-consecutive top-10 finish after competing in this year’s Commodore Classic to open the season on Sept. 15.
     
    Carleton was also named SEC Women’s Runner of the Week earlier this week.
     
    Other top-10 finishers for the Lady Tigers include senior Dakota Goodman placing second with a time of 18:17.00, junior Natoya Goule placing third with a time of 18:20.00, senior Brea Goodman in sixth place with a time of 18:30.00, senior Charlene Lipsey placing seventh with a time of 18:45.00, senior Leigh-Ann Naccari placed eighth with a time of 18:52.00, and junior Laura Aleman rounded out the Top 10 in 10th place with a time of 19:36.00.
     
    “Although it was not the best conditions to run in, the girls ran well,” said LSU head coach Mark Elliott. “It was raining extremely hard and water logged, but everyone had to run in it. I am proud of what the girls are doing. All ten girls that ran did extremely well.”
     
    The men’s cross country team placed third overall with 49 points, led by senior Roger Cooke who placed third overall and completed the four-mile race in 21:20.00.
     
    “The guys certainly ran better this week,” said Elliott. “Although we weren’t at full strength, we still ran well. I’m pleased with their effort this week.”
     
    Junior Bryan Mutell was the next Tiger across the line with a 10th-place finish of 21:49.00. Sophomore Philip Primeaux rounded out the Top 15 with his 12th-place finish for LSU with a time of 22:10.00.