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    SEC Cross Country Today: October 13

    Arkansas Women Earn Team title at Chile Pepper Festival
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 11 University of Arkansas women’s cross country team ran to the team title Saturday at the 24th Annual Chile Pepper Festival at Agri Park in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks’ top five all finished inside the top 20, led by a fifth-place overall finish by Semehar Tesfaye. Saturday’s victory is Arkansas’ first win at the Chile Pepper event since the 2006 season.

    Arkansas finished the meet with 58 team points, outdistancing event runner-up and No. 22 Oklahoma State (103 points). The field at the Chile Pepper Festival also included Southeastern Conference foe LSU and seven other top-10 teams from the South Central region. There were 341 runners to cross the finish line in the women’s race.
    “The positive thing is we were able to put together a good effort,” head coach Lance Harter said. “Some of the people that are normally in our top five, were not today. Our finish is a credit to our depth and team atmosphere of ‘hey, if someone is having an off day, I have to fill in.’ I think we had some people really run above and beyond the call of duty.”         
    For the third time this season, Tesfaye was the Razorbacks’ top finisher. She navigated the 6K course in a time of 21:06.4 to finish in fifth place overall. She was followed by Andrina Schaelpfer in 10th place and Grace Heymsfield in 12th place. Schaelpfer crossed the finish line in a time of 21:15.1, while Heymsfield clocked in at 21:20.5. The trio of Tesfaye, Schaelpfer and Heymsfield has been atop Arkansas’ line in three races in 2012.
    The Razorbacks’ fourth runner was Paige Johnston. She posted a time of 21:41.9 to finish in 17th place overall. Johnston is appearing in the team’s top five for the second consecutive meet. Arkansas’ scoring lineup was rounded out by Jessica Kamilos who finished in 19th place with a time of 21:47.8.
    The team’s remaining runners included Diane Robison in 34th place at 22:06.6, Rachel Carpino in 35th at 22:08.3, Shannon Klenke in 68th at 22:40.4, Keri Wood in 69th at 22:42.3, Valerie Reina at 125th at 23:28.3, Kelsey Wheelhouse in 138th at 23:39.9 and Codi Fritchie in 282nd at 26:04.1. Saturday’s race marked the Razorbacks’ first 6,000-meter race of the season.

    The Razorbacks are the No. 1 team in the South Central region and will host the NCAA Regional on Nov. 9 at Agri Park. The Chile Pepper Festival is Arkansas’ final race before the start of the championship season. The SEC Championships will be contested Oct. 26 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn.

    UK Cross Country Women Place 12th at Pre-Nationals

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky women’s cross country team produced a 12th-place performance behind both Cally Macumber and Chelsea Oswald’s top-25 individual finishes at NCAA Pre-Nationals on Saturday.

    Macumber raced across the E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park 6,000 meter course in 20:09.00 to notch her fourth top-10 finish in as many meets this season.

    Oswald joined her teammate among the elite finishers with a time of 20:32.70. The senior now has a top-25 result to her name at all four competitions so far in 2012.

    Anna Bostrom also showed off eye-catching form stopping the clock at 20:59.10 to round out the top-50 performers from UK. Allison Peare crossed the line with an 81st-place time 21:25.80.

    The Wildcats impressed overall against numerous national-ranked teams testing the NCAA Championships host site.

    “The ladies ran solid today,” women’s cross country coach Hakon DeVries said. “We lacked a little depth and that hurt us in a field of this caliber. Cally and Chelsea were very good for us up front and Anna Bostrom had a fantastic breakout race. The SEC Championships will be an exciting day.”

    Luis Orta led the UK men with a 30th-place time of 23:53.40 lowering his previous season-best 8K performance by more than 13 seconds. The Wildcat men finished in 12th-place overall.

    The next Wildcats to finish the men’s race were Adam Kahleifeh in 119th (24:37.80), Walter Luttrell in 120th (24:37.80) and Stacey Eden in 169th (25.01.40).

    The Kentucky cross country teams return to action on Oct. 26 for the SEC Championships in Nashville, Tenn.

    Alabama’s Women Win 2012 Crimson Classic; Crimson Tide Men Finish Fifth
    TUSCALOOSA, Ala.-The University of Alabama women’s cross country team defended its home course and won its second straight Crimson Classic title while the men finished fifth at the Harry Pritchett Running Course Saturday morning.
    “It was great for the women to get the win and defend their title from last year,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “Obviously, Katelyn Greenleaf ran a fantastic race; she’s running the kind of times that I would expect her to be a top-15 or top-10 finisher in the SEC in a couple weeks, which would be outstanding as a freshman.
    The women’s team secured first place with four top-25 finishes to beat Tennessee by 20 points on the 5-kilometer course. Greenleaf, a freshman, led the way for the Tide with a time of 17: 48.08, finishing fifth overall. Senior Elsbeth Denton finished sixth with a time of 17:51.98 while freshman Meropi Panagiotou followed in 16th place with a time of 18:12.12.
    “The race was definitely tough in the middle,” Greenleaf said.  “But by the end, I just tried to kick it down the last straightaway and give it my all.”
    Junior Claire Turner (18:28.84) and junior Palee Myrex (18:30.13) rounded out the women’s scoring by coming in 25th and 26th, respectively. Samford’s Lauren D’Alessio won the women’s race in 17:23.40.
    “I was going into the race, hoping for a good one because last week was a personal record,” Greenleaf said. “So I was hoping for a time close to it because this is a tougher course. I think I met my expectations time-wise, it was good.”
    The men’s squad finished fifth overall with ten Alabama runners competing in the 8-kilometer race. Georgia Tech won the men’s race with five runners placing in the top 25.
    “On the men’s side, I was extremely happy with Robbie (Farnham-Rose) today,” Waters said. “He ran an incredibly tough race and had about seven weeks of training. It just shows his immense talent and he has a big, bright future for us, so I was very happy to see that.
    Farnham-Rose, a freshman, was Alabama’s top runner, finishing fifth with a time of 25:37.53. Freshman Parker Deuel finished next in 28th place, with a time of 26:39.02. Freshmen Gil Walton, Justin Ahalt and Andrew Faris followed Deuel by placing 36th, 42nd and 49th, respectively.
    “It’s the second race I’ve done here and the first one I’ve finished,” Farnham-Rose said. “It was so tough, it was so physically tough. The starts are easy, but I couldn’t breathe the second half and just held on for dear life. I was nervous at the end because I didn’t think I finished that quickly- it was good.”
    Alabama competes next at the SEC Championship on October 26 in Nashville, Tenn.

    Gamecocks Claim Third At NCAA Preview Meet

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The South Carolina cross country team put together one of its best efforts of the season on Saturday as it claimed third place in the Women’s Black Unseeded 6K race at the NCAA Preview Meet at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park.

    The Gamecocks finished the meet with 186 points. Utah Valley placed first with 154 points, and West Virginia took second with 157 points. The meet served as a preview to the 2012 NCAA Championship, which will be held in Louisville on Nov. 17, and featured 15 nationally ranked teams.

    “I am extremely pleased with the way the team competed today,” South Carolina head coach Stan Rosenthal said. “Going into the race, I felt like there were five or six teams that were better than us, so getting third was really good. Beating regionally ranked Furman was really good. Four of our top five had PRs today, and Chelsea France was within just a few seconds of hers. It was a really great meet.”

    As she has been all season, freshman Kayla Lampe was the Gamecocks’ unquestioned leader on the course as she won her second race of the year, crossing the finish line with a personal record of 21:03.5. A native of Downingtown, Pa., Lampe took the lead a mile and a half into the race and then built a sizeable cushion en route to winning the race by 11.3 seconds.

    France gave South Carolina two finishers in the top 10 as she claimed 10th with a mark of 21:35.4, which was just shy of her personal best of 21:26 from last year’s NCAA Southeast Regional Championship. Junior Penny Boswell was the next Gamecock to cross the finish line, placing 53rd with a personal record of 22:18.8.

    Freshman Mary Fouse finished 68th with a personal best of 22:30.9. Freshman Christine Kent (22:58.4 PR, 105th), sophomore Meredith Mill (23:03.8, 111th), freshman Lauren Kahre (23:29.5, 153rd), freshman Lannon McCoy (23:49.5, 175th), freshman Anna Todd (23:50.6, 176th) and sophomore Alex Mullin (23:54.2, 181st) rounded out the Gamecock contingent.

    The Gamecocks will now turn their focus to preparing for the SEC Championship, which will be held on Oct. 26 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn.

    Rebel Cross Country Competes At Crimson Classic
    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Ole Miss men’s and women’s cross country teams competed Saturday morning at the Crimson Classic.
    Despite the Rebels’ top runners not participating, Loren Newsom finished 17th overall for the men, leading the Rebels to a ninth-place finish. The senior completed the 8K course with a time of 16:14.58.
    Junior Max Holman also had a strong finish for the men. The Belden, Miss., native placed 25th out of 111 runners, completing the course with a time of 26:33.67.
    Junior Al Lowe, freshman Garrett Rogers and sophomore Alex Nichols rounded out the scoring for the men.
    The Rebel women also placed ninth overall. They were led by a 30th-place finish from sophomore Margaret Harkness, who completed the 5K course with a time of 18:31.03.
    Junior Tia Leake and sophomore McKenna Coughlin both finished in the top 70 out of 135 runners. Leake came in 58th with a time of 19:06.82, while Coughlin finished 66th with a time of 19:27.12.
    Freshman Catie Daigre and sophomore Giana Leone completed the scoring for the Rebels.
    The Rebels will get back to work this week in preparation for the SEC Championships on Oct. 26 in Nashville, Tenn.

    Florida Cross Country Impresses with Top-10 Finishes at Pre-Nationals Saturday
    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Florida emerged from the 2012 Pre-Nationals cross country meet with top-10 team finishes on both sides, as the women checked in ninth overall in the field of 38 teams, while the men were 10th of 40 men’s seeded teams. Four Gator men’s runners cruised to career-best 8K marks, while the ladies registered five collegiate best 6K times after Saturday’s competition.
    Pre-Nats, hosted by the University of Louisville at the E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park, gave the Gators a preview of the 2012 NCAA Championship course, hosted this year by Louisville Sat., Nov. 17 – the earliest in Division I history and also the first time since World War II the meet will be on a Saturday instead of a Monday.
    Under the veteran leadership of top-25 finishers junior Mark Parrish (Tampa, Fla.) and senior Florence Ngetich (Eldama Ravine, Kenya), Florida tallied 308 points for ninth place on the women’s side, while the men accumulated 369 points as the 10th-place men’s squad. FSU (72), Oregon (87) and Michigan (141) rounded out the top three women’s team finishers, while Colorado (72), BYU (127) and Oregon (152) were the top three men’s team finishers at Pre-Nationals.
    Florida was off to the races, with a successful day against the ultra-competitive and USTFCCCA Top-30 saturated field. With both Gator teams knocking on the door, receiving votes in the top-30 national polls, the Orange and Blue finished ahead of William and Mary on the men’s side and Butler on the women’s side, and were right in the mix with a number of top-10 ranked squads represented in the field.
    Parrish cruised to a career-best 23:43.2 8K and finished16th overall in the field to score first for the Orange and Blue, which turned in a pack spread of 52 seconds. Parrish shattered his previous best 24:23.69 from last year’s SEC Championship race. Sophomore JL Hines (Orlando, Fla.) checked in 47th (24:00.7) to improve his collegiate best, while classmate Jimmy Clark (St. Johns, Fla.) crossed third for UF in 96th with a personal-best 24:27.4.
    “I was very pleased with the men today, we came in with goal of trying to average 24:20 for our top five and we averaged 24:15,” Florida assistant track and field and cross country coach Paul Spangler said. “Mark Parrish ran a great race and had a huge personal record. He finished with the top guys and he certainly proved himself as one of the top guys in that race at 16th. If you would have told me JL Hines was going to run 24-flat, I wouldn’t have believed you – we had a goal time for him to go about 24:25 and he went 24:00 with a phenomenal race and personal best as well.”
    Sophomore Eddie Garcia (Jacksonville, Fla.) was just three spots behind Clark in 99th (24:28.8) to score fourth for the Gators and junior Matt Mizereck (Tallahassee, Fla.) wrapped up UF’s scoring corps in 111th (24:35.2), as Garcia ran for a best mark as well, while Mizereck was just seven seconds of a personal record.
    “Jimmy Clark has been sick with the flu this week, but he really toughed it out with a best time for him as well, and Eddie Garcia had another huge PR, completely exceeding our expectations going into the meet,” Spangler said. “For Matt Mizereck, this was a big step forward for him. This isn’t where he wanted to be at the beginning of the year, but it was a huge step, he’s going to continue to get better and that showed today.”
    Senior Josh Izewski (Doylestown, Pa.) rounded out Florida’s competitors in 129th overall, crossing in 24:40.7.
    “We have some work to do on the men’s side going in to the SEC Championship and today was a positive step in being where we need to be to have some success in two weeks.”
    Florida’s women worked as a pack, with all five scores crossing within a minute of each other, led by Ngetich in 24th with a time of 20:35.3. Junior Stephanie Strasser (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) and senior Callie Cooper (St. Augustine, Fla.) scored second and third for the Gators in 49th (21:00.8) and 61st (21:09.8) overall as UF’s top three all ran collegiate best times donning a Gator uniform.
    “In a cross country race, a lot of times it’s very rare that you have all of your women run great on the same day – it’s a bit of a mixed bag where some run great, a couple are ok and a couple have an off day. We had that today,” Spangler assessed. “Florence ran a smart race, followed the race plan and was really patient for the first part of the race and moved up in the last couple of miles – she ran very, very well. Steph Strasser and Callie Cooper really stepped it up when a couple other girls had an off day, so I’m very happy with their performances.”
    Junior newcomer Agata Strausa (Riga, Latvia), running her first cross country 6K, crossed 73rd (21:21.8) to score fourth for the Gators, while veteran senior Mandy Perkins (Ormond Beach, Fla.) turned in a 21:36.3 to round out UF’s top five.
    Junior Shelby Hayes (Winter Park, Fla.) and freshman Julie Macedo (Wilmington, Del.) – running her first collegiate 6K – rounded out Florida’s competitors on the women’s side in 138th (21:51.7) and 197th (22:34.2) out of 265 female runners in the race field.
    “Agata and Julie were both running their first 6Ks in competition, and both just had an off day. We know they are better than their performances today because we see it in practice, along with Shelby Hayes who didn’t have her best race either. I feel confident; we do have a couple of things to work on here and there tactically, but we have two weeks, these things are fixable and we’ll be ready for the SEC Championship,” Spangler added.
    The Gators will now prep for the 2012 SEC Championship October 26, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn., hosted by Vanderbilt University. The women’s SEC race will kick off at 11 a.m., with the men to follow at noon.


    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The LSU men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Fayetteville, Ark., this weekend where they participated in the most competitive meet of the season, the Chile Pepper Festival held at Agri Park.
    The Lady Tigers continued to exceed expectations by posting another solid performance at this weekends meet. The team placed fourth overall with a total of 174 points in the 6k race.
    “The women are doing extremely well,” LSU head coach Mark Elliott said. “I have been around a long time and that is probably the highest team finish for the women in a big cross country race.”
    Senior runner Laura Carleton, who placed in the top five for her third straight meet, once again led the Lady Tigers. Carleton finished the race fourth out of 341 runners and clocked in with a time of 20 minutes, 59.9 seconds.
    “Laura Carleton was fourth place overall,” Elliott said. “To look at her performance from when she started at LSU up until now, the improvement is amazing.”
    Other leading finishers for the Lady Tigers included junior Natoya Goule who came in 32nd with a time of 22:06.2 and senior Dakota Goodman who came in 43rd with a time of 22:15.8.
    On the men’s side, the Tigers were once again led by senior Roger Cooke who finished 107th overall and posted a time of 33:00.7 in the 10k race.
    “For the men, I think it is their best race of the year,” Elliott said. “It is the longest distance we have run so far, but collectively as a group they ran extremely well.”
    The men placed 22nd overall with a total of 641 points.