SEC Cross Country Weekly Notebook (November 13, 2012)
The University of Alabama men’s and women’s cross country teams ended their 2012 season at the NCAA South Region Championships Friday morning in Tallahassee, Fla. The women’s team finished sixth overall in the 6-kilometer race with Katelyn Greenleaf leading the way for the Tide with a 24th place finish in 20:44.2. Elsbeth Denton, Palee Myrex and Meropi Panagiotou were the Crimson Tide's next scorers in the 44th, 56th and 57th positions with times of 21:09.5, 21:25.6 and 21:26.1, respectively. Susie Kemper was the final scorer for the women’s squad. The Alabama men took 14th place finish in the 10-kilometer race as freshman Gil Walton led the way for the Crimson Tide with a time of 32:32.1 to finish 66th overall. Freshman Nic Wolfe followed Walton in 70th place at 32:35.4 while freshman Andrew Faris was 86th with a time of 32:49.9. Sophomore Matt Joyner (33:02.9) and freshman Justin Ahalt (33:11.5) rounded out the men’s scoring by coming 93rd and 105th, respectively.
Men - The 10th-ranked Razorbacks secured a berth into the national meet with their runner-up finish at the 2012 NCAA Division I South Central Regional Championships. The regional meet was contested at Agri Park in Fayetteville. With the team’s result, Arkansas will be making its 42nd appearance at the NCAA Championships. The Razorbacks were paced by three top-10 performances from Kemoy Campbell in third place, Eric Fernandez in fifth and Solomon Haile in eighth. Campbell, Fernandez, Haile, Layne Nixon and David Flynn all earned all-region accolades for their respective top-25 finishes. The NCAA meet will be cap the 2012 season Nov. 17 at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The men’s 10K race is scheduled for a 12:15 p.m. (CT) start. Women - Behind five top-15 individual efforts, the 12th-ranked Razorbacks ran to the team title at the 2012 NCAA Division I South Central Regional Championships in Fayetteville at Agri Park. The win marked Arkansas’ second-consecutive regional title and 17th in program history. With the victory, the team also clinched a spot in the NCAA Championships. Arkansas will be making its 25th appearance at the national meet. All-region honors went to Semehar Tesfaye (third place), Grace Heymsfield (fourth), Diane Robison (10th), Jessica Kamilos (12th), Paige Johnston (15th) and Shannon Klenke (22nd). The women’s 6K race at the NCAA Championships will be run Nov. 17 at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.
Auburn completed the 2012 NCAA South Regional on Friday … Auburn’s men finished 11th overall at the meet … The team was missing top runner Kane Grimster and top five contributor Griffin Jaworski … The Tigers did not send a women’s team … Lone female runner Erin Fondren placed 99th overall in the women’s 6k … Overall, five Auburn runners set new PRs in Tallahassee … Niklas Buhner was Auburn’s top finisher in 23rd place with a new personal-best mark of 31:17.30. Sam Mueller (new PR, 32:05.60) and Francis Hernandez (32:06.60) both posted top 50 performances … Also posting personal best times were Jason Miller (32:45.20) and Andrew Scott (35:21.90) in the team’s first 10k of the season.
After third and fourth-place finishes for the UF men’s and women’s cross country teams, respectively, at the 2012 NCAA South Region Championship in Tallahassee last Friday, several Gator runners are nationals-bound. The 2012 SEC Champion women’s team picked up one of 13 NCAA at-large team bids Saturday, while UF’s top two scorers on the men’s side at regionals – Mark Parrish and Jimmy Clark – picked up individual at-large bids for their USTFCCCA All-South Region performances. Seven Florida runners were tabbed USTFCCCA All-South Region performers for their race results Friday, while the Gators collaboratively eclipsed nine personal-best marks, five on the women’s side and four on the men’s at the South Region Championship at Apalachee Regional Park. With individual bids for Clark and Parrish, the men’s program will have representation at NCAAs for the third straight season, last qualifying as a team in 2011 and sending an individual in 2010. Florida’s team bid on the women’s side sends the Gators to nationals for the sixth time in the last seven seasons as a team – last in 2010. The University of Louisville will play host to the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17 at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park. The women’s race is slated for a 12 p.m. ET start, followed by the men’s race at 1:15 p.m. ET. Florida’s women placed the highest in history at NCAAs in 2009 (seventh), while the men were sixth in 1990 for the men’s program’s best NCAA finish. Last time out at NCAAs, Parrish ran the sixth-fastest NCAA time for a Gator at the 2011 national meet, finishing 68th in the field, while Clark scored second for the Orange and Blue in 191st. Of UF’s women’s squad, four Gators have nationals experience: junior Steph Strasser and seniors Callie Cooper, Florence Ngetich and Mandy Perkins, with Ngetich most recently participating as an individual in 2011.
Men - The 26th-ranked Bulldogs automatically advanced to their second consecutive NCAA Championships after finishing second at the NCAA South Regional Championships in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 9. This will mark the fourth time in program history that Georgia will run at Nationals after also getting back-to-back invites in 2003-04 and then advancing to Terre Haute, Ind., again last season. The Lady Bulldogs also received an at-large bid to NCAAs giving Georgia two teams together at the national meet for only the second time in school history. The Bulldogs finished 29th at the 2011 NCAA Championships to post the best finish from the SEC. This year, Georgia will line up with the 30 other teams for the 10k showdown at 1:15 p.m. at the Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 17. The Bulldogs managed to qualify for the national meet after having a school-record six runners earn All-Region honors and all five scorers finish in the top 15. Georgia scored 48 points at the South Regionals, which set a new low score for the program at the meet. Junior Brandon Lord led the charge for the Bulldogs with a career-best finish of third (30:35.8) after placing 16th as a sophomore. This marked the best individual finish for the Bulldogs since Simon Ngata was also third place in 2003. Three senior teammates were the next Georgia runners to cross the finish line as two of the runners had career-best performances. Brett Richardson finished eighth overall and Brian Detweiler managed a 10th-place finish to conclude their South Regional careers with their best finishes at the meet. Matt Cleaver, who was seventh last year and is now a three-time All-Region performer, took 12th this year to be the fourth Bulldog scorer. The two-time SEC steeplechase champion topped his teammates with a 142nd-place finish at last year's NCAA Cross Country Championships. Junior Luke Baker was 15th at the Regionals to grab the final scoring spot for the Bulldogs. Women - Leading the Lady Bulldogs in his first year as distance coach, Georgia alumnus Patrick Cunniff saw his team earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships after battling for a third-place finish at the NCAA South Regional Championships in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 9. Georgia will compete at noon in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 17 against 30 other teams at the NCAA Championships. The Georgia women, who came into the meet ranked fifth in the South Region, scored 115 points (just three points behind automatic qualifying Vanderbilt) to edge Florida by seven points. This will mark the Lady Bulldogs' first team trip to Nationals since 2007 when UGA was led by All-American Natalie Picchetti to a 22nd-place finish. Individually, Kristie Krueger advanced to two consecutive NCAA meets in 2009 and 2010 and earned All-America honors with a 28th-place finish in 2010. This will also be the first time both the Georgia men and women are competing together at the NCAA Championships since 2004 (and only the second time ever). Georgia has now qualified for the national meet seven times, having a top finish of ninth in 1990. At the South Regionals, sophomore Carly Hamilton continued her sizzling streak as her second season winds down. Finishing fourth at the SEC Championships, Hamilton was also fourth (20:16.1) at Regionals and was the first runner to cross the finish line who was not wearing a Florida State uniform. It was the best individual finish for a Lady Bulldog since Krueger swept the SEC and South Regional meets in 2010. Senior Morgan VanGorder earned her first All-Region honor when she completed the 6k course in 20:37.6 for 19th place. Missing All-Region honors by just one spot was sophomore Bret McDaniel. McDaniel, who transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest, was 26th as senior Leslie Boozer took 30th. UGA's final scorer was senior Nicole DiMercurio, who finished 36th in her first trip to the South Regionals. Full results and a recap from the NCAA Championships will be located at georgiadogs.com.
Cally Macumber won her second-straight race, the NCAA Southeast Regional on Friday. Three Wildcats, Cally Macumber, Chelsea Oswald and Luis Orta all qualified for the NCAA Championships. Kentucky’s three NCAA qualifiers were joined by Allison Peare and Anna Bostrom as USTFCCCA All-Region Honorees. Macumber’s regional time was less than two seconds off her season-best performance at that distance. Chelsea Oswald also enjoyed a banner Regional with a second consecutive third-place performance to give the Wildcats a pair of podium finishers for the second time in a row. The senior lowered her previous best 6K time by 14 seconds. Macumber, a junior in cross country, has now won three races this season, and she has finished in the top 10 at every meet she has entered. Oswald extended her season-long streak of top-25 finishes to six. The senior has placed inside the top 10 at all but one competition in 2012. Luis Orta led the men’s team to an 11th-place finish with a time of 30:08.32 more than 30 seconds faster than his time at regionals last season. Macumber, the 2012 SEC Champion, and Oswald will be the first Wildcats to compete in the NCAA Cross Country Championships since Kentucky qualified as a team in 2008. They are the first individual qualifiers for the Wildcats since Allison Grace in 2005. Kentucky has already competed in two meets at Sawyer Park, this year’s NCAA Championships host, this season.
The LSU cross country teams finished their seasons this past weekend after competing in the NCAA South Central Regional in Fayetteville, Ark., held at Agri Park XC course. The Lady Tigers were led by senior Laura Carleton for the sixth consecutive race. Carleton finished 20th overall with a 6k time of 21 minutes and 40.2 seconds at the regional meet and the Lady Tigers placed eighth out of 19 teams with a total of 230 points. As an individual runner, Carleton had a stand out season. She was honored as Women's SEC Runner of the Week on Sept. 24, 2012, and named to the Women's All-SEC second team and All-Region team. As a team, the Lady Tigers had an exceptional season and one of the best in school history. The Lady Tigers finished every race within the top ten and placed first at the McNeese Cowboy Stampede and LSU Invitational. On the men's side, the Tigers were led by sophomore Philip Primeaux at the regional meet, who place 82nd with a 10k time of 33 minutes and 31.3 seconds. The Tigers, who's team was composed of one senior and a variety of underclassmen, placed 18th overall with 492 points. Although the young men's team struggled, the Tigers plan to use this season as a learning experience for seasons to come. Next action for the LSU distance runners will come when they open their indoor track season on Jan. 12, 2013 when the teams travel to Birmingham, Al., to participate in the Crimson Tide Indoor Opener held at Fair Park Arena.
Men – The Rebel men competed at the South Regional at Apalachee Regional Park on Friday morning in Tallahassee, Fla. Loren Newsom led the way for the Ole Miss men and has been a leader for the Rebels all season long. The junior finished in 27th place, just two spots shy of earning all-regional honors. Newsom completed the 10K course with a time of 31:30.8. Freshman Seumas O'Reilly and junior Max Holman followed in 67th and 69th place, respectively. The men have also relied on strong performances from O’Reilly at Holman this season. Al Lowe and Ian Carter also competed at the regional for the Rebels. Senior Riley Young did not participate in the meet due to injury. The Rebel men failed to make the NCAA Championship field. Women – The Ole Miss women competed in the NCAA South Regional on Friday at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Fla. Senior Katie Breathitt raced to the best regional finish in school history with a sixth-place result and became the first woman in Ole Miss cross country history to earn a NCAA Championship berth. The All-SEC second teamer help lead the Rebel women to a fifth-place finish. The senior earned all-regional honors for her performance and raced to a personal-best 6K time of 20:18.6, shattering her previous best time by 27 seconds. Breathitt will compete at the NCAA Championships in Louisville on Saturday at noon ET. Sophomore Haley Cutright was the next Rebel to reach the finish line with a time of 20:49.3, placing 27th overall. Junior Kayleigh Skinner followed with a 28th-place finish and a time of 20:50.0. Both women were just shy of receiving all-regional honors. Senior Anne Threlkeld and sophomore Margaret Harkness also scored points for the Rebels. Threlkeld raced to a personal-best time of 21:06.0, finishing 41st overall. Harkness also had a personal-best time, completing the course in 21:12.3 and finishing in 45th place. Senior Kelsey Breathitt, Katie's twin sister, and junior Amy McCrory also competed for the Rebels. Both women finished in the top 65 with personal-best times. Although the women did not qualify for the NCAA Championships, the team has had one of the best seasons in school history. The Rebel women raced to the best conference finish in school history at the SEC Championships on Oct. 26.
Concluding the 2012 season, Mississippi State will return home with a pair of commendable finishes at Friday's NCAA South Regional hosted by Florida State. The Lady Bulldogs captured the ninth-place spot, totaling 328 points, while the men tallied 216 to seal a fifth-place finish. Senior Renee Masterson (37th, 21:04.5), who posted the fastest times for her team at every meet this season, paced the MSU women again in Tallahassee. Crossing the line right behind Masterson was Chloe Phillips (38th, 21:04.6), later followed by Jodie McGuff (80th, 21:48.5), Emma Neigel (87th, 21:55.9) and Katie Huston (92nd, 21:59.3). Four of the top five women all posted their quickest times of the season Friday at Apalachee Regional Park. After a positive showing at the SEC Championships, the men continued their run toward success at the South Regional. The Bulldogs spot in fifth not only tied their best regional finish in history, but also placed them ahead of SEC foes Alabama, Auburn, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Juan Sanchez (31st, 31:35.7) led the way for the men, followed by Cameron Vernier (35th, 31:46.6), John Valentine (46th, 32:02.5), Curtis Kelly (52nd, 32:08.8) and Philip Johnson (57th, 32:13.3). With the cross country season in the books, MSU's dual-sport athletes will now turn their focus to indoor track and field.
The Mizzou Tigers competed in the NCAA Midwest Regional meet this weekend in Springfield, MO. The Men walked away with a 5th place finish overall, besting their performance last year by two spots. Senior Max Storms once again led the way, earning All-Region and a spot at the NCAA National Championship with an 18th place finish in 30:47.38. Sophomore Bryant Blahnik was next for the Tigers, taking 30th, followed closely by juniors Merid Seleshi and Hayden Legg in 33rd and 34th, respectively. Junior Tyler Compton rounded out the Tiger scorers with a 58th place finish. The Women were again led by senior Bailey Belvis, who took 31st in 21:37.36 to help her team to a 16th place finish overall. Sophomore Liz Reida followed in 45th, then freshman Faith Summey, and sophomores Courtney Wood and Alison Ross. The young squad is looking forward to an exciting track season and continuing their first year under head coach Joe Lynn. Next up for the Tigers is the NCAA National Meet, where senior Max Storms will represent the black and gold. Races are on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Louisville, KY.
The Gamecocks wrapped up their season last Friday with a 10th-place finish at the 2012 NCAA Southeast Regional Championships at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, N.C. …The finish is the program's best at the region championship since placing ninth in 1994…Freshman Kayla Lampe led the way with an eighth-place showing in a PR of 20:04.43…Her finish, which earned her All-Region honors, is the highest ever by a Gamecock freshman and second highest all-time…Lampe was South Carolina's top finisher in every event this season, including wins at the Gamecock Invitational and in the unseeded race at NCAA Pre-Nationals…Senior Chelsea France was the second Gamecock to cross the finish line as she placed 32nd with a time of 21:30.75…South Carolina had three more runners finish in the top 100…Junior Penny Boswell turned in a PR of 22:16.22 to finish 89th, while freshman Mary Fouse (22:18.08) and sophomore Meredith Mill (22:25.67, PR) finished 92nd and 98th, respectively…Freshman Christine Kent also ran a PR for South Carolina as she turned in a time of 22:53.24 to finish 138th…Freshman Anna Todd rounded out the Gamecock contingent with a 240th-place finish in 25:29.29…South Carolina closes out one of its strongest seasons in recent history, which included a win in the Gamecock Invitational, a third-place finish in the unseeded race at NCAA Pre-Nationals, a ninth-place showing at the SEC Championships and last Friday's 10th-place finish at the Southeast Regional.
University of Tennessee cross country sophomore Peter Okwera led the Big Orange harriers at the annual NCAA South Regional on Friday in Tallahassee, Fla., posting a sixth place finish to become the first Vol runner to automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships since 2005. Running his first 10,000-meter course of the season, the transfer navigated the Apalachee Regional Park trail in 30:41.1 to earn the sixth place finish and lead the Vols to an eighth place team finish. For his efforts, Okwera was named to the All-South Region team. He has led the Vols in every race this season and was coming off a sixth place finish at the SEC Championships. He was named All-SEC for his performance in Nashville and was also UT’s highest individual finisher since the 2005 league championships. Led by freshman Alexis Panisse, the Lady Vols finished 10th at the South Regional. Panisse came in 32nd overall – just seven spots off the All-South Region pace – in a personal-best 20:56 in the 6K. Okwera will be in action at the 2012 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 17 at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. Okwera will be the first Vol runner since Michael Spooner – who landed an at-large bid – and placed 125th in 2010. The men’s 10K is slated to begin at 1:15 p.m. ET.
Texas A&M placed third in both men’s and women’s team competition at the NCAA South Central region meet hosted by Arkansas at the Agri Park course. The Aggie men scored 93 points to finish behind No. 5 Texas (38) and No. 10 Arkansas (53) while the A&M women totaled 140 points to place behind No. 12 Arkansas (44) and No. 22 Texas (68). Men - SEC champion Henry Lelei defended his South Central region title, running a time of 29:36.5 over the 10,000-meter course, and earned a berth to the NCAA Championship field. Lelei recorded the third fastest time among the nine region meets. Joining Lelei in Louisville will be fellow Aggie James Hodges, who placed 13th in the region meet with a time of 30:45.2. Hodges was an at-large selection for the national meet. Also earning all-region honors with a top 25 finish for A&M was Stephen Curry, who ran 31:10.1 to place 18th. Isaac Spencer (31:35.8) and Micah Dettmer (32:07.1) completed the Aggie team score as the fourth and fifth runners as they placed 26th and 37th. Rounding out the squad were MacLean O’Donnell (74th – 33:13.4) and C.J. Brown (92nd – 33:53.5). Women - The Texas A&M women earned a pair of all-region honors with Hillary Montgomery and Gabby Salazar each placing among the top 25 finishers. Montgomery led the Aggies with a time of 21:37.7 on the 6,000-meter course to place 19th while Salazar clocked 21:51.7 for 24th place. The next tandem of A&M runners to finish was Shawn Dalglish (22:03.8) and Grace Fletcher (22:04.8) in 30th and 31st place. Tara Upshaw (22:15.5) completed the Aggie team score in 36th place. Rounding out the squad were Sophie Blake (53rd – 22:46.0) and Amanda Jenkins (55th – 22:52.5).
Men - The Vanderbilt men's cross country season came to a close with a 22nd place finish at the NCAA South Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., on Friday, November 9. Sophomore John Ewing paced the Commodores with one of his best races of the season, finishing the 10K in 31:57.0. Ewing was joined in the top 100 by classmate Matthew Cleveland, who placed 88th with a time of 32:51.2. Vanderbilt's next finisher was freshman Nick French with a mark of 33:37.8, followed by sophomore Andrew Bachman in 33:47.2 Senior Alan Ash rounded out with the field with a mark of 33:48.9. The future is very bright for the Commodores, as Ash is the only scoring runner from regionals that does not return next season. Women - The No. 24 Vanderbilt women's cross country team secured its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Championships after surprising the field with a second place finish at the NCAA South Regional on Friday, November 9, in Tallahassee, Fla. Behind top 16 finishes from Kristen Findley (ninth), Hannah Jumper (11th) and Liz Anderson(16th), the Commodores finished with 112 points. Allie Scalf (34th) and Amira Joseph (42nd) rounded out the scoring for Vanderbilt. Findley finished the 6K race in 20:22.6 to pace the Commodores. Jumper was just a few seconds behind with a time of 20:26.9, followed by Anderson crossing the line at 20:33.4. The trio earned All-Region honors.Scalf ran the course in 20:59.6, while Joseph, who has surged in the past two weeks, posted a time of 21:06.7 to round out the scoring. The Commodores will cap the 2012 season at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, November 17.