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    SEC Cross Country Weekly Notebook

    SEC Cross Country Weekly Notebook (Sept. 17, 2013)

    Alabama

    The Crimson Tide has competed in two events so far this fall and has posted a pair of team victories in the women's races and two runner-up showings by the men's team ... on Friday, Sept. 13, the Tide women earned their second consecutive team victory to start the season while the men’s team took second place in the team race at the Iowa Invitational at the Ashton Cross Country Course in Iowa City ... Alabama took women’s team honors with a meet-low 35 points to outpace Iowa State’s 44. Baylor was third with 51 and Iowa finished fourth with 97. In the men’s race, Iowa finished with 18 points to easily defeat Alabama (53) and Iowa State (57) ... the Crimson Tide women's team had an impressive performance for the second consecutive meet to open the season as sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf led a tightly-packed group of runner to the finish line ... Greenleaf was Alabama’s first finisher, taking second place in a time of 13 minutes, 59 seconds, just 1.1 second behind Baylor’s Rachel Johnson, who won the individual title in 13:56.28 ... freshman Hilary Stafford was third in 13:59.52 with sophomore Kimberley Ficenec taking ninth for Alabama (14:28.36), an impressive improvement for Ficenec who has been primarily a force on the track in the 800 meters up to this point in her career ... sophomore Meropi Panagiotou was 10th (14:29.55) with freshman Hannah Waggoner 11th (14:30.05) to close out five Tide runners scoring in the top 11 overall ... in the men’s event, three Crimson Tide runners placed in the top 10 scoring places overall, led by a sixth-place finish by junior Matt Airola who traversed the six-kilometer course in 18:57.75 ... sophomore Gil Walton was ninth in 19:00.25 and sophomore Justin Ahalt was 10th in 19:01.17 ... other Alabama scorers were sophomore Parker Deuel in 13th (19:03.97) and freshman Conner Thompson in 16th (19:14,04) ... the Crimson Tide will take a couple of weekends off before continuing the 2013 season on Saturday, October 5, at the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa.

    Arkansas

    Men - The Arkansas Razorback men’s cross country team picked up a pair of dual meet wins to open the season. The Razorbacks recorded a perfect 15 points against Missouri for the win while they scored 18 points against Missouri Southern State. Junior Stanley Kebenei and senior Kemoy Campbell led the way for the meet and the Razorbacks, finishing with times of 20:09 and 20:10 respectively. To round out Arkansas’ perfect 15 points against Missouri, senior David Flynn crossed the finish line at 20:20, newcomer Gabe Gonzalez crossed at 20:28 and sophomore Cale Wallace clocked a time of 20:29. Additionally, senior Raymond Joseph rounded out the lead pack of Razorbacks crossing the line at 20:31 followed by Patrick Rono, Noah Findlay and Aiden Swain who crossed at 21:21, 21:40 and 22:00 minutes respectively. Women - The Arkansas Razorback women’s cross country team recorded two perfect scores of 15 points against Missouri and Missouri Southern State to open the season. The Razorbacks were led by Senior Stephanie Brown who recorded her first collegiate cross country victory by crossing the line at the 13:39 mark. Alongside Brown, Dominique Scott helped lead the main pack of Razorbacks for the meet. Scott turned in a time of 13:39 followed closely by Diane Robison who finished at 13:41 and then three Razorbacks in Sandie Raines, Jessica Kamilos and Regan Ward each crossed the line in a pack at 13:51. Senior Paige Johnston rounded out the lead pack finishing in eight place with a time of 14:20. Missouri would total 49 points in the race while Missouri Southern picked up 50 to each finish behind the Razorbacks. After picking up a pair of wins, the Razorbacks will prepare for their next meet later in September.

    Auburn

    After an off week, the Auburn men and women competed at the Mountain Dew Invite in Gainesville this past weekend, as the women tied Tennessee for first place, while the Tiger men were second to host Florida. Freshman Veronica Eder led the women with a fourth place finish, while junior Ty McCormack led the men with a third place finish.  With five personal bests by the Tiger women, Eder led the team finishing the 6k run in 21:30.96. Fellow freshman Rachel Givens (13th; 21:56.05), sophomores Kristin Sheehan (15th; 22:07.23) and Sage Blackwell (21st; 22:18.01) and senior Erica Kolakowski (22nd; 22:20.44) all recorded PRs. Making his debut for the Tigers, McCormack finished the 8k in 24:08.11. Others with new PRs included: Sam Mueller (7th; 24:38.47), Niklas Buhner (12th; 24:46.27), Kane Grimster (15th, 25:02.14) and Francis Hernandez (18th; 25:07.15). The Tigers return to action this week as they travel to Hampton, Ga. to compete in the Georgia State Invite.

    Florida

    UF’s men’s and women’s cross country squads kicked off the 2013 campaign with team victories on both sides at the Western Carolina Invitational Aug. 30 before playing host to the Mountain Dew Invitational Sept. 14. Florida’s men claimed the Mountain Dew team title for the eighth time in nine years (33 pts), while the women finished third overall (76 pts). Next up, the Gators will compete at the Florida State Invite Oct. 11 before heading to the Wisconsin adidas Invite Oct. 19. Florida will additionally play host to the 2013 SEC Championships Nov. 1 at UF’s Mark Bostick Golf Course. Men - Junior Jimmy Clark cruised to a personal-best 8k mark to take top honors in the men’s race at the Mountain Dew Invite, helping lead UF to the team title (33 points) for the eighth time in the last nine years. Clark clocked the fourth-fastest 8k ever run at Mark Bostick Golf Course and helped the Gators to their second invitational title of the 2013 season. Senior Mark Parrish was close behind in second, while juniors Eddie Garcia and JL Hines scored third and fourth. Freshman Carlos Miranda was the fifth Gator scorer and top freshman finisher in the field. A total of seven men’s runners clocked personal-best marks at UF’s home invitational. Women - Senior Agata Strausa paced the Florida women at the Mountain Dew Invite Sept. 14 with a second-place finish in the field of 270 women’s participants. Florida took third (76 points) overall in the team standings. Strausa has now scored second or better for the Gators in five meets after coming on as a junior in 2012. Sophomore Julie Macedo ran a personal-best 6k at the Mountain Dew, while freshman Taylor Tubbs and junior Macy Huskey ran their first 6ks as Gators. Strausa, Macedo, Tubbs, Huskey and senior Brittany Koziara composed UF’s scoring contingent.  

    Georgia

    Men - The Bulldogs took fifth place at the inaugural Furman Cross Country Classic on an 8k course in Greenville, S.C., over the weekend.  Junior Steven Spevacek posted the top finish for Georgia for the first time in his career after coming in at 24:45.37.  This marked a return to the Furman Golf Course for Spevacek after the Parkview High School graduate won his first junior varsity meet on the course.  Freshman Morgan Malanoski was next across the finish after taking 23rd place with a time of 24:46.10.  Nine spots later, true freshman Brad Hort scored for the first time in his career after taking 32nd with a 25:03.02.  Trevor Grant, who like Malanoski redshirted last season in his first year, scored at 35th place (25:05.42) while junior Brendan Hoban was 42nd (25:19.90) to be the fifth and final Bulldog scorer.  Georgia returns to action at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sept. 28. Women - Junior Carly Hamilton jumpstarted her season by winning her first collegiate cross country meet at the 6k Furman Classic in Greenville, S.C., over the weekend.  Hamilton finished in 20:25.53 and has now led the Lady Bulldogs in seven consecutive meets.  The Lady Bulldogs finished third at the meet as the team rested about four of its top runners. Senior Savannah Kirk was the second Georgia runner to finish after crossing the line in 21:30.11 for seventh place.  True freshman Morgan Ainslie scored for the first time in her career after taking 16th.  She finished with a time of 21:52.85 after racing unattached in the opener.  One spot behind her was junior Brooke Koblitz, who was 17th with a mark of 21:54.43.  The Lady Bulldogs' final scorer on the day was another true freshman, Jenn Cora.  Cora shot across the finish line in 21:57.89 and was 22nd in the 94-woman field.  Georgia returns to action at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sept. 28.

    Kentucky

    Kentucky cross country took another step forward as a program on Saturday as the Wildcats hosted their first home meet since the 2007 SEC Championships. Cally Macumber highlighted the day with one of the nation’s leading performances in 2013. The defending SEC and Southeast Region Champion won the meet with a SEC-leading 5k time of 16:32.10. Macumber crossed the finish line 26 seconds ahead of her nearest rival in a field, which included No. 21 Oklahoma State and a 2012 Outdoor 5k All-American. For her efforts, Macumber was named National Athlete of the Week by USTFCCCA on Monday. Macumber was quickly followed by fellow-senior Allison Peare who impressed in her first-ever home collegiate meet with a third-place personal best time of 17:11.08. Adam Kahleifeh enjoyed a breakout performance on the men’s side with a 8k PR time 24:11.70. Matt Hillenbrand was UK’s No. 2 finisher with a 14th place time 24.26.56. Kentucky will return to competition on Sept. 28, 2013 for the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree in Stillwater, Okla.

    LSU

    The LSU cross country team’s opened the 2013 season with an eighth-place finish on the men’s side, while the women finished 10th at the Mountain Dew Invitational hosted by the University of Florida. Men – Junior runner Philip Primeaux posted a team-best and personal-record time of 25 minutes, 41.64 seconds, which placed him 35th overall. Other top finishers for the Tigers included junior William Wiesler in 55th place at 26:17.57, also a personal best, and sophomore Travis Pope in 60th place, who blasted his personal record by more than one minute at 26:26.83. Other performers that achieved personal records this past weekend include juniors Philip Dempsey (27:10.84) and Bryan Mutell (27:18.44), who finished 92nd and 99th, respectively, and sophomore Aaron Koenck (27:31.99), who finished 112th. Women – Sophomore Andria Aguilar was the 20th overall and first Lady Tiger runner to finish, clocking a 22:15.69. Sophomore Morgan Schuetz (23:53.81) finished 85th and junior Michelle Mobley (25:23.26) finished 146th, which outdid their previous personal records. This weekend, the Tigers and Lady Tigers will return to Baton Rouge to host the LSU Invitational Sept. 21. This will be the only home meet during the 2013 season for the teams.

    Ole Miss

    Men – Ole Miss continued its 2013 campaign at the Commodore Classic in Nashville this past Saturday. The Rebels turned in an 11th-place finish led by sophomore Ian Carter, who placed 24th with a time of 25:39.06 in the 8K. Other runners included junior Max Holman, freshman Jon Luke Watts, junior Ryan Smith, freshman Trevor Gilley and freshman Will Spiers. Ole Miss will head to Earlysville, Virginia to compete in the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on September 28. Women – Ole Miss sent out the veteran Rebels this past Saturday at the Commodore Classic and were not disappointed. The Ole Miss women placed third overall. It was the season debut for junior Haley Cutright, senior Amy McCrory, junior McKenna Coughlin and senior Kayleigh Skinner. Cutright led the Lady Rebels with a runner-up finish with a personal-best cross country 5K time of 17:09.58. Rebel freshman Annie Kelly improved her time by almost a minute from her opening meet in Memphis two weeks ago with a 17:43.73 to finish 17th individually. The Rebels look forward to the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational on September 28, where all the runners will combine to run in a meet for the first time this season.

    Mississippi State

    Following a Labor Day weekend sweep in Memphis, Tenn., Mississippi State cross country continued its success in the Volunteer State with a pair of Top 5 finishes at the Commodore Classic in Nashville. The men recorded a second-place finish in the 8K run for the Maroon and White as the Bulldogs topped conference foe Ole Miss. John Valentine (25:11.16) led the way for MSU with a third-place finish. Cameron Vernier finished 10th with a time of 25:27.05, and Patrick Monaghan rounded out the Top 20 with a time of 25:34.74. On the women's side, the Lady Bulldogs totaled 100 points on the day for a fourth-place team finish in the 5K. Emma Neigel (17:33.47) led the way for MSU with an eighth-place finish, while Cornelia Griesche (17:39.23) finished 13th. After this weekend’s success in Music City, State will now prepare for the Charlotte Invitational, which is slated for Saturday, Sept. 28 in Charlotte, N.C.

    Missouri

    Mizzou kicked off the 2013 season with a trip down to Fayetteville to match up against Arkansas on Sept. 6, and will be back in action again on Sept. 28th with the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, MN.  The men, who maintained their spot at No. 4 in the Midwest Regional Rankings in the first regular season release, were led by sophomores Evan Chiplock and Tyler Schneider, and senior Hayden Legg against the Razorbacks.  Crossing in fourth for the team was freshman Dan Roe, whose performance earned him an SEC Freshman of the Week nod.  The Tigers also came out of the weekend with the women's SEC Freshman of the Week, as Kaitlyn Fischer earned the honor after leading the charge for the women.  The teams are now looking forward for their first appearance at the Roy Griak Invite since 2009.

    South Carolina

    The Gamecocks finished fourth in the 25th-annual Mountain Dew Invitational at the University of Florida, a strong showing for South Carolina. Two Gamecocks finished in the top 15, led by junior Meredith Mill's seventh-place showing. Her time of 21:39.34 improved her previous-best 6K time by over 45 seconds. Freshman Mary Reiser stayed with Mill for the first 5,000 meters before finishing 12th in her first 6K with a 21:55.00 clocking. Two other returning Gamecock sophomores (Anna Todd, 23rd, 22:20.50 and Stephanie Berger, 49th, 23:02.35) improved their times by over 40 seconds, while freshmen Martha McCoy (42nd, 22:43.77) and Melanie Ng (54th, 23:06.93) both ran well in their first collegiate 6K outings. The Gamecocks race in another packed field in two weeks at the 28th-annual Roy Griak Invitational hosted by Minnesota.

    Tennessee

    The Tennessee men's and women's cross country teams put together solid performances in their second meet of the season at the Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville, Fla. The women finished in a tie with Auburn for first place, while the men took third. Men – Peter Okwera was fifth and Stephen Derlath was not far behind in sixth to lead the Vols on the 8k course. Okwera finished in a time of 24:27.98. All five of the Vols' scorers finished in the top 21. Kyle Walter was 11th. Both teams run at the Louisville Classic on Oct. 5. Women – Sophomore Alexis Panisse led the way for the Lady Vols in the 6k race, scoring her first top-10 finish of the year by placing fifth in 21:33.37. Freshman Emily Williams got another top-20 finish to start her career, taking 11th in 21:52.05. The Lady Vols' five fastest runners placed in the top 29.

    Texas A&M

    Men – Texas A&M placed second in the 14-team Rice Invitational, scoring 87 points to finish behind the 77 tallied by host Rice and just two points ahead of Stephen F. Austin and Lamar, who tied for third place with 89 points. Freshman Austin Wells led the Aggies on the 5,500-meter course, running a time of 17:09 for 12th place overall. Isaac Spencer placed 14th in 17:11 while Ryan Miller ran 17:23 to finish 18th. Two more freshmen were part of the scoring five for A&M as Cameron Villarreal (17:25) and Xavier Jimenez (17:29) placed 20th and 23rd. Finishing in the sixth and seventh position for the Aggies were Austin Geerts (39th, 17:50) and Micah Dettmer (41st, 17:52). Texas A&M competes again on October 5 at the Greater Louisville Classic in Kentucky.  Women - The Aggie women topped a field of 14 teams at the Rice Invitational this past weekend, scoring 29 points as the first five A&M runners placed among the top 10. Freshman Karis Jochen led the Aggies with a runner-up finish in 14:37 over a looping course that measured 4,220 meters. Rounding out the scoring crew for A&M were veterans Hillary Montgomery (5th, 14:54), Sophie Blake (6th, 15:05), Amanda Jenkins (7th, 15:17); and Gabby Salazar (9th, 15:29). Grace Fletcher (11th, 15:34) and Katie Willard (13th, 15:38) were the sixth and seventh finishers for the Aggies. A&M bettered host Rice, who finished second with 64 points. Rounding out the top five teams were Lamar (80), Stephen F. Austin (124) and Sam Houston (152). Texas A&M competes again on October 5 at the Greater Louisville Classic in Kentucky.  

    Vanderbilt

    The No. 20 Vanderbilt women's team ran away from the field Saturday morning at the Commodore Classic at Percy Warner Park winning the team race with four runners in the top 10 and scoring 38 points in topping Lipscomb (65 points) and Ole Miss (83 points). The Commodores went straight to the front at the beginning of the race and did not back off the gas over the 5K course with a pack of black and gold runners at the front. Redshirt freshman Lily Williams, making her cross country debut for the Dores, led the way for Vandy running 17:25.73 to place fifth overall. Sophomore Hannah Jumper (17:31.47) and freshman Carmen Carlos (17:32.36) were right behind Williams placing sixth and seventh. Juniors Rebecca Chandler (17:36.28) and Claire Benjamin (17:37.80) rounded out the Commodores' scoring finishing ninth and 11th, respectively. In the men's race, the Commodores ran a solid race with junior John Ewing leading the way in the team's 13th place finish among the 19 Division I teams. Ewing covered the 8K course in 26:08.70 for 50th place overall. The women return to action in two weeks at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. The men now have three weeks off before returning to racing action at the Greater Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky.