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    SEC Cross Country Weekly Notebook

    SEC Cross Country Weekly Notebook (Oct. 8, 2013)


    The Alabama cross country team joined a bevy of other college and high school teams at the Paul Short Invitational hosted by Lehigh University. The Crimson Tide women finished 10th among a field of 48 teams while the men's team was 25th in a field of 47 teams. In the women's standings, Alabama's 10th place finish was highlighted by a 24th place showing by sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf. Running in a field of 406 runners, Greenleaf covered the six-kilometer course in 21 minutes, two seconds. Other Alabama finishers included freshman Hannah Waggoner (54th, 21:27), freshman Hilary Stafford (65th, 21:32), sophomore Rebecca Stover (73rd, 21:36), Susie Kemper (139th, 22:10), sophomore Meropi Panagiotou (170th, 22:24) and sophomore Kimberley Ficenec (237th, 22:59). In the men's event, Indiana won the men's race with 89 points. Dartmouth was second with 106, Georgetown was third with 110, Harvard was fourth with 167 and Iowa State took fifth with 188. Alabama had 708 points in its 25th-place finish. Sophomore Parker Deuel led Alabama by placing 82nd in a field of 397 competitors, covering the eight-kilometer course in 25:12. Freshman Conner Thompson was 127th overall in 25:37 in the first 8k race of his career. Junior Matt Airola (135th, 25:41), sophomore Andrew Faris (153rd, 25:46), and sophomore Gil Walton (211th, 26:14). The Crimson Tide will continue the 2013 season on Friday, October 18, when Alabama hosts the Crimson Classic at the Harry Pritchett Running Course.


    Men - The No. 6 University of Arkansas Razorbacks men’s cross country team stormed to a first place finish at the 2013 Chile Pepper Festival, led by a second place finish by senior Kemoy Campbell. Campbell kept with the reigning national champion, Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech, for most of the race, finishing with a strong 22:38.4 to finish second overall. The Razorbacks ran a full team for the first time this season. Campbell was quickly followed by junior Stanley Kebeni in third place at 24:08.0 and senior Solomon Haile in fifth at 24:27.6. Sophomore Gabe Gonzales finished ninth with a time of 24:47.6 and senior Raymond Joseph rounded out the scorers at 25:05.5 and 12th place. The Razorbacks scored 31 points for the meet, 13 points ahead of the second place finisher, No. 27 Villanova. Texas Tech filled the top three with a score of 91. Women - Led by junior Grace Heymsfield, the No. 9 Arkansas women's cross country team took eight of the top 10 spots and won a sweeping victory at the 2013 Chile Pepper Festival.  Coming off three perfect scores, the Razorback women were one point shy of a fourth perfect finish, scoring 16. This score put them 72 points ahead of the second place finisher, Loyola Marymount, and 82 ahead of Texas Tech, who took third.  Heymsfield led the pack of Razorbacks to the finish line when she crossed at 16:55.8, followed shortly by her nine teammates. Sophomore Dominique Scott, junior Shannon Klenke and senior Stephanie Brown rounded out the top four places, finishing at 17:00.8, 17:10.3 and 17:13.0, respectively. Grace Heymsfield and Shannon Klenke were the next to finish at 17:34 and 17:38, respectively. Freshman Sandie Raines, junior Diane Robison, senior Paige Johnston and junior Jessica Kamilos completed the top 10 for the Razorbacks.


    The Auburn cross country teams closed the month of September at the Panorama Farms Invite in Charlottesville, Va., on Sept. 28. The men finished in fifth place, just five points behind third place, while the women were eighth. The meet was the most difficult of the season for the Tigers as the field featured two nationally ranked teams on the men’s side and one on the women’s, while 11 of the 13 men’s teams were regionally ranked and 10 of the 13 women’s teams regionally ranked.  The men were led for the third consecutive meet by junior Ty McCormack, who finished third in a personal-best time of 23:50.8 over the 8k course. All seven of the men competing posted PRs, while five of the seven women PRed at the meet. Kane Grimster and Samuel Mueller took 15th and 16th places, respectively for the men. The women were led by the freshmen duo of Rachel Givens and Veronica Eder, who were 23rd and 24th individually. Givens crossed the 5k run in 17:39.8, while Eder finished in 17:42.8. In all four meets this season, Auburn has been led by Givens and Eder on the women’s side. Eder was Auburn’s top finisher in the first two meets followed by Givens, while in the last two races, Givens has led the Tigers followed by Eder. McCormack has posted a third, first and third place individual finish in his three races this season. Auburn will have two weeks off before competing at the Crimson Classic on Oct. 18.


    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, while the women finished third overall. The men’s team was in action most recently, claiming the team title in the men’s college race at the Invite 14 Sept. 27. Next up, the women’s squad will compete at the Disney Cross Country Classic Oct. 12 before both teams head 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 - Freshman Carlos Miranda notched his first career victory as a Gator at the Invitational 14 Sept. 27 with a personal best 5k (5:17.60) as Florida took top honors in the collegiate men’s portion of the Titusville (Fla.)-based meet. All five Gator runners and scorers ran career-best marks to cap off a successful competition. Women - Last time out for the Florida 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.  


    Men - The Georgia men grabbed a 13th-place finish out of 24 competitors at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., two weeks ago.  Highlighting the team's finish was a pair of individual top-20 finishers.  Senior Brandon Lord crossed the finish line first out of the SEC competitors and 14th overall after registering a mark of 24:44.2.  Lord won the season-opening home meet and was Georgia's top finisher twice in 2012 as well.  Fellow senior Luke Baker managed a 20th-place finish after running the 8k course in 24:49.0.  A third senior, Charlie Sparks, was the third Bulldog to finish after taking 57th.  Sparks clocked a time of 25:19.5.  Juniors Zack Sims and Brendan Hoban were the final two Georgia scorers on Minnesota's golf course.  Sims took 100th out of 246 runners with a time of 25:46.7 while Hoban was 138th with a 26:05.0.  Georgia returns to action at a pair of meets on Oct. 19 – Berry Invitational (Mt. Berry, Ga.) and Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Madison, Wisc.). Women - The Lady Bulldogs pulled out a 12th-place finish out of 28 teams with 381 points at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., two weeks ago. Junior Carly Hamilton finished first for the Lady Bulldogs for the eighth consecutive meet that she has competed in.  The Springboro, Ohio, native clocked a 21:21.85 to take 19th and be the second runner from the SEC across the finish line.  Senior Nicole DiMercurio was next across the line after taking 75th with a 6k time of 22:21.25.  This finish came nearly a month after DiMercurio opened her final season by winning the Georgia Cross Country Invitational.  Senior Savannah Kirk was the third finisher for the Georgia women with a 92nd-place finish (22:29.25).  The fourth finisher for the Lady Bulldogs was junior Bret McDaniel.  Racing at her first meet of the year, McDaniel completed the course in 22:38.55 for 109th place.  Georgia's final scorer on the day was junior Erika Ramsey after she finished in 22:51.25 for 132nd place.  The Lady Bulldogs split up for their next meets and either return to action at the Berry Invitational (Mt. Berry, Ga.) or the Wisconsin adidas Invitational (Madison, Wisc.) on Oct. 19.


    The UK women's cross country team was the top-NCAA team finisher, and No. 2 team overall with 130 points on Saturday at the Greater Louisville Classic. Seniors Cally Macumber and Allison Peare posted top-10 finishes, Nos. 2 and 7 respectively, with times of 16:57.75 and 17:24.67.  Macumber continues to own the SEC’s top 5K time: 16:32.11, which she ran on Sept. 14 at the Bluegrass Invitational. She has the only two sub-17 minute 5K times in the conference this season. Peare has the No. 3 5K time in the conference: 17:11.08. The UK men's team placed 27th overall on 688 points. MacKay Wilson was UK's top finisher in 42nd (37 points) with a time of 25:28.89. Freshman Cassidy Hale turned in a top-10 performance in her hometown with a 17th-place time of 17.40.77. Kentucky will return to action for the last race of the regular season, the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 19.


    The Tigers and Lady Tigers finished 11th and ninth, respectively, Saturday at the Chile Pepper Festival at Agri Park. Men – Junior William Wiesler scored a team-low 53 points, crossing the finish line at 26 minutes, 40.7 seconds. The Tigers finished with a team total of 316 points. Juniors Philip Dempsey (27:00.0), Bryan Mutell (27:06.9) and Philip Primeaux (27:24.6) followed Wiesler as the team’s second, third and fourth-place finishers in the men’s race. Women – Junior Andi Aguilar clocked 18:39.5, leading the Lady Tigers for the third straight contest. The Lady Tigers finished with 254 points. Other top finishers for the Lady Tigers included redshirt freshman Chaiss Matthews (19:45.6) and freshman Ashley Welbourn (19:45.8). Freshmen Danielle Avery (20:32.1) and Welbourn eclipsed their previous personal bests at the Festival Saturday.

    Ole Miss

    Men – Ole Miss competed in Earlysville, Va., at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational two weeks ago.  The Rebels finished in 12th place against some of the top competition in the country. Sophomore Ian Carter, who has led Ole Miss in every race this year, crossed the line in an 8K personal-best 24:54.4 and placed 50th individually. Other runners competing for the Rebels included Max Holman, Robert Domanic, Trevor Gilley, Jon Luke Watts, Ryan Smith and Will Spiers. The average time of the Rebel men improved from 26:24.15 at the Commodore Classic to 25:33.24 this week in Virginia. Ole Miss returns to action on Oct. 19 at the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. Women – The Rebel women turned in an impressive fifth-place finish at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational in Earlysville, Va., two weeks ago. They finished ahead of the only other SEC competition, Auburn, in the meet. Ole Miss was led by freshman Michaela Quinn, who placed seventh individually with a strong 17:11.9 5K in her collegiate debut. Junior Haley Cutright was not far behind with a strong 15th-place finish in 17:29.4. Other Rebel runners included Annie Kelly, Kayleigh Skinner, McKenna Coughlin, Saga Barzowski and Amy McCrory, as the Rebels competed at their most challenging meet of the season to date. Ole Miss returns to action on Oct. 19 at the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind.

    Mississippi State

    After collecting a pair of team wins at the Charlotte Invitational on Sept. 28, the Mississippi State cross country squads have continued preparation for their short trip east on Oct. 18. In two weeks, the Bulldogs will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Crimson Classic. Coach Houston Franks' teams picked up third-place finishes at last year's Alabama-hosted event, and they are taking advantage of this training time to prepare for conference action. Franks said his runners are focusing on quick leg turnovers and getting the top five closer together. MSU cross country's meet in Tuscaloosa will serve as the last battle on the course prior to this year's Southeastern Conference Championships slated for Nov. 1 in Gainesville, Fla.


    It was another big meet weekend for the Tigers as they travelled to South Bend, IN, for the Notre Dame Invitational.  Men – The Mizzou men came away with some key Regional wins, beating out Illinois, Loyola, and Southern Illinois to place 11th overall in the meet.  They were led by freshman T.J. Carey, who placed 30th in the competitive field with a final time of 25:24.7 on the five-mile course.  This was Carey’s second race as a Tiger after placing second for the squad at the Roy Griak Invitational.  Next up for the Tigers was junior Sam Dickerson, followed by freshman Jordan Cook, sophomore Evan Chiplock, and freshman Dan Roe.  Women – The Tiger women placed 18th among several of the top-ranked teams in the nation.  Junior Liz Reida returned to the course for the first time this season to lead the Tigers with her 49th-place finish.  Just behind her was freshman Kaitlyn Fischer, who had led the Tigers in the first two races of the season.  Third in for the black and gold was junior Courtney Brown, then sophomore Sam Garrett and freshman Kaelyn Balch.  The Tigers will have a busy weekend in two weeks as the women travel to the Bradley Invitational in Peoria, IL, and the men head up to Madison, WI, for the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational.

    South Carolina

    The Gamecocks won their final home meet of the season, the Gamecock Invitational #2, behind strong performances from a pair of sophomores. Brandy Wybersky posted a 11:54.03 two-mile time to finish second overall and help the Gamecocks claim the race. Fellow sophomores Allie Whitley (4th, 12:05.96) and Alex Mullin (5th, 12:11.33) joined Wybersky in the top five as well. South Carolina takes on a good field in the Royals Cross Country Challenge in Charlotte on Friday afternoon, sending 16 runners to compete in the 5K event.


    The Tennessee men's and women's cross country team was back in action this weekend at the Greater Louisville Classic in Kentucky. Peter Okwera led the way for the Vols, winning his second individual title of the year as he held off Louisville's Ernest Kibet to take the 8K race in 24:20.39. The men's team finished second among D1 schools and fourth overall. Stephen Derlath was 10th (25:07.75) and Austin Whitelaw was 17th (25:17.40). On the women's side, sophomore Alexis Panisse again led the way with a fourth-place finish in the 5K (17:23.50). The UT runners placed in the women's top 25, with Chelsea Blaase in 19th (17:54.88) and Emily Williams was 21st (17:55.48).  The women's team finished sixth. Tennessee will be back in action in two weeks with the men traveling to the Wisconsin adidas Invitational, and the women at  the Crimson Classic at Alabama.

    Texas A&M

    Following a week in which the Aggies challenged ranked teams from the South and Southeast regions at the Greater Louisville Classic, Texas A&M faces South Central region teams at the Houston Baptist Invitational on Friday in Houston, Texas. Men - Isaac Spencer paced the men’s team with an overall ninth-place effort as he ran 24:44.86 on the 8,000-meter course, which placed him fifth among Division I competition. The Aggies were 11th overall (338 points) in team scoring, finishing sixth (202 points) among Division I squads. Freshman Austin Wells was the next A&M runner to finish, placing 41st among the Division I field with a time of 25:44.16. Three more Aggie frosh followed as Cameron Villarreal (25:52.29), Colin Stoeber (26:04.92) and Ryan Teel (26:06.45) completed the scoring for A&M in places 50-63-65. Women - The Aggie women’s team tied Kentucky for top team honors among the Division I schools competing at the Greater Louisville Classic on the E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park this past weekend. Both squads scored 92 points among Division I teams. They were separated by just one point among all competing teams at the meet with Kentucky holding a 130-131 edge as the two schools placed second and third overall behind Guelph of Canada. Hillary Montgomery led the A&M crew by placing 10th with a time of 17:26.90 on the 5,000-meter course with freshman Karis Jochen finishing 15th with a time of 17:36.02. Among Division I teams Montgomery and Jochen were seventh and ninth, respectively. Sophie Blake (17:44.11) and Grace Fletcher (17:51.05) placed 12th and 15th while Amanda Jenkins (18:28.30) was the fifth scorer in 49th place.


    Vanderbilt's No. 26 women's cross country team placed 13th in the gold division of the Greater Louisville Classic on Saturday with the men's squad placing fourth in the blue division. The Commodores were led by Amira Joseph, making her 2013 debut, running 18:05.13 over the 5K course for a 40th place finish. Vanderbilt sent only five runners to Louisville to comprise a scoring team with Katherine Delaney (18:18.13), Reagan Anderson (18:39.96), Megan Yohe (19:02.06) and Kara Slavoski (19:22.08) following Joseph across the line. In the men's 8K race, the Commodores put together a solid effort to place fourth in the blue division. John Ewing led the way running 26:22.09 to place 30th overall. Freshman Jake Van Geffen ran another steady race with a time of 26:43.93 to be the Dores' second finisher. Matthew Cleveland (27:11.96), Andrew Fix (27:21.37) and Nick French (27:25.56) rounded out VU's scoring squad. Andrew Bachman (27:53.58) and Sam Reilly (28:05.25) followed by Sam Andrews (28:47.89) and Dan Henderson (30:27.90) completing the Commodores' team. Both teams return to action in two weeks with the women's team sending runners to the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on October 19 and both the men's and women's team sending runners to the Crimson Classic on October 18.