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    SEC Cross Country Weekly Notebook

    SEC Cross Country Weekly Notebook (Nov. 13, 2013)

    Alabama

    The University of Alabama men’s and women’s cross country teams host the NCAA South Regional Championship Friday, Nov. 15, at the Harry Pritchett Running Park. More than 45 schools from around the South will compete at the event. The men’s 10-kilometer race will start at 10 a.m. Central Time (CT), while the women will run a 6-kilometer at 11:15 a.m. CT. The two top teams from each of the nine regions will automatically advance to the NCAA Championships to be held on Nov. 15 in Terre Haute, Ind. The men’s and women’s cross country teams began the championship portion of their schedule as the women’s team earned sixth place and the men’s team finished 11th at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championships held at the Mark Bostick Golf Course and hosted by the University of Florida. After a first-place finish at the Crimson Classic on October 18, the Crimson Tide women’s cross country team has won three of the first four races entered this season (Samford Dual, Iowa Black and Gold Invitational and Crimson Classic). They finished sixth at the SEC Championships, the women’s highest finish since equaling that mark in 2011. Through four meets in the 2013 season, sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf has been the top finisher for the women’s cross country team three times. The native of St. Petersburg, Fla. has also been a runner-up finisher overall in three separate races as well (Samford Dual, Iowa Black & Gold and the Crimson Classic). Greenleaf has the 17th fastest 6-kilometer time in the SEC, coupled with the seventh-fastest 4k time in the conference. Greenleaf was the top UA finisher at the SEC Championships, as well. With a ninth place finish and a time of 20:44.23, she earned Second Team All-SEC honors. Greenleaf is the first Crimson Tide women’s cross country athlete to earn either first- or second-team All-SEC honors since 2008 and she narrowly missed becoming the Tide’s first athlete since 2000 to earn first-team All-SEC status as the top seven finishers earn that accolade and she was a mere 8.4 seconds behind the seventh-place finisher.

    Arkansas

    Men - The No. 9 University of Arkansas men’s cross country team will travel to Waco, Texas, to compete in the 2013 NCAA South Central Regional Championships on Friday. The men’s 10k Championship race is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. The Razorbacks are coming into the race after winning the program’s 21st Southeastern Conference (SEC) Championship with a 1-2-3 finish scoring 31 points for the meet. Senior Kemoy Campbell and Bucknam were named the SEC Runner and Coach of the Year, respectively, after the race. Campbell led the Razorbacks at the SEC Championship and went on to finish in a meet-record time of 22:58.73, beating the previous record held by Arkansas’ Josphat Boit in 2004 with a time of 23:09.91. His time was also a course record at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla., besting the previous time of 23:34.0. The Razorbacks will now hunt for their 33rd NCAA Regional Championships title Bucknam has earned two regional titles during his tenure at Arkansas with both of them being earned in Waco. The program has also seen 19 indvidual NCAA Regional Champions, including All-American Dorian Ulrey who won the 2009 title under the leadership of coach Bucknam. Arkansas returns All-Region performers in Solomon Haile, David Flynn and Campbell. Women - The three-time reigning regional champion No. 3 Razorbacks look to continue its 31 year consecutive streak of qualifying for the NCAA Championships by competing in the 2013 NCAA South Central Regional Championships in Waco, Texas on Friday. The women’s 6k Championship race is slated for an 11:15 a.m. start. The Razorbacks enter the race after capturing the program’s 14th Southeastern Conference title in overwhelming fashion. Sophomore Dominique Scott crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 20:02.81 for the third-fastest time ever at the meet to lead a 1-2-3 finish and ensure the Razorbacks’ 14th title. After the meet, Scott and Harter were awarded the SEC Runner and Coach of the year, respectively. The Razorbacks scored 32 points at the meet to give them the largest margin of victory ever at the SEC Championships with second-place Texas A&M scoring 123 points. Arkansas has seen 17 NCAA Regional Championship titles in program history as well as nine individual championships from six different Razorbacks. Arkansas returns All-Region performers from 2012 in Grace Heymsfield, Diane Robison, Paige Johnston and Shannon Klenke.

    Auburn

    Men - The Auburn men enter the 2013 NCAA South Regionals ranked fourth in the USTFCCCA South Region rankings. Auburn’s best South Regional finish was second in 2008. The Tigers last competed at the SEC Championships on Nov. 1, where they finished sixth. Juniors Ty McCormack and Kane Grimster led the Tigers with a sixth and ninth place finish, respectively. McCormack earned first-team All-SEC honors, while Grimster was a second-team member. McCormack, who transferred to Auburn this season after running at Clemson previously, has won two races this season, winning the Crimson Classic on Oct. 18, which is host to this weekend’s regional. McCormack also won the Georgia State Invite on Sept. 20. He has been the Auburn men’s top finisher in all four meets he’s competed this fall.  Women - The Auburn men enter the 2013 NCAA South Regionals ranked 11th in the USTFCCCA South Region rankings. Auburn’s highest finish ever at the South Regional was fourth in 2002 and 2003. The Tigers last competed at the SEC Championships on Nov. 1, where they finished 13th. Freshman Rachel Givens led Auburn at SECs, finishing 28th in 21:27.78. Givens earned Freshman All-SEC honors for her efforts. The women’s team has been led all year by Givens and fellow freshman Veronica Eder as the duo have been the team’s top two finishers in all six meets this season. Eder has been Auburn’s top finisher at the Trojan Invite (Aug. 30), Mountain Dew Invite (Sept. 14) and the Crimson Classic (Oct. 18), while Givens was the Tigers’ leader at the Georgia State Invite (Sept. 20), the Panorama Farms Invite (Sept. 28) and Southeastern Conference Championships (Nov. 1).

    Florida

    At the 2013 SEC Championships for Florida, junior Jimmy Clark turned in a fifth-place 8K finish on the men’s side (23:57.03) and senior Agata Strausa clocked a fourth-place and personal best 6K race (20:17.79) for the Gator women to lead UF’s cross country teams to second (96) and fourth-place finishes (150), respectively, at SECs on their home course November 1. In addition to Strausa’s personal best performance, freshman Carlos Miranda clocked a lifetime-best mark in his first SEC Championships as the men’s squad made it 17 straight years of top-five finishes, 12 of those top-three finishes. Florida last finished second on the men’s side in 2011. For Florida’s women, the fourth-place finish Friday was the Gators’ 10th straight season as a top-five finisher at the league championships. Five Florida student-athletes earned 2013 All-SEC honors: Jimmy Clark (First), Mark Parrish (Second), Eddie Garcia (Second), Carlos Miranda (All-Freshman), Agata Strausa (First). Next up, the Orange and Blue will head to the 2013 NCAA South Region Championship in Tuscaloosa Nov. 15, where both teams will be looking for top two regional finishes in order to solidify automatic team bids to the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., Nov. 23. Florida enters regionals ranked No. 1 in the region on the men’s side and No. 2 in the region in the women’s USTFCCCA south region rankings. Last year, UF’s men finished third in the South Region Championships, leading current senior Mark Parrish and junior Jimmy Clark to NCAA individual at-large bids for the national championship race. Parrish finished 174th in the field, Clark 196th. The Gators last qualified as a team for nationals on the men’s side in 2011 and last won regionals in 1990. On the women’s side, UF placed fourth at the South Region Championship and picked up an NCAA automatic team bid. The Gators then turned in a 23rd-place finish at 2012 nationals. Florida last won the south regional in 2009, when they went on to finish a program-best seventh at NCAAs. Florida’s last men’s regional champion was Steve Zieminski in 2004, while Rebecca Lowe won for UF on the women’s side in 2009.

    Georgia

    Men - The Bulldogs, who are ranked second in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) poll, travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the NCAA South Regional Championships on Friday, Nov. 15.  Georgia takes on the field at 11 a.m. ET in its first 10k of the season.  The two top teams from each of the nine regions will automatically advance to the national meet.  Individually, the top four finishers who are not on a qualifying team (automatic or at-large) will also receive an invitation to the NCAA Championships.  In addition, there will be a number of at-large bids for teams and individuals. The Bulldogs are coming off a third-place finish at the SEC Championships in Gainesville, Fla., on Nov. 1.  Senior Luke Baker took fourth overall in the 8k race to lead Georgia for the second consecutive race as fellow senior Brandon Lord also finished in the top 20 individually (17th).  Senior Charlie Sparks, sophomore Sid Vaughn and junior Zack Sims rounded out the five scores for the Bulldogs in their first postseason action.  In 2012, Georgia had a record-breaking six runners earn All-Region honors as they all finished in the top 21.  The Bulldogs earned a runner-up team finish to advance to their second consecutive NCAA Championships.  Lord topped his teammates with a third-place finish as seniors Brett Richardson (eighth) and Brian Detweiler (10th) also wrapped up their race in the top-10.  Baker is also a returning scorer at Regionals after taking 15th. Women - The Georgia women head into the NCAA South Regional Championships with the hopes of surging into a top-three finish as they did in 2012.  The Lady Bulldogs take the 6k course in Tuscaloosa, Ala., at 12:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 as the ninth-ranked team in the South Region poll.  Last year, the Georgia women turned a sixth-place finish at the SEC Championships into a third-place finish at the Regionals to clinch their first trip to the NCAA Championships since 2007.  In fact, both the Lady Bulldogs and the Georgia men advanced to the national meet in 2012, marking the first simultaneous showing for UGA since 2004.  Junior Carly Hamilton was fourth at last year's Regional to lead her teammates.  Hamilton is one of the frontrunners again this year, despite having to pull out of the last two races.  Junior Bret McDaniel is another returning scorer after crossing the finish line last year in 26th place while another current Lady Bulldog, senior Nicole DiMercurio, scored with a 36th-place finish.  Georgia is coming off an 11th-place finish at the SEC Championships.  Without Hamilton's finish, McDaniel led the way in 18th place as DiMercurio was 38th.  Senior Stella Christoforou, junior Erika Ramsey and senior Savannah Kirk rounded out the scorers.

    Kentucky

    Kentucky enters the 2013 NCAA Southeast Regional led by Cally Macumber, who will look to defend the title she won a year ago at the same meet. Macumber has enjoyed a strong 2013 campaign, having recently been named First Team All-SEC for the second straight season. Macumber placed seventh at the SEC Championships with a time of 20:35.82. She has won two meets this season and placed inside the top-10 at every race she has competed in during the 2013 cross country season. Matt Hillenbrand picked up Second-Team All-SEC honors as he finished 12th overall in 24:17.19 at SECs. He has now earned All-SEC honors in three straight seasons taking into account the 2013 indoor and outdoor track and field seasons. Cassidy Hale was a SEC All-Freshman Team selection, as she was the No. 5 first-year runner to cross the finish line at the conference meet, 26th overall in 21:22.42. The newcomer has adjusted nicely to collegiate competition in 2013 having also produced top-30 performances, at the Bluegrass Invitational and Cowboy Jamboree earlier this season. Both UK teams took significant steps forward during The Southeastern Conference Championships at Florida. The women's team finished third, earning its highest conference meet placement since coming in second at the 2002 meet. Macumber, Allison Peare and Anna Bostrom were all All-Southeast Region selections last year. The UK women placed fifth at the SEC Championships last year.  The men's team battled to place fifth overall, which was one spot better than the previous season. The Wildcats continued to grow as a team at the SEC Championships as the women's team worked well together late to close out the race near one another as UK's Nos. 2-4 finishers. Peare was 23rd in 21:17.83, while Bostrom and Hale were 25th and 26th respectively with times 21:20.01 of 21:22.42. Adam Kahleifeh was UK's No. 2 finisher at SEC's placing 16th overall in his final SEC cross country race, with a time of 24:27.34. MacKay Wilson was the third Wildcat to come in, clocking a time of 25:04.36 for 36th.

    LSU

    Junior Philip Primeaux led his squad to a 12th-place finish, while sophomore Morgan Schuetz ran a personal best as the top women’s finisher at the Southeastern Conference Championships at Mark Bostic Golf Course. The Tigers and Lady Tigers welcomed eight members, four from each squad, to personal bests. Including Primeaux, junior William Wiesler (25:56.18), redshirt freshman Kevin Kirchner (28:51.95) and freshman Joseph St. Cyr (26:50.08) achieved this feat on the men’s squad. Joining Schuetz on the women’s side to accomplish personal records were redshirt freshmen Meghan Charbonnet (23:59.53) and Chaiss Matthews (23:47.93) and freshman Ashley Welborn (23:46.32). Men – Following Primeaux, the top finishers for the Tigers included Wiesler (70th), St. Cyr (97th) and sophomore Travis Pope (100th) at 27:00.65. Women - Welborn (103rd), Matthews (104th) and junior Andria Aguilar (105th) followed Schuetz to the finish line on the women’s side. The Tigers and Lady Tigers will travel west to Waco, Texas, where they will compete in the NCAA South Central Regional on Nov. 15.

    Ole Miss

    Men - The Ole Miss men turn their attention toward the Nov. 15 NCAA South Regional after they earned a 10th-place result at the SEC Championships in Gainesville, Fla. The Rebels were led by solid performances in the 8K from junior Max Holman, who placed 38th with a time of 25:06.53, and sophomore Ian Carter, who came in 39th at 25:06.67. Trevor Gilley earned SEC All-Freshman honors by placing 45th with a time of 25:20.96 (fifth-best among freshmen). Ole Miss will send a squad to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Nov. 15, looking to improve upon their 13th place finish a year ago. Women - The Ole Miss women are ranked sixth in this week’s USTFCCCA South Region poll after turning in a ninth-place finish at the SEC Championships in Gainesville, Fla. They will next compete on Nov. 15 at the NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in hopes of earning their first ever team berth in the NCAA Championships. The Rebels were led at the SEC Championships by junior Haley Cutright, whose 11th-place result was tied for second-best in school history and earned her All-SEC second team honors. She finished with a 6K time of 20:46.64 that was the second straight meet in which she has cracked 21 minutes. Sophie Linn earned SEC All-Freshman accolades with a 24th-place overall finish in 21:18.87 (fourth-best among freshmen). Ole Miss placed fifth at last year’s NCAA South Regional, with senior Katie Breathitt capturing sixth place individually and earning the first-ever bid to the NCAA Championships by an Ole Miss female.

    Mississippi State

    After exceeding preseason expectations at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championships in Gainesville, Fla., Mississippi State looks to capitalize on an even greater opportunity this Friday at the NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Tide-hosted event will include nearly 50 schools from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee, including seven other Southeastern Conference squads. MSU notched a pair of Top 10 scores at the SEC Championships, with the Lady Bulldogs finishing 10th and the men completing the day in ninth place. Both squads recorded higher finishes than numerous SEC teams they will compete against in Tuscaloosa. At the conference championship, the MSU men placed ahead of SEC foes Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. The Lady Bulldogs’ execution of strong pack running landed them above rivals Auburn, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina. Of those opponents MSU out-scored in Gainesville, Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt will be seen again on Friday. John Valentine and Emma Neigel have remained constant fixtures atop the Bulldog leaderboard this season. They both entered the SEC Championships claiming the top times for the Maroon and White in their respective events, and continued that theme as they led the way for their squads last weekend. Action at the Harry Pritchett Running Park will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. with the men’s 10K, followed by the women’s 6K at 11:15 a.m.

    Missouri

    The University of Missouri is set to compete at the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships this Friday, hosted by Iowa State in Ames, IA.  The men are going into the meet after a fourth-place finish at the SEC Championship, a placing that they will hope to improve upon this weekend as they set their sights at the top two slots and a spot at the NCAA Championships.  Back in uniform for the Tigers is All-SEC Second Team finisher, junior Sam Dickerson, along with All-SEC Freshman Team finishers Dan Roe and Drew White, and SEC Freshman of the Year T.J. Carey.  The women are looking to continue their string of impressive performances, the most recent of which had them finishing seventh at the SEC Championship.  Back in action after leading the Tigers in Gainesville is freshman Kaitlyn Fischer, who not only earned an All-SEC First Team recognition but joins classmate T.J. Carey as SEC Freshman of the Year.  The men will kick off the day at the Iowa State Cross Country Course at noon with the 10k, followed by the women's 6k at 1:15 p.m. CST.

    South Carolina

    South Carolina saw two of its runners turn in impressive outings in the SEC Championships. Mary Reiser became the third Gamecock to earn SEC All-Freshman Team accolades, finishing 33rd in the meet with her personal-best 6K time of 21:33.77, nearly 20 seconds faster than her top time from two weeks earlier. The second Gamecock across the line, she worked her way through the field to take the final spot on the All-Freshman squad. Resier's day only slightly overshadowed the amazing outing by junior Meredith Mill, who finished one spot from an award on the day in 15th but still claimed an amazing mark. Mill posted the fourth-fastest 6K in South Carolina history, crossing the finish line at 20:57.38, knocking over 23 seconds off her previous-best mark from the Indiana State race. Senior Penny Boswell capped the highlights for the Gamecocks, as she posted her best 6K of the season in Gainesville, Fla. South Carolina heads to the NCAA Southeast Regional, hosted by the University of Virginia on Fri., Nov. 15.

    Tennessee

    The Tennessee men's and women's cross country teams are gearing up for this weekend's NCAA South Regional Championships. The women's team has been steadily rising up the USTFCCCA South Region rankings this season, moving up four spots to No. 5 heading into the Friday race. The men are ranked seventh, near where they have been all season. On the women's side, the Lady Vols are led on the course by sophomores Chelsea Blaase and Alexis Panisse. Blaase placed 10th at the SEC meet to earn second-team All-Conference honors. Panisse just missed All-SEC honors, taking 17th in the race. Junior Peter Okwera led the men once again. He finished seventh at the meet and was named first-team All-SEC. Daniel Tobin was 20th, his best career finish at the conference meet. Last season, Okwera earned All-Region honors and a spot to run individually at the NCAA Championships.

    Texas A&M

    The Aggies will travel to nearby Waco for the South Central region meet, which will be held Friday, Nov. 15, on the Cottonwood Creek Golf Course. SEC foe Arkansas enters the meet ranked No. 1 among both the men and women in the region rankings while Texas A&M women are No. 2 and the Aggie men are No. 5. The A&M men will race over a distance of 10,000 meters at the South Central region meet while the Aggie women remain at their 6,000-meter distance. Men - Texas A&M tied for seventh in the SEC Championships as with 187 points as Isaac Spencer led the group with a 14th place finish (24:22.53) on the 8,000-meter course. Cameron Villarreal (24:55.03) and Xavier Jimenez (25:23.45) each earned a place on the All-SEC Freshman team as the second and third Aggie finishers, placing 28th and 46th overall. Villarreal was the second freshman finisher in the race. Rounding out the A&M scoring squad were Austin Geerts (47th, 25:29.37) and Ryan Teel (54th, 25:35.72). Women - A historic finish for the Texas A&M women had them placing second to Arkansas with a score of 123 points. The performance was the best ever finish by an Aggie women’s cross country team in a conference meet. After previously being among teams receiving votes in the national rankings, the A&M women were tied for 28th when the USTFCCCA National Coaches top 30 poll was released this past week. It marks the first national ranking for the Aggies since 2003. Hillary Montgomery, Karis Jochen and Grace Fletcher led the A&M effort during the SEC meet as they placed eighth (20:39.32), 13th (20:53.33) and 19th (21:10.83). Montgomery and Jochen earned All-SEC honors while Jochen also made the All-SEC Freshman team as the second best frosh in the field. Rounding out the Aggie scoring squad were Sophie Blake (41st, 21:44.88) and Amanda Jenkins (44th, 21:47.40).  

    Vanderbilt

    Vanderbilt’s men’s and women’s teams will send eight runners each to the NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. this weekend. The Commodores’ women’s squad is led by senior Liz Anderson, who is coming off her best race of the season. Anderson placed fifth overall at the SEC Championships two weeks ago in Gainesville, Fla. to earn first team All-SEC honors. Joining Anderson in Tuscaloosa this weekend will be juniors Rebecca Chandler, Claire Benjamin and Amira Joseph, sophomore Vanessa Valentine and freshmen Carmen Carlos, Reagan Anderson and Lily Williams. On the men’s side, junior John Ewing leads the way. Ewing was the Dores’ top placed finisher at the SEC Championships two weeks ago and has been the top Commodore in all but one race this season. Freshman Jake Van Geffen finished second for Vandy in Gainesville and is scheduled to make his NCAA Regional debut in Tuscaloosa, his first collegiate 10K race. Senior David McAdams joins juniors Andrew Bachman and Matthew Cleveland and sophomores Andrew Fix, Nick French and Sam Reilly to round out the Dores' squad.