UA Cross Country Hosts Crimson Classic

The Alabama men's and women's cross country teams will host more than 25 collegiate squads in Tuscaloosa for the its annual Crimson Classic meet. Races begin Saturday at 8:30 a.m. on the Harry Pritchett Course. The women's race is the Power of Pink event to coincide with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and help generate awareness for the early detection and prevention of the disease.

"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this year's Power of Pink initiative," Alabama Cross Country Coach Dan Waters said. "It is an honor to be able to use our sport to generate awareness in the fight against breast cancer and support those directly affected by this disease."

The meet is also the last of the season before both teams travel to Knoxville, Tenn., for the SEC Championships. With 400 more runners in this year's Crimson Classic compared to last year, the deep field should give both teams a great challenge before the championship meet.

"This is a great fall classic," Waters said. "We're looking forward to running in front of our home fans and getting to show off our fitness level at this time of the season."

The men's squad, ranked 10th in the South Region, will hit the course first at 8:30 a.m. for the men's 8-kilmoter race. The men's field will feature 22 schools including nine teams that are ranked in their respective regions. Of those nine teams, three are ranked in the top 10 of the South Region.

The women's 5-kilometer race will follow the men's race at 9:10 a.m. The Tide, ranked ninth in the South Region, will host a field that includes 26 schools and eight squads that are ranked regionally.

"Each week we have something we want to accomplish as a team," Waters said. "This week, we want to establish ourselves as a super-competitive team, and that you're going to have to run really hard to beat us."

In its last meet, the men's team came in at 19th overall at the Greater Louisville Classic with two of its top runners, Carison Kemei and Oliver Blake, both being held out of the race due to injury. The women's squad had all five scorers run season bests and with two notching career bests.

After the collegiate races, there will be a pair of high school races and an open community run on the course. The high school boys' 5-kilometer race will begin at 9:45 a.m. followed by the girls' 5-kilometer at 10:15 a.m. The community run, a 5-klometer race open to the public will start at 11 a.m.

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