Alabama Hosts SEC Cross Country Meet

The University of Alabama plays host to the 2014 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships at the Harry Pritchett Running Park in Tuscaloosa Friday. The women will race in the 6k at 9 a.m. CDT), while the men’s 8k begin at 10 a.m.

Alabama has played host to the men’s championships four times since 1972 and the women’s championships twice since 1988. Admission is free and the event is open to the general public

The Alabama women’s team moved up two slots to third in the USTFCCCA South Regional rankings released October 20 after falling to fifth briefly before its win at home in the Crimson Classic. The men are ranked 10th in the latest USTFCCCA South Region rankings (Oct. 20).

Alabama Coach Dan Waters said, “Each race we’ve entered this year has prepared us for this championship. The athletes have shown great fitness and motivation throughout the season, which gives the coaching staff a lot of confidence going into this weekend.”

At last year’s SEC championship in Gainesville, hosted by the University of Florida, the women’s squad finished sixth, led by then-sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf, who finished ninth individually. Then-junior Matt Airola led the men to an 11th place finish.

After a first-place finish at the Crimson Classic on October 17, the women’s cross country team has won three of four races entered this season. They enter the SEC Championships with wins at the Samford Dual, the Asheville Cross Carnival and the Crimson Classic, coupled with a top-10 finish at the competitive Paul Short Invitational.

Alabama cross country teams have won a total of five Southeastern Conference team titles (three men’s titles, two women’s team titles) and produced 12 SEC individual champions (eight men, four women). The Crimson Tide has won men’s team titles in 1973, 2008 and 2009 while the women won team crowns in 1986 and 1987. The great David Kimani won SEC men’s titles for Alabama in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Other Tide individual men’s winners were Robert Peete (1959-60), Steve Bolt (1976), German Beltran (1988) and Emmanuel Bor (2007). For the women, Evelyn Adiru won the individual title in 1985 and 1987 before Carole Trepanier took the title in 1988.

Today’s meet marks the fifth time the SEC championships have been hosted at the Harry Pritchett Running Course. Previous years are as follows: 1972 (M), 1979 (M), 1988 (M&W) and 2000 (M&W). In 2000, the Tide men finished second behind Arkansas. Alabama’s David Kimani was the top individual finisher, while the women finished 5th.

Alabama’s men’s team has won SEC championships in 1973, 2008, and 2009. The women won in 1986 and 1987.

Alabama men who have won individual championships are Robert Peete in 1959 and 1960, Steve Bolt in 1976, German Beltran in 1988, David Kimani in 2000, 2001, and 2002, and Emmanuel Bor in 2007. Past Tide women who were individual champions are Evelyn Adiru in 1985 and 1987, Carole Trepanier in 1988, and Becki Wells in 1993.

Following the SEC Championship meets, the Tide will travel to Tallahassee, Fla., for the NCAA South Regional Championship hosted by Florida State on Friday, Nov. 14.

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