Kimani captures SEC cross-country title

AUBURN, AL -- In impressive fashion, the University of Alabama's David Kimani ran a relaxed race as he successfully defended his Southeastern Conference cross country championship, posting a mark of 23:46.93, his fastest time of the season.

"I tried to run as composed as I could," said Kimani, who has spent the last two weeks running in water to help rehab an injured Achilles heel. "I expected the race to go till the last and was surprised that there was such a large gap."

Kimani, who has placed first in every race he has competed in at Alabama the last two seasons with the exception of one, beat his 2000 SEC Championship time by over 33 seconds.

"David was very relaxed out there," said Alabama men's cross country coach Joe Walker. "He controlled the race when he needed to and at about the four-mile mark he put it in cruise control on into the finish."

Kimani crosses the finish line.

As a team, the Crimson Tide posted their second straight runner-up finish in the SEC Championships, finishing with 85 points, 61 behind first place Arkansas.

"We were picked to finish second at the beginning of the season," said Walker. "So realistically that's where we should have finished and we found a way to do that today."

Also scoring for the Tide were Japheth Koech (24:50.00) who finished 12th earning All-SEC honors, Joseph Herring (25:25.57) at 21st, Todd Fayant (25:33.46), Peter Kiprono (25:34.33) and Troy Henderson (25:34.81), who finished 25th, 26th and 27th and Matt Legrand (25:38.71) who placed 30th. Kevin McDonough (25:46.17) placed 34th but did not score for Alabama.

In action on the women's side, Virnetta Greene (20:56.66) placed 30th for the Tide while Aly Mills (21:11.09) finished in 34th place as Bama finished 10th.

"I thought overall we competed well," said Alabama women's coach Steve Keith. "Our focus was to be as competitive as possible. This was definitely a learning experience for the younger runners."

Both squads will be in action again on Saturday, November 10 when Alabama hosts the NCAA South Region meet at Harry Pritchett Golf Course.


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