Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tide gears up for first SEC competition

The Alabama cross country teams will face their third test of the season this weekend when they participate in the 57th Annual Notre Dame Invitational.

The race will take place Friday, Sept. 28 at the Notre Dame golf course on the school’s campus in South Bend, Ind. Both teams will be running in the blue division races, beginning with the women’s race at 3:15 p.m.

The Crimson Tide is coming off its first SEC competition at the Commodore Classic in Nashville, Tenn., where the women’s and men’s teams finished in fifth and 15th place, respectively. Head coach Dan Waters attributes his teams’ results to their collegiate inexperience.

“We just can’t get around the fact that we’re young, and we’re just going to have to learn,” Waters said. “It’s just going to be part of our growing process.”

However, Waters said the structure of the course in South Bend will be great for the development of the Tide’s young runners and will help them better understand the elements of cross country. Notre Dame’s golf course – that serves as the school’s running course for cross country meets – is very flat, and Waters said jokingly that the desk in his office has more hills than the actual course.

“Typically this race goes out incredibly fast,” Waters said. “It’s a flatter, faster type of course. Our athletes are going to have to get accustomed to seeing a fast pace and be able to stay positive and still execute a race plan for the bottom half of the race.”

On top of the different course layout, the runners will also be facing a more diverse mixture of schools. The Notre Dame Invitational will host several Big Ten schools like Ohio State and Michigan, as well as Ivy League institutions like Columbia and Princeton.

The SEC will also be well-represented at the meet. Aside from Alabama, Mississippi State and Texas A&M will be running. Waters is glad to see a variety of competition for his growing team.

“It’s exactly what they need to see,” Waters said. “As we grow for the future, they need to know what’s out there, and they need to see the very best competition. That’s why it’s on the schedule.”

The youth and inexperience of the cross country roster is slowly diminishing with every meet, but for one runner, the Notre Dame Invitational will be his first taste of competition in the college ranks and in the United States.

Robbie Farnham-Rose, a freshman from Borough Green, England, will make his season debut for the Crimson Tide Friday.

Waters said choosing to run his newest athlete at this time was due to the flatter, faster type of course, which is something Farnham-Rose has had success running in the past. But the experience of running with some of the country’s best athletes can’t hurt either.

“It’s just an opportunity for him to compete and enjoy competing for the Crimson Tide,” Waters said.

For Farnham-Rose, this experience will be new for him. He is used to competing for a club team rather than a university, but he is looking forward to spending time with his new teammates on the road to Indiana.


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