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

Denton leads team into SEC championship

Senior runner Elsbeth Denton is regaining speed after a junior season that was harbored by health issues.

“The fact that she’s healthy, that she’s got all the pieces of the puzzle back together and she’s running great and enjoying it, it’s where you’re going to see great strides and great breakthroughs,” head coach Dan Waters said. “Almost every single time she’s been on the course this year, we’ve seen her make big strides and breakthrough.”

This is the second year the cross country coaching staff has been with Denton during her career.

“She’s taking better care of herself; she’s paying attention to a lot more of the little details,” assistant distance coach Adam Tribble said. “She’s coming at it this fall with a renewed since of purpose and determination of really trying to go out on the best note that she can and to really leave her mark in this last season of collegiate eligibility.”

She is the lone senior on the cross country team on both the men’s and women’s side, leaving her to be a leader by default.

“I’ve gotten to know [my younger teammates] pretty well and they’re a fun group and they’ve made it more refreshing to run,” Denton said. “…We have these new girls and they’re always ready to do their best. I just try to give them the best advice that I can.”

Last season, the Vestavia Hills, Ala., native did not have any finishes. This year Denton has finished in the top-10 in two of the team’s four races. She started off the season with a fifth-place finish at the Crimson Tide Kick Off where the women’s team finished in first.

Denton went on to lead the women’s team at the Commodore classic in Nashville, Tenn. She was the first Alabama runner to cross the finish line and placed 22nd overall as the team came in fifth place overall.

The Tide also saw Denton as one of the team’s top finishers at the Notre Dame Invitational.

In her last home race, Denton came in sixth place at the Crimson Classic helping the women’s team win its second straight. She ran a 17:51.98 on the 5-kilometer course in front of family and friends. Denton’s sixth-place finish was an improvement from 29th placed last year.

“I’ve been running this race since middle school,” Denton said. “You just get very nervous. My goal was to stay calm and know that I’m a senior and I’ve run this course a million times.”

“Her focus and her desire right now, compared to last year, is infinitely greater and that’s really good to see,” Tribble said. “It’s been exciting that she’s really embraced her [senior year].”

Denton will lead a gradually improving cross country program to the SEC Championships in Nashville this weekend starting Oct. 26.

“I expect personal best and everything as she goes through the last few meets of the season,” Waters said. “She has great focus right now. It’s a testament to who she is as a person that she is going to continue to give every best effort all the way through and complete her career at Alabama on a very high note.”


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