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’s runners to compete in SEC Championships

The Alabama men’s and women’s cross-country teams will begin their postseason with the SEC Championships Friday.

The SEC and Vanderbilt University will host the event in Nashville, Tenn., at Percy Warner Park. The women’s 6k race will kick off at 10 a.m. CT, and the men will begin an 8k race at 11 a.m CT.

Head coach Dan Waters said the regular season was beneficial to the young Alabama runners.

“Boy, we did a lot of growing,” Waters said. “We had a lot of improvements and learned a lot about cross-country.”

With a team that is almost completely composed of freshmen, the 2012 season was an attempt to get young runners better acquainted with SEC competition.

In Friday’s conference championship, the Crimson Tide will have experience on its side in Nashville. Alabama competed in the Commodore Classic on Sept. 15, where the women’s team claimed fifth place, while the men finished 15th.

Waters said he expects his teams to go into the meet and claim future postseason opportunities.

“On both the men’s and women’s sides, we’re hoping to get some individuals qualified for the NCAA Championships,” Waters said. “Right now I think our teams need to be in that meet to experience it, to be able to advance through the region and into the national championships to come.”

However, the SEC is no cakewalk. Waters said the additions of Texas A&M and Missouri have made the challenge of winning even harder than it was before.

“There are really no weak events or holes in the SEC,” Waters said. “So distance running is only going to get more and more competitive.”

The Tide’s runners do lack an immense amount of familiarity with collegiate cross-country, but Waters believes a few of his athletes can propel Alabama to victory.

On the men’s side, freshman Robbie Farnham-Rose will be looked upon to lead the Tide against conference foes.

For the women, senior Elsbeth Denton and freshman Katelyn Greenleaf will anchor their team. Waters said Denton’s focus and leadership has helped the Tide’s inexperienced freshmen to better understand the sport.

“I expect the best performances out of everybody,” Waters said. “I think as we finish the race and we do our evaluations and look at things, all I can really ask for is that they give their very best and put their complete and total effort out there. We’ve gotten that almost every weekend.

“If we do that, we can walk off the course knowing that we ran our hardest and did the very best. Whatever the result will be, we can live with it and get better the next year.”


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