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 to host year’s Crimson Classic


Both the Alabama men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in their only home meet of the season, the 22nd annual Crimson Classic, on Saturday.

The Crimson Tide will compete against two Southeastern Conference teams, Auburn and Ole Miss, and is bringing in Texas A&M from the Big 12. Alabama also invited 14 smaller schools, such as Tulane, Alabama State, Samford and Stillman.

“We wanted to make this a competitive event for us,” said men’s head coach Joe Walker. “But at the same time, we wanted to extend an invite to some of the smaller schools in the area. This could be a big meet for them.”

Last year’s Crimson Classic was a major success for both squads. Both teams finished in first, and Tyson David was the overall winner in the men’s race. The men beat out second and third place rivals Tennessee and Auburn by 20 and 44 points, respectively.

The women did not have a single runner finish outside of the top 20, including six of seven in the top 15. Kelsey Johnson led the Tide with her third-place finish. Alabama had margins of victory of 34 and 47 points over rivals Auburn and Tennessee, respectively.

The men lost overall winner David to graduation, but Fred Samoie, Moses Kiptoo and Andrew Kirwa are back and ready to lead the team to another victory this year. The women’s team returns all of its participants in last year’s Classic. With the event only one day away, the excitement on the teams is at an all-time high.

“Anytime a meet is at home you have a little bit of a home field advantage, just like any other sport,” Walker said. “Competing at home makes it easy for family and friends to come see you run.”

Women’s head coach Randy Hasenbank said, “Our goal is to win our home invitational. That’s our goal every year, and we want to do that by being aggressive and building up confidence for the tournament part of our season.”

The route will be in the old Harry Pritchard Golf Course, turned Harry Pritchard Running Park, better known as the UA Arboretum. The course will stay true to the tradition of Alabama cross country, who has held the last eight Crimson Classics at this venue.

“It’s a course we’ve laid out to mimic the courses of the earlier days,” Walker said. “We wanted to stay true to the times. The course is all grass and cut well. It is very hilly and has a series of challenging up-and-downs.”

Hasenbank said, “It’s a great course. Our opponents like running here, we like running here and we practice here sometimes. We definitely have a competitive advantage coming in. We know the course so much better than our opponents, and we hope we can use that well.”

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