Women's Cross Country Captures Crimson Classic Title; Men Finish Fifth

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Carison Kemei won the Crimson Classic in 24:49.52.
Carison Kemei won the Crimson Classic in 24:49.52.

Oct. 15, 2011

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The University of Alabama women's cross country team defended its home course and won Crimson Classic while the men finished fifth behind individual champion Carison Kemei at the Harry Pritchett Running Course Saturday morning.

"It was great to see the women come out and win at home," UA head coach Dan Waters said. "We can hopefully build off of that and improve in a few areas heading into the SEC Championships. On the men's side, we're not deep enough right now to score well if someone has an off day, but Carison Kemei, Joel Rop and Gary Bradbury all competed well for us."

The women's team secured first place with five top-25 finishes to beat Mississippi by three points on the 5-kilometer course. Leigh Gilmore led the way for the Crimson Tide with a time of 17:51.95 to finish ninth overall. Sarah Gilmore followed in 16th place with an 18:04.88 personal best while Katlyn Will ended up right behind her at 17th at 18:05.62.

"This means a lot to our team," Leigh Gilmore said. "The coaches put the Crimson Classic this far back in the season so we could come out strong and represent Alabama well on our home course. Having everyone cheering for you really helps and gives you that extra motivation."

Kelsey Johnson (18:16.45) and Andrea Torske (18:19.93) rounded out the women's scoring by coming in at 23rd and 25th, respectively. Tennessee's Brittany Sheffey won the women's race in 17:11.71.

"This is huge for us to run this well as a team," Gilmore added. "If we can keep this confidence going into the SEC meet, then I think we can have a good finish at SECs and run with the top teams in the league."

The men's squad finished fifth overall in the 21-team field with only six Alabama runners competing in the 8-kilometer race. Georgia Tech took home first place in the men's race with two of their runners placing in the top 10.
Carison Kemei returned to action in a big way as he finished first overall in the men's race with a time of 24:49.25. Joel Rop was not too far behind as he came in seventh overall with a time of 25:21.47. Gary Bradbury, Nathan Corder and freshman Matt Joyner followed Rop by placing 13th, 49th and 72nd overall, respectively. Oliver Blake was held out of his second straight race due to injury.

"My race today was good after missing two weeks with injury," Kemei said. This race was my trial to see where I was at. My aim to do well and help my teammates along. The last mile I was trying to push and see how my body responded after not competing so it was good to see I could finish that strongly."

Alabama competes next at the SEC Championships on Oct. 29 in Maryville, Tenn.

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Men's Team Results
1. Georgia Tech, 83  
2. Auburn,  122  
3. Mississippi , 131  
4. Stephen F. Austin, 132   
5. Alabama, 133   
6. Georgia, 156   
7. Kennesaw State, 159   
8. Tennessee, 166   
9. Memphis, 176  
10. Alabama-Huntsville, 179  
11. McNeese State, 187   
12. Jacksonville St., 380  
13. Tulane, 400  
14. Charleston Southern, 413  
15. Valdosta State, 427  
15. Samford, 427  
17. Mississippi Valley, 477  
18. Nicholls State, 529  
19. North Alabama, 554  
20. Fort Valley State, 584  
21. Stillman, 595 

Alabama Men's 8-Kilometer Individual Results (155 runners)
1. Carison Kemei, 24:49.25
7. Joel Rop, 25:21.47
13. Gary Bradbury, 25:31.78
49. Nathan Corder, 26:27.57
72. Matt Joyner, 26:59.91
75. Austin Duckworth, 27:02.00

Women's Team Results
1. Alabama, 88   
2. Mississippi, 91   
3. Tennessee, 127   
4. Georgia, 181  
5. Western Kentucky, 187   
6. Samford, 207   
7. Auburn, 238  
8. Stephen F. Austin, 247   
9. Georgia Tech, 253  
10. Memphis, 256  
11. McNeese State, 264   
12. Jacksonville St., 291   
13. Nicholls State, 301  
14. Tulane, 316  
15. Southern Miss., 367  
16. Alabama State, 434  
17. Kennesaw State, 486  
18. Alabama-Huntsville, 508  
19. Charleston Southern, 536  
20. Mississippi Valley, 568  
21. Valdosta State, 580  
22. North Alabama, 627 
23. Gadsden State CC,  730 
24. Stillman, 758 
25. Fort Valley State, 774 

Alabama Women's 5-Kilometer Individual Results (202 runners)
9. Leigh Gilmore, 17:51.95
16. Sarah Gilmore, 18:04.88
17. Katlyn Will, 18:05.62
23. Kelsey Johnson, 18:16.45
25. Andrea Torske, 18:19.93
29. Elsbeth Denton, 18:27.95
54. Claire Turner, 19:00.15
60. Palee Myrex, 19:07.37