Greenleaf Leads Tide Women to 6th at SEC Championships; Alabama Men Place 11th

Nov. 1, 2013

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The University of Alabama men's and women's cross country teams began the championship portion of their schedule on Friday morning as the women's team earned sixth place and the men's team finished 11th at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championships held at the Mark Bostick Golf Course and hosted by the University of Florida.

The Alabama women's team, consisting entirely of freshmen and sophomores, improved five places from an 11th place finish in 2012 while earning a sixth-place finish. Sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf was the Alabama women's top finisher on the six kilometer course in ninth place with a time of 20:44.23 to earn Second Team All-SEC honors. Greenleaf is the first Crimson Tide women's cross country athlete to earn either first- or second-team All-SEC honors since 2008 and she narrowly missed becoming the Tide's first athlete since 2000 to earn first-team All-SEC status as the top seven finishers earn that accolade and she was a mere 8.4 seconds behind the seventh-place finisher.

Sophomore Meropi Panagiotou was Alabama's next finisher, placing 27th in 21:26.21. Freshman Hannah Waggoner (21:44.67) and sophomore Rebecca Stover (21:48.29) crossed next for the Tide, coming in 40th and 45th, respectively. Sophomore Susie Kemper wrapped up the scoring for the women's team with a 56th place finish in 22:05.46.

Junior Matt Airola was the lead runner for the Crimson Tide men's team, which finished 11th in the team standings in what was a tightly-contested team race for placed seven through 11. Airola covered the eight-kilometer course in 25:02.88 to finish 34th in the field of 114 runners, just ahead of sophomore teammate Parker Deuel in 35th (25:03.77). Other Tide scorers were freshman Conner Thompson (59th, 25:41.40), sophomore Andrew Faris (60th, 25:42.45), and sophomore Gil Walton (74th, 26:02.05).

The Tide women's team finished with 174 points. Arkansas swept the team championships, winning the women's title with a meet-low 32 points as Razorbacks runners placed first, second, third, 12th and 14th among the scorers. Sophomore Dominique Scott of Arkansas won the SEC women's individual title in a time of 20:02.81. Texas A&M was second (123 points), Kentucky was third (134), Florida was fourth (150) and Vanderbilt (161) edged the Tide for fifth place. Alabama edged a tightly-packed field for sixth place as the Tide's 174 points was just ahead of seventh-place Missouri's 178. Tennessee was eighth at 179 with Ole Miss ninth (190), Mississippi State 10th (191), Georgia 11th (224), South Carolina 12th (294), Auburn 13th (309) and LSU 14th (460).

The UA men's team finished with 251 points, placing ahead of LSU (356) and Vanderbilt (369). Arkansas won the men's title, its 21st in 23 years, with 31 points while Florida was second (96), Georgia was third (101) and Missouri was fourth with 107.

"Our cross country program is still young but we definitely are improving, and I think that showed today," UA head coach Dan Waters said. "Katelyn Greenleaf has been consistent for us all year long and she produced the kind of race today that I expected from her.  Katelyn and Meropi (Panagiotou) are leading our women's team to a new level and I was pleased with our performance as a team today. The men's team also improved against a very good field. In addition to Matt running well, our younger guys competed. Parker Deuel continues to improve, and he's just a sophomore. One of our freshmen, Conner Thompson, stepped up as our third scorer today and that's what we've been looking for."

Friday, November 1, 2013 - Gainesville, Fla. (Mark Bostick Golf Course)
2013 Women's SEC Cross Country Championships

 Team Scores
1. Arkansas, 32
2. Texas A&M, 123
3. Kentucky, 134
4. Florida, 150
5. Vanderbilt, 161
6. Alabama, 174

7. Missouri, 178
8. Tennessee, 179
9. Mississippi, 190
10. Mississippi State, 191
11. Georgia, 224
12. South Carolina, 294
13. Auburn, 309
14. LSU, 460

Alabama Individual Scorers (6 kilometers - 119 Runners)

9. Katelyn Greenleaf, 20:44.23
27. Meropi Panagiotou, 21:26.21
40. Hannah Waggoner, 21:44.67
45. Rebecca Stover, 21:48.29
56. Susie Kemper, 22:05.46

2013 Men's SEC Cross Country Championships

Team Scores

1. Arkansas, 31
2. Florida, 96
3. Georgia, 101
4. Missouri, 107
5. Kentucky, 173
6. Auburn, 175
7. Tennessee, 187
*8. Texas A&M, 187
9. Mississippi State, 229
10. Mississippi, 242
11. Alabama, 251

12. LSU, 356
13. Vanderbilt, 369

*NCAA tie-break rule applied.

Alabama Individual Scorers (8 kilometers - 114 Runners)

34. Matt Airola, 25:02.88
35. Parker Deuel, 25:03.77
59. Conner Thompson, 25:41.40
60. Andrew Faris, 25:42.45
74. Gil Walton, 26:02.05