Nov. 15, 2013
Tuscaloosa, Ala. - The Alabama cross country team hosted runner from approximately 50 teams at the NCAA South Region Championships Friday at the Harry Pritchett Running Course in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Crimson Tide women finished third among a field of 27 teams while the men's team was 13th in a field of 26 teams.
The two top teams from each race advanced to the NCAA Championships to be held on Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. Individually, the top four finishers not on a qualifying team (automatic or at-large) will receive invitations to the NCAA Championships.
Florida State won the women's team standings with 35 points. Vanderbilt was second with 116, Alabama was third with 143 and Florida placed fourth with 153. Mississippi closed out the top five with 169 points.
In the men's event, Georgia won the men's race with 72 points. Florida was second with 73, Florida State was third with 101, Auburn was fourth with 117 and Tennessee took fifth with 181. Alabama had 341 points in its 13th-place finish.
In the women's standings, Alabama's third place finish was highlighted by a 13th place showing by sophomore Katelyn Greenleaf. Running in a field of 194 runners, Greenleaf covered the six-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 38 seconds. Other Alabama finishers included sophomore Meropi Panagiotou (19th, 20:43), sophomore Rebecca Stover (26th, 20:52), sophomore Susie Kemper (43rd, 21:12), freshman Hannah Waggoner (50th, 21:17), sophomore Kimberley Ficenec (65th, 21:32) and freshman Hilary Stafford (68th, 21:34). The Crimson Tide women's team battled through a steady rain.
Sophomore Parker Deuel led Alabama by placing 39th in a field of 173 competitors, covering the 10-kilometer course in 31:03. Junior Matt Airola was 49th in 31:16. Sophomore Andrew Faris (68th overall, 31:41) and freshmen Conner Thompson (73rd, 31:45) and Payton Ballard (113th, 32:40) rounded out the top five finishes for Alabama.
The top two teams in each division qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championships at Terre Haute, Ind., on November 23. Alabama's women's team will await a decision from the NCAA as to whether it will qualify for the NCAA Championships. Today's meet concludes Alabama's men's cross country season.
Crimson Tide Post-Race Quotes – 2013 NCAA South Region Cross Country Championships
Dan Waters – Head Coach, University of Alabama
On the performance of the men’s and women’s teams today:
“I think considering where we are as a program, competing with two sophomore-laden teams, we are a step ahead of where we thought we would be with the women’s team and we were somewhat disappointed with how the men’s team competed today.
“Our women’s team came in fourth in the region, finished third in the standings today, and could be in the NCAA meet depending on what happens elsewhere. That’s a year ahead of where we projected ourselves being. They have been consistent all season long. Katelyn Greenleaf (the Tide’s leading finisher) has just been rock-solid steady all season long and she was excellent today. She set a PR for 6k today and really has been a catalyst for us. Overall, the entire women’s team has been very good this season and I hope they get an NCAA berth because they have definitely earned it.
“The men’s team is still in transition. We have people filling roles for us that, frankly, they aren’t really suited for. That said, it’s no surprise. We knew it would be this way all season long. While we’re relatively inexperienced, I did see some encouraging signs this season. I thought Parker Deuel (Alabama’s lead runner today) really developed into a leader for us. But I was disappointed today. We should have finished better than we did and we should have competed harder. That’s a tough way to end the season, but it gives our guys a clear view of what they need to work on.”
Katelyn Greenleaf – sophomore - top women’s finisher for Alabama
On the race today…
“We all got out to a really fast start. We all stayed together and tried to work together to get to nationals. In the middle of the race, we had to push through it and keep going because of the weather.”
On the weather …
“We planned for it to rain, but we weren’t completely positive that it would. Once it started raining, we were like, ‘oh no,’ but then, we just had to work through it. We pushed through the rain and kept going.”
On her result …
“I was a little bit behind where I thought I would finish, but I got a PR so I’m really happy with the race.”
On the season …
“We made a couple of huge steps as a team, and I’ve definitely improved individually. It’s been a good season.”
On the performance of the team:
“I think overall we had an okay day. We have a lot of work to do, to kind of come back and go to the drawing board and work on a few things. Overall, we gave an okay effort. I think it’s time now to get some good rest, come back for track and we can show our true colors there.”
On his performance personally:
“I did okay. I don’t really know how to run a 10k. I’ve run a few 8k’s before, but that extra 2k definitely makes a big difference. I did okay, but I didn’t blow anyone away.”
NCAA South Region Championships
Friday, November 15, 2013
Tuscaloosa, Ala. (University of Alabama)
1. Florida State, 35
2. Vanderbilt, 116
3. Alabama, 143
4. Florida, 153
5. Mississippi, 169
Alabama Individual Women's Results (6 kilometers - 194 runners)
13. Katelyn Greenleaf, So. 20:38.44
19. Meropi Panagiotou, So. 20:43.88
26. Rebecca Stover, So. 20:52.77
43. Susie Kemper, So. 21:12.78
50. Hannah Waggoner, Fr. 21:17.46
65. Kimberley Ficenec, So. 21:32.42
68. Hilary Stafford, Fr. 21:34.29
Men's Results (Top 15 - 26 Teams Scored)
1. Georgia, 72
2. Florida, 73
3. Florida State, 101
4. Auburn, 117
5. Tennessee, 181
6. Lipscomb, 199
7. Mississippi State, 242
8. Belmont, 253
9. Mississippi, 255
10. Georgia Tech, 263
11. Chattanooga, 268
12. Florida A&M, 312
13. Alabama, 341
14. North Florida, 356
15. Memphis, 356
Alabama Individual Men's Results (10 kilometers - 173 runners)
39. Parker Deuel, So., 31:03.76
49. Matt Airola, Jr., 31:16.85
68. Andrew Faris, So., 31:41.78
73. Conner Thompson, Fr., 31:45.37
113. Payton Ballard, Fr., 32:40.11
127. Gil Walton, So., 33:05.83
143. Eric Sivill, So., 33:39.40