Cross Country Opens Season at Home Saturday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM The Tide's veterans include senior Elsbeth Denton and juniors Palee Myrex and Claire Turner.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
The Tide's veterans include senior Elsbeth Denton and juniors Palee Myrex and Claire Turner.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Aug. 30, 2012

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -

The Alabama men’s and women’s cross country teams get the 2012 season started at home Saturday with the Crimson Tide Cross Country Kick Off. The men will race over a 6-kilometer course starting at 8:30 a.m. while the women will face off over a 3k course starting at 9 a.m. The races will be at the Harry Pritchett Running Park off of Veterans Memorial Parkway. In addition to Alabama, the meet will feature the men and women from Samford, West Alabama and Alabama A&M as well as the women’s teams from UAB and Southern Mississippi.

THE ALABAMA MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
YOUTH MOVEMENT
Head coach Dan Waters enters his second season at the helm of the University of Alabama track and field and cross country program with the task of laying the foundation for the future of his men’s cross country and distance program with an extremely young squad in 2012. The Crimson Tide’s roster features just one returner in sophomore Matt Joyner and 11 freshmen with impeccable high school credentials but a lack of collegiate experience.

GETTING THINGS STARTED
The 2012 Alabama cross country team will have the benefit of starting the season on its home course the first weekend of the season with the Crimson Tide Cross Country Kickoff on Saturday, September 1, at the Harry Pritchett Running Course. The men’s meet will feature Alabama, Samford, West Alabama and Alabama A&M.

THE SCHEDULE
The Crimson Tide Cross Country Kick-Off is one of two home meets for the young Tide, which will also host the Crimson Classic on Oct. 13, an annual event that promises to be one of the most competitive Classics in recent history. It will serve as the final tune-up for UA and its opponents prior to the conference championships meets. This season’s SEC Championships will be hosted by Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn., on a course UA will get a sneak peek of at the Commodore Classic on Sept. 15. The Tide will also compete at Notre Dame on Sept. 28 against a national field as part of the regular season.

THE COACHES
Head track and field/cross country coach Dan Waters is in his second year at the Capstone after spending seven very successful years as an assistant coach at Texas A&M. The Tide’s assistant coach for the distance program Adam Tribble is also in his second year at Alabama, coming to the Tide after stints at Oregon State, Arkansas and Georgia.

QUOTING HEAD COACH Dan Waters
“We’re also extremely excited to get a bunch of runners in here we signed in the winter and were able to see how they developed as high school seniors. This is a roster that is filled with guys that will be high-quality athletes.” 

“The student-athletes that we have in here are in a very developmental stage but they will be extraordinarily good when they’re juniors and seniors. What will make them good is getting this experience at this point in their career. Instead of waiting years for their time to come, they’re getting that experience right now.”

“There are going to be surprises this season and some people that will really develop and shock us all down the road.”

“We hope to bring the team together and become a cohesive unit. To get everyone to learn to trust each other, hold each other accountable and build a culture that produces champions will be the standard this team needs to create.”

LAST SEASON
The Alabama men’s cross country squad finished its season with an 18th place finish at the NCAA South Regional Championships with 423 points.

THE ALABAMA WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY TEAM
YOUTH MOVEMENT
The 2012 edition of the University of Alabama women’s cross country team will feature a youth movement with just three experienced runners on the roster to go with nine newcomers. The Tide’s rookies bring plenty of potential and high school accomplishments to the Capstone and are arguably one of the top classes of incoming distances runners the Tide has seen in several years. However, the bulk of those honors and accolades came on the track in the distance events, making the coaches’ top priority preparing the team for cross country racing against the more veteran teams in the Southeastern Conference.

THE VETERANS
The Tide’s veterans include senior Elsbeth Denton and juniors Palee Myrex and Claire Turner. Denton and Myrex competed in all six meets a year ago while injuries cut Turner’s season short after four races.

GETTING THINGS STARTED
The 2012 Alabama cross country team will have the benefit of starting the season on its home course the first weekend of the season with the Crimson Tide Cross Country Kickoff on Saturday, September 1, at the Harry Pritchett Running Course. The women’s meet will feature Alabama, UAB, Southern Mississippi, Samford, West Alabama and Alabama A&M.

THE SCHEDULE
The Crimson Tide Cross Country Kick-Off is one of two home meets for the young Tide. The Alabama women will be looking to defend its 2011 Crimson Classic title on Oct. 13. The annual event promises to be one of the most competitive Classics in recent history, serving as the final tune-up for UA and its opponents prior to the conference championships meets. The Tide will travel to Nashville for the SEC Championships on October 26, which will be held on the home course of the defending SEC Champion Vanderbilt Commodores. The Tide will get a preview of the SEC course when it runs in the Commodore Classic on Sept. 15. Alabama will race against a national field at the Notre Dame Invitational on Sept. 28.

THE COACHES
Head track and field/cross country coach Dan Waters is in his second year at the Capstone after spending seven very successful years as an assistant coach at Texas A&M. The Tide’s assistant coach for the distance program Adam Tribble is also in his second year at Alabama, coming to the Tide after stints at Oregon State, Arkansas and Georgia. 

QUOTING HEAD COACH Dan Waters
“The interesting thing about the women’s team is we have three women with experience which is really valuable to the group of runners coming in. We can see a handful of those freshmen really developing and having an impact in their first season.” 

“How our newcomers adapt to running on the courses will be critical to their success and what we’re trying to teach them as individuals and as a team unit. We want to be able to lay the foundation early for running good, technical races as a team.”

“Our challenge as coaches will be keeping our newcomers reigned in and making sure they’re developing with long term intentions. We want to teach them as athletes how to stay fresh so they can be at their strongest at the end of the season.” 

LAST SEASON
The Alabama women's cross country squad raced to its highest finish at the NCAA Regional Championships in more than 13 years in 2011, taking sixth in the South Regional with 217 points.


 

 

     
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