Alabama Cross Country Teams Split Races with Samford



Aug 31, 2013

Men's Results Get Acrobat Reader | Women's ResultsGet Acrobat Reader

HOOVER, Ala. - The Alabama cross country teams opened the 2013 season by winning the women's race and finishing second in the men's race in a dual meet with Samford on Saturday morning at Veterans Park Saturday morning.

The Crimson Tide women's team had an impressive season opener, taking the first seven places in the race of slightly more than two miles distance while dominating. Alabama finished perfect with 15 team points to Samford's 50.

"I was very pleased with how our women's team competed and performed," UA head track and field/cross country coach Dan Waters said. "Both of our teams showed good fitness and I was pleased with our ability to execute our race plans.

"Obviously, we expected to win both races. I thought the men's team did a good job of executing the plan and keeping the pack together, but I was disappointed that we didn't win the race. I have to give Samford a lot of credit for how they competed."

Alabama was led by Meropi Panagiotou's victory in a time of 11 minutes, 22.76 seconds, just slightly ahead of the Tide's Katelyn Greenleaf (11:22.88). Freshman Hilary Stafford had an impressive debut for Alabama to take third place (11:23.45) with Rebecca Stover fourth (11:27.81) and Abigail Tankersley fifth (11:28.62).

The Tide men's team lost a close verdict to the Bulldogs in the 5-kilometer race, 29-30, despite executing their race plan by staying tightly pack to maximize scoring. but Samford was strong back in the pack and used that advantage to squeak past the Tide. The Tide men stayed together rather than racing out the last 200 meters. "Keeping a controlled effort and working as a pack was more important today than racing out the last couple of hundred meters just to win," said Tide distance coach Adam Tribble. "The efforts overall were good. It's another good step in the right direction."

Samford's Layton Dorsett took the individual title in 16:27.13 over the 5k course as the Bulldogs took the first three places. Justin Ahalt was Alabama's first finisher, taking fourth in 16:31.59. Alabama runners took fourth through 10th but Samford's ability to take the fourth and fifth-best scoring spots secured the victory for the Bulldogs.

"What I take away from today is a good feel for where we are and what we have to work on," Waters said. "Our women's team is about where I hoped they would be. Our men's team is better than they showed today. But this is all something to build on for later in the season."

After opening at home, the Tide takes to the road for its next competition when both the men and women travel to the Iowa Classic in Iowa City on September 13.

Alabama vs. Samford
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Hoover, Alabama (Veterans Park)

Women's Results

1. Alabama 15 points
2. Samford 50 points

Alabama Individual Women's Results (2+ Miles)

1. Meropi Panagiotou, So. 11:22.76
2. Katelyn Greenleaf, So. 11:22/88
3. Hilary Stafford, Fr. 11:23.45
4. Rebecca Stover, So. 11:27.81
5. Abigail Tankersley, So. 11:28.62
6. Susie Kemper, So. 11:40.17
7. Claire Turner, Sr. 11:44.07
8. Kimberley Ficenec, So. 11:57.09
11. Allison Gregg, Fr. 12:11.46
14. Annah Leinheiser, Fr. 12:28.00
17. Brittany Truitt, Fr. 12:39.23

Men's Results

1. Samford 29 points
2. Alabama 30 points

Alabama Individual Men's Results (5 Kilometers)

4. Justin Ahalt, So. 16:31.59
5. Gil Walton, So. 16:31.77
6. Conner Thompson, Fr. 16:31.83
7. Matt Airola, Jr. 16:32.27
8. Eric Sivill, So. 16:32.29
9. Andrew Faris, So. 16:46.70
10. Payton Ballard, Fr. 16:47.17
11. Matt Joyner, So. 16:49.04
14. Parker Deuel, So. 17:10.98
16. Andrew Harris, So. 17:43.33
17. Jeff Edmonson, Fr. 18:11.42