Cross Country Set to Host NCAA South Region Championships

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Joel Rop aims to continue to his strong season on Saturday.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM
Joel Rop aims to continue to his strong season on Saturday.
ROLLTIDEDOTCOM

Nov. 11, 2011

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -

NCAA South Region Championships Information

The University of Alabama men’s and women’s cross country teams continue the championship portion of their season as they prepare to host the NCAA South Region Championships on Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.,  at the Harry Pritchett Running Park. Competition begins at 10 a.m. CST.

The NCAA South Region Championships will feature more than 30 programs competing for the chance to advance to the NCAA Championships on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. As one of nine regional sites, the meet will ultimately determine the field for the NCAA Championships with the top two teams from each region advancing and the top four individuals not on a qualifying team moving on.

“Having a meet like this with teams competing for the chance to advance to the NCAA Championships will have everyone motivated to run really fast,” UA head coach Dan Waters said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to see that type of competition here.”

The men’s squad, which has won four consecutive NCAA South Region championships, will be racing against the strongest competition they have faced all year. The Tide enters the race ranked seventh in the South Region.

The women’s team, also ranked seventh in the South Region, will be faces a very strong field that includes two of the nation’s top teams in  No. 1 Florida State and No. 4 Vanderbilt. Both squads are hopeful that running at home gives them a familiar environment to improve on their finishes from the last meet.

“We want to correct some of the mistakes we made at the SEC Championships,” Waters said. “We were tactically in a bad spot in both races. We hope to have that corrected and have worked on that and made it very clear in practice what we need to do to improve.”

At the SEC Championships on Oct. 31 in Maryville, Tenn. The men's team finished tied for fifth while the women's team was sixth at the Lambert Acres Golf Course. Carison Kemei was the men's top finisher in 12th place with an 8-kilometer time of 24:39.97 to earn second-team All-SEC honors for the second straight season. Andrea Torske paced the women's team with a 28th place finish and a time of 21:36.75 in the Tide's first 6-kilometer race of the season.
 
“Individually we have some folks in position to qualify as individuals with Carison and Joel [Rop] leading in nearly every race,” Waters said. “Those are very realistic goals for them and on the women’s side Leigh Gilmore, Andrea Torske and Katlyn Will have real legitimate chances of qualifying as individuals as well.”

The men’s 10-kilometer race will begin at 10 a.m. CST with the 6-kilometer women’s race beginning at 11:15 a.m.