Alabama Hosts 15th Crimson Classic Cross Country Meet Friday



Friday, September 20, 2002

David Kimani

The Alabama Crimson Tide will host the 15th Crimson Classic cross country meet Friday, Sept. 20 at the Harry Pritchett Golf Course.

This marks the first time the meet has been held on a Friday. Another new feature of the long-time competition is the adding of three races to the schedule. There will be five races in all with an “all-comer” race at 3:15 p.m. followed by a pair of high school races, with the girls going off at 4 p.m. and the boys getting underway at 4:30 p.m.

The collegiate races start at 5 p.m. when the women race over a 5-kilometer course. The collegiate men will start at 5:30 p.m. and compete over an 8-kilometer course.

There will be 17 women’s teams and 14 men’s teams in the collegiate competitions putting over 130 athletes into each race.. In addition to the Crimson Tide, other notable squads in attendance will be Auburn, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and UAB.

“I’m always excited to host a home competition,” men’s coach Joe Walker said. “There’s always lots of support from the guys’ friends and family. The course is very familiar which is good for us.  It’s also a good course for the fans because they can see a lot of the action.”

For most of the Tide women, it will be a new experience despite the fact that the race is on their home course.

“We’re such a young team that most of our athletes haven’t raced this course before, so it will be like we’re a visiting school,” women’s coach Steve Keith said. “It is a moderate course, but it’s going to be hot so it’s going to take a lot of concentration for us to be successful.”

Alabama’s men are coming off a first place performance at the Belmont Opener on both the team and individual side. Senior Peter Kiprono led the Tide to a first place finish with a win. The women opened their season with the same meet. Freshman Nicole Abrams’ 12th place finish leading the Tide to a fourth place finish. The men raced a 5k course at the Belmont while the women raced two miles.

The 2001 Crimson Classic was canceled due to the events of September 11th. The Tide did host a race on the highly regarded Harry Pritchett course when the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships where moved to Tuscaloosa at the last minute.

Admission to the Crimson Classic is free.