Oct. 15, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama men’s cross country team returns to competition Saturday, Oct. 16, at the highly competitive Pre-National Meet in Terre Haute, Ind. The race, designed to be a preview of next month’s NCAA Championships on the same course, will feature the majority of the top teams in the nation and give the Crimson Tide its strongest challenge to date.
The Tide will be running in one of two men's races on the day with 19 of the top 30 men’s teams slated to be in attendance.
The No. 24 Tide will hit the course with the White 8-kilometer race set to start at 11:50 a.m. CDT. The 36-team race boasts 10 ranked teams with No. 4 Colorado, No. 8 Portland and No. 13 North Carolina State headlining the field.
The Tide, which had been ranked as high as No. 5, dropped in the polls after finishing eight in its last outing at the Notre Dame Invitational. However, the team is aiming to return to form this weekend after two solid weeks of training and will also welcome 2009 All-SEC competitor Fred Samoei into the lineup for the senior’s first race of the season.
“We’re looking forward to another competitive outing and seeing how we respond after a down performance in our last race at Notre Dame,” men’s head coach Joe Walker said. “We’ve had a very positive week of training and I think the team is looking to compete and prove how capable we are of performing when we’re on as a team.”
Running as a team will also be a point of emphasis for the men’s team and something Walker has worked on implementing more strongly over the last two weeks to ensure a strong finish, which will hopefully result in a move back up the polls for the Tide.
Also, the squad will have the luxury of running on the same course, albeit at a shorter distance, that will host the NCAA Championships in November. This experience will allow for Walker's team to "get a sense," of the course he hopes his team is competing on again in a few short weeks.
Live video of Saturday's races courtesy of FloTrack.org is available by clicking here.