Cross Country at SEC Championships This Weekend
October 26, 2006
Tuscaloosa, ALThe University of Alabama cross country teams will compete at the 2006 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday at Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge, La. The men's 8k race will begin at 9 a.m. while the women's 6k race will begin at 10 a.m.
The No.15 men’s cross country team fell two and a half seconds short of beating Arkansas at last years SEC Championships. Arkansas has won 32 consecutive Conference Titles, the last 15 in the SEC.
“Arkansas and Florida are both running really well right now” men’s cross country coach Joe Walker said. “We are in a good situation health wise. There has been a lot of aches and pains but everyone looks healthy and ready to go.”
Alabama will return four runners who finished in the top 15 at last years SEC Championships. As a freshman in 2005 Augustus Maiyo turned in a time of 23:01.18, just two seconds short of winning the race. Alex Korir finished 11th, Abraham Kutingala finished 12th and Titus Koeh finished 14th at last seasons championships. Add into the mix 2006 freshman sensation Emmanuel Bor who has won two races this year for the Tide and been named “SEC Athlete of the Week” twice. The Tide looks to win their first SEC Championship since 1973.
The women’s cross country team will look to senior Julia Hicks to improve upon her 14th place finish at the 2005 SEC Championships.
“I think we have had some nice improvements” women’s cross country coach Randy Hasenbank said “We have four seniors that have competed in the previous three SEC Championships so they should provide some leadership to our younger girls. I think we are ready to out and have our best performance of the season, most everyone is healthy and ready to go.”
Hicks has won two races this year for the Crimson Tide and has been the top finisher for the Tide in the last eleven races dating back to the 2004 season. “Julia needs to lead us up front, we need her to get us off to a great start.” Hasenbank said.
Both teams will compete at the NCAA Regional on November 11th with NCAA Championship qualifications on the line.