Oct. 31, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama men’s cross country team begins the championship portion of its 2010 schedule at Monday’s Southeastern Conference Championships in Columbia, S.C.
The Championships, hosted by South Carolina on the grounds of the U.S. Army’s Fort Jackson, will feature all 11 men’s teams competing for the title of SEC Champion. The women will take to the course first with their 6-kilometer race beginning at 9 a.m. CT. The men will follow an hour later with an 8-kilometer race.
The No. 27 Crimson Tide men’s squad enters the race as the back-to-back defending SEC Champions and will be taking aim at becoming the first program other than Arkansas to win three straight titles since 1985. Standing in the way of that feat will be a resurgent Arkansas squad that is currently ranked 10th and has five runners that have turned in 8-kilometer performances that rank in the top eight in the SEC this season. Florida is the other ranked squad in the field, checking in one spot higher than the Tide in 26th.
In his last competition, UA’s Julius Bor turned in the squad’s top 8-kilometer time of the season with a 23:57.60 finish to take 12th place at the Pre-National Meet. Carison Kemei, who finished as one of the Tide’s top two runners all year, has the second fastest 8-kilometer time on the season with a 24:00.00 mark set at the Notre Dame Invitational. Three-time SEC Coach of the Year Joe Walker is hopeful that those two, along with the Tide’s other competitors can improve upon those times on a course that is relatively flat and, barring any inclement weather, is expected to be fast.
Following the SEC Championships, the team will have a weekend off from competition to prepare for the NCAA South Region Championships in Birmingham, Ala., on Nov. 13.