TUSCALOOSA, ALA After starting things off two weeks ago at the Belmont Opener, the Alabama women’s cross country team hosts the 18th annual Crimson Classic this Friday at the Harry Pritchett Cross Country Course.
The women’s collegiate race gets underway at 5 p.m. over a 5-kilometer course. The collegiate men toe the line at 5:30 p.m. and will race over 8-kilometers. There will be a middle school race at 3:30 p.m. and high school races as well with the girls starting at 4 p.m. and the boys at 4:30 p.m.
This will be a first for Alabama’s Randy Hasenbank. After four years at Wichita State, this is his first season as the Tide’s head cross country coach.
“My knowledge of a lot of the team’s we’re going to see on Friday is somewhat limited at this point, but it’s going to be a good measure for me, since there a lot of teams in the field that we’ll see down the road in conference and region competition,” Hasenbank said. “I’ll definitely have a better idea of where we fit into things on a Southeastern Conference and South Region level after this.”
While they have a new coach holding the stop watch, the Tide women are a veteran squad led by senior Julia Hicks.
“Julia has had a tremendous summer and is very prepared to do well this year,” Hasenbank said. “Her ultimate goal is to run at the national meet and she is working hard to make that goal a reality.”
Hicks won the Belmont Opener to get her senior season started, leading Alabama to a sixth place team finish. Hasenbank would like to see his team move up the standings at their home meet.
“Of course we’d like to win our own meet,” Hasenbank said. “We take a lot of pride in running at home and certainly want to be very competitive here on our own course.”