Oct. 15, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The 2008 women's cross country team is being led by freshman just as it was in the 2007 season. Coach Randy Hasenbank has been able to bring in top freshman every year that he has been here and is slowly but surely building the Crimson Tide program back to what it was in the 80s when Alabama won back to back SEC Championships in 1986 and 1987. Freshman Sarah Gilmore is a big part of that vision.
Gilmore is actually a twin of teammate Leigh Gilmore. Sarah is actually four minutes younger than her sister and both were born on Halloween 19 years ago. They have been competing with and against each other their entire lives.
"I compete with her every day, but only against her on race days," Gilmore said. "She helps me keep going even when I don't feel like it."
Gilmore has been consistently running in the top five for Alabama this year and has dropped her 5k time by almost 40 seconds in the first half of the season. She posted a time of 18:35.08 on the challenging Harry Pritchett Course bettering her old personal best of 19:10.
Gilmore's personal goals seem simple enough for this year as she just wants to lower her times as much as possible. As for the team, Gilmore wants to be a part of a squad that competes for the SEC Championship year in and year out. She believes Alabama will be that team before her career is over.
"I want us to be a team that contends for the SEC Championship," Gilmore said. "I want us to be the team to beat in upcoming years."
Gilmore, a Division 1 athlete in cross country, only started running in 7th grade because she was cut from the volleyball team. Now she will help build Alabama's cross country team into a national power. The first step will come on Nov. 3 in Starkville, Miss. at the SEC Championships.