Oct. 21, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Alabama head women's cross country coach Randy Hasenbank led the Crimson Tide through their ninth week of practice and a good showing at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. The squad will really focus on the quality of their workouts over the next few weeks heading into the championship portion of the season.
The young team posted a 12th place team finish at this weekend's meet where five of the eight athletes were running their first 6k ever. Alabama was led once again by SEC Freshman of the Week selection Sara Vaughn who placed 18th with a time of 21:04.12. This year's finish bettered last year's finish of 23rd by 11 places.
Alabama will face tough competition on tough courses over the next month but they have been training for this part of the season. The Tide has also competed in two consecutive meets in which there were over 300 runners in their race. The team will also work on trying to close gaps within the team, specifically between runners two and three, so they can run more as a pack.
"This is a motivated group and they are very competitive," Hasenbank said. "Big race experiences are important. You learn by doing and I feel that we have really put ourselves in the heat of the battle on both occasions."
The Tide will take a week off before traveling to Starkville, Miss. on Nov. 3 where they will try to finish in the top half of the SEC. They have not finished in the top six at the meet since 2000 when the squad posted a fifth place finish.