Oct. 31, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The University of Alabama women’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 12 women’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 Tide's women’s team will look to build upon last year’s fifth-place finish and put together back-to-back fifth place or higher finishes for the first time since 1998. Plenty of momentum will be carried into Monday’s meet as three runners turned in personal best 6-kilometer times in the team’s last competition at the Pre-National Meet.
Junior Leigh Gilmore has run the fastest 6-kilometer time for UA this season with a 21:42.90 finish while classmate Andrea Torske has consistently improved her personal best all season and has shaved nearly a minute off her 6-kilometer best this season with a top time of 22:02.80. Kelsey Johnson is the Tide’s only returning SEC runner that has scored consistently this season and the junior will be looking to return to the form that saw her earn the honor in 2008 and finish as the squad’s top finisher in last year’s race.
Florida enters the women’s race as the defending champion while Vanderbilt and Arkansas are both receiving votes in the latest rankings.
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.