Commodores finish 12th at SEC Championship

Oct. 31, 2014


Led by John Ewing’s solid showing, the Vanderbilt men’s cross country team took 12th place at the SEC Championship on Friday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Ewing finished 55th overall with a time of 25.55.40, and Jake Van Geffen was 66th at 26:08.70.

Vanderbilt finished ahead of LSU in the 13-team race.

“The men have worked really hard this season,” said Keith, “and to see them come away from the race feeling good was very rewarding.”

The Arkansas men won the event with 54 points, and teamed up with the Arkansas women to sweep the SEC titles for the second year in a row. It was the fifth consecutive title for Razorback men, and their 22nd in the past 24 years.

Sam Reilly was the third runner to cross for the Commodores, finishing 88th at 26:48.90. Nick French (91st at 26:56.30) and Matthew Cleveland (97th at 27:16.90) were fourth and fifth for Vanderbilt.

Andrew Bachman (27:21.90), Nikolaos Gkotsis (27:46.20), Dan Henderson (29.41.60), Andrew Fix (29.51.80) and Sam DeFabrizio rounded out the Commodore representatives.


The Vanderbilt women carried high expectations into the SEC Championships — and the Commodores came away with a high finish.

Fueled by outstanding performances from Katherine Delaney, Claire Benjamin and Sara Barron, the No. 14-ranked Commodores captured second place at the conference championship.

Delaney, Benjamin and Barron — who finished 9th, 13th and 14th, respectively — all earned All-SEC Second Team honors, and Emma Abrahamson, who finished 37th, earned a spot on the All-Freshmen Team.

The No. 5-ranked Arkansas women totaled 32 points to win the title for the 15th time in school history. Vanderbilt was next with 85 points and Alabama was a distant third with 140. (Full team standings at bottom of the page).

The Commodores’ impressive effort will enable them to continue their late-season momentum as they head to the NCAA Regionals in two weeks in Tallahassee, Fla.

“Overall, it was a very solid showing by our team,” said head coach Steve Keith, “and it was a great start to the championship portion of our season. … We had several kids who really stepped up today, and that’s the way it’s been for us all season.”

Vanderbilt’s second-place finish was the second-best showing in the program’s history, ranking behind only the SEC Championship squad of 2011.

“The girls came out here today and they were calm, composed and confident — all those good ‘C’ words,” said assistant coach Rhonda Riley. “We’re very, very happy with what we saw today, and there are a lot of positives we can take from this race.”

Delaney earned a spot among the Top-10 individuals, taking ninth with a time of 20:10.10. Benjamin was 13th at 20:33.80 and Barron was 14th with a time of 20:34.60.

Amira Joseph was the fourth Vanderbilt runner across the line, taking 22nd overall with a time of 20:45.50. Carmen Carlos was 27th at 20:53.50 for the Commodores, who continued their successful formula of pack-running. Vanderbilt’s No. 2 through 7 finishers had a spread of just 24 seconds.

“It was great to see so many of the girls step up,” said Riley, “and confidence-wise, this moves us ahead of where we were. It confirms that we can do what we believed all along that we were capable of doing.”

Rebecca Chandler finished 29th at 20:56.40 and Vanessa Valentine was 30th at 20:57.70.

Abrahamson was next for Vanderbilt, and 37th overall, at 21:06.00.

“Emma really ran a great race in tough environment,” said Riley. “She didn’t respond like a typical freshman.”

Vanderbilt’s Reagan Anderson was 43rd with a time of 21:17.10 and Lily Williams was 45th at 21:20.70.

Keith said the Commodores crisply executed their pre-race plan by making their move well into the race.

“We wanted to just try to weather the storm early, and then go to work,” he said, “and that’s exactly what we did. We had great movement from 2K to 4K, and that was very positive for us.”

Although the team was pleased with its showing, Riley said the Commodores have the potential for even more.

“The exciting part to me is that we still haven’t had the type of complete race that we are capable of having,” she said. “If we have a race where everyone hits on the same day, we can do something really special.”

Women’s Standings
Women’s Team Results

1. Arkansas 32
2. Vanderbilt 85
3. Alabama 140
4. Missouri 142
5. Mississippi State 171
6. Texas A&M 187
7. Florida 201
8. Kentucky 215
9. Auburn 217
10. Georgia 222
11. Tennessee 274
12. Mississippi 275
13. South Carolina 348
14. LSU 385

Women’s Individual Results
1. Dominique Scott, Arkansas 19:22.74
2. Grace Heymsfield, Arkansas 19:32.21
3. Chelsea Blaase, Tennessee 19:32.37
4. Rhianwedd Price, Miss State 19:53.79
5. Hillary Montgomery, Texas A&M 19:56.08
6. Kaitlyn Fischer, Missouri 20:04.25
7. Jessica Kamilos, Arkansas 20:05.80
8. Karis Jochen, Texas A&M 20:08.75
9. Katherine Delaney, Vanderbilt 20:10.05
10. Diane Robison, Arkansas 20:16.17
11. Katelyn Greenleaf, Alabama 20:23.62
12. Shannon Klenke, Arkansas 20:24.62
13. Claire Benjamin, Vanderbilt 20:33.71
14. Sara Barron, Vanderbilt 20:34.52
15. Hannah Waggoner, Alabama 20:37.45

Women’s All-SEC First Team
Dominique Scott, Arkansas
Grace Heymsfield, Arkansas
Chelsea Blaase, Tennessee
Rhianwedd Price, Mississippi State
Hillary Montgomery, Texas A&M
Kaitlyn Fischer, Missouri
Jessica Kamilos, Arkansas

Women’s All-SEC Second Team
Karis Jochen, Texas A&M
Katherine Delaney, Vanderbilt
Diane Robison, Arkansas
Katelyn Greenleaf, Alabama
Shannon Klenke, Arkansas
Claire Benjamin, Vanderbilt
Sara Barron, Vanderbilt

Women’s SEC All-Freshman Team
Karissa Schweitzer, Missouri
Kelsey Schrader, Arkansas
Aundrea Busse, Kentucky
Katy Kunc, Kentucky
Tayler Tuttle, Georgia
Molly McKenna, Arkansas Emma Abrahamson, Vanderbilt

Men’s Standings
Men’s Team Results

1. Arkansas 54
2. Mississippi 60
3. Auburn 77
4. Missouri 87
5. Kentucky 120
6. Alabama 195
7. Tennessee 205
8. Texas A&M 207
9. Mississippi State 249
10. Florida 251
11. Georgia 255
12. Vanderbilt 357
13. LSU 361

Men’s Individual Results
1. Stanley Kebenei, Arkansas 23:49.27
2. Ty McCormack, Auburn 23:58.64
3. Wes Gallagher, Mississippi 24:21.28
4. Gabe Gonzales, Arkansas 24:26.47
5. Tyler Schneider, Missouri 24:30.34
6. Sean Tobin, Mississippi 24:37.91
7. Robert Domanic, Mississippi 24:38.50
8. Cale Wallace, Arkansas 24:40.51
9. Kane Grimster, Auburn 24:41.55
10. Alex George, Arkansas 24:46.10
11. Austin Whitelaw, Tennessee 24:46.39
12. Matt Airola, Alabama 24:52.20
13. Damian Roszko, Miss State 24:55.91
14. Dan Roe, Missouri 24:55.42
15. Spencer Hrycay, Kentucky 24:55.70

Men’s All-SEC First Team
Stanley Kebenei, Arkansas
Ty McCormack, Auburn
Wes Gallagher, Ole Miss
Gabe Gonzalez, Arkansas
Tyler Schneider, Missouri
Sean Tobin, Ole Miss
Robert Domanic, Ole Miss

Men’s All-SEC Second Team
Cale Wallace, Arkansas
Kane Grinster, Auburn
Alex George, Arkansas
Austin Whitelaw, Tennessee
Matt Airola, Alabama
Damian Roszko, Mississippi State
Dan Roe, Missouri

Men’s SEC All-Freshman Team
Sean Tobin, Ole Miss
Alex George, Arkansas
Taylor Caldwell, Ole Miss
Mark Robertson, Ole Miss
Coleman Churitch, Auburn
Bryan Kamau, Georgia
Thomas Howell, Florida