. – The Vanderbilt cross country teams will travel to Auburn, Ala., for the SEC Championship Preview on Friday. The meet will provide a sneak peak of the course for the 2018 SEC Championship on Oct. 26.
Setting the Stage
Friday, Sept. 7
Indian Pines Golf Course
Women's 4k: 9 a.m. l Men's 6k: 8:30 a.m.
Directions to the course: HERE
Friday's meet will give the Commodores a chance to preview the 2018 SEC Championship course as Auburn will host the 2018 SEC Championships on Friday Oct. 26. This will mark the first time that Commodores have run back-to-back meets before the Commodore Classic.
Sneak Peak … Part Two
Not only will the Dores get a chance to look at the course, but they will also get a chance to check out the SEC competition as they will be joined by SEC foes, in Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss and Tennessee. This will be the first time with head to head competition between these SEC squads.
Vanderbilt will for the second consecutive week send a smaller squad to the SEC Preview. The Dores only ran 10 runners, primarily newcomers, at the Belmont Opener and will again send a limited squad to the SEC Preview before getting the entire team back together for the Commodore Classic. This week veteran runners will head to Auburn highlighted by the return to competition of Sara Tsai
and Caroline Pietrzyk
Rookies with Stellar Debuts
The Commodores sent 10 runners to the Belmont Opener and seven of the 10 made their Commodore debut. Freshmen Alena Sapienza-Wright
and Nicholas Laning
led their respective squads with Sapienza-Wright coming in second place with a time of 18:22.80 while Laning finished with a time of 15:32.82. In total, the Commodore newcomers on both sides all finished in the top 25.
From the Coach
Head Coach Steve Keith
On running the same course as the SEC Championships …
"Previewing the SEC course will benefit the teams as they will get a feel for how the course runs and will allow us to modify some future training that might replicate the SEC course experience."
In The Rankings
The Commodores were featured in several preseason rankings. The Vanderbilt women were picked No. 5 in the SEC preseason poll, the same spot they were picked in the 2017 preseason poll, while the men checked in at No. 11. In the USTFCCCA preseason poll, the women earned a No. 8 ranking in the South Region and received votes in the national preseason poll. [ Release
Scheduled to Run
A total of 12 Vanderbilt runners will compete this weekend. A list of all runners competing is listed below:
, Caroline Pietrzyk
. Kendall Derry
, Gillian Mortimer
, Devon Grisbaum
, Mailin Struck
, Evan Suzman
, Caleb Casolaro
, Aidan Livingston
, Caleb Van Geffen, Edward Harpstead
Back on the Course
This weekend will see the return of cross country runners, Sara Tsai
and Caroline Pietrzyk
. Both runners missed the entire 2017 cross country season and Pietrrzyk, the 2015 SEC Freshman of the Year and an All-American, hasn't run since the 2015 season. Tsai reached the NCAA Championships as an at-large in 2016 and finished 57th among finishers.
A Look at the 2018 Schedule
The Commodores will have five regular-season meets this season. Following the Belmont Opener on Aug. 31, Vanderbilt will travel to Auburn for the SEC Preview meet (Sept. 7) before hosting the Commodore Classic on Sept. 15. The Dores will take a week off before the squad's split with the women traveling to the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational (Sept. 28) and men traveling to the Louisville Classic (Sept. 29). The team's will reunite at the Barrios Arturo Invitational in College Station, Texas on Oct. 13 before opening championship season on Oct. 26 at the SEC Championships in Auburn. NCAA Regionals will be held in Tallahassee on Nov. 9 and the NCAA Championship will be Nov. 17 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Follow The Commodores on Social Media
For all the latest information on the Vanderbilt cross country teams give them a follow on Twitter at @vandyxctrack.