NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Championship season is here. Vanderbilt men’s and women’s cross country teams will head to Columbia, Missouri for Friday’s SEC Championships on the SEC Network. The men’s 8-kilometer race at Gans Creek Cross Country Course begins at 10:08 a.m. CT, and the women will start the 6-kilometer race at 10:50 a.m.
At the Blazer Classic on Oct. 16, McKenzie Yanek won the individual title and Grace Jensen finished second to wrap up the 2021 regular season. Vanderbilt women’s cross country won the overall team title, while the men finished fourth overall behind a runner-up finish from Matthew Estopinal.
SEC Championship Notables
- Last year, Jensen earned All-SEC second team honors at the SEC Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The women finished in sixth-place while the men placed 11th with the program’s second lowest point total in 40 years.
- In 2019, the women were sixth overall and just six points out of fourth, while the men were led by Nick Laning, who became the second male Commodore to earn All-SEC honors en route to a 10th-place finish and the program’s lowest point total since 1980.
- In 2018 at the SEC Championships in Auburn, Alabama, the Vanderbilt women finished sixth with 181 points, while the men were 11th with 291 points. Sara Tsai just missed All-SEC honors as the women’s top finished (15th overall).
- The Commodores have captured one SEC Women’s Cross Country Championship title, coming in 2011 at Maryville, Tennessee. Vanderbilt dominated that edition, defeating runner-up Arkansas by 31 points. From 2010-16, the Commodores earned a top-five team result in every conference meet. In addition to the 2011 win, Vanderbilt claimed a second-place finish in 2014 and third-place results in 2010, 2012 and 2015.
- Caroline Pietrzyk became one of five Vanderbilt first-team All-SEC recipients when she claimed a third-place individual finish at the 2015 edition. Pietrzyk’s performance ranks as the second-best effort by a Commodore at the SEC meet, trailing only a runner-up finish by Alexa Rogers in 2011. Rogers was one of three Commodores to finish in the top eight at the meet, helping Vanderbilt claim the team title.
Admission to the 2021 SEC Cross Country Championships is free. For fans planning to attend the meet, parking will be available north of the course at Phillips Park.
Postseason racing will continue into November. The NCAA South Regionals are slated for Nov. 12 in Huntsville, Alabama followed by the NCAA Championships in Tallahassee, Florida, on Nov. 20.
Be sure to follow Vanderbilt cross country and track and field programs on all social media platforms at @vandyxctrack.