Vanderbilt competes at SEC Championship

Nov. 1, 2010

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – The Vanderbilt women’s cross country team made history today with a third place finish at the SEC Championships Monday morning at Hilton Field. Before today, the Commodores had never finished higher than fourth at the conference meet, and that came in 1997. Just 16 points separated the top three teams, as Florida had 60, second-place Arkansas had 61 and Vanderbilt had 76. In the men’s race, Vanderbilt placed 11th with 278 points.

Jordan White led the team with a 10th place finish, clocking in at 21:18.46. Rita Jorgensen was just four seconds behind at 11th, registering a time of 21:22.76. Coming in third for the Commodores was Alexa Rogers, who finished the 6K race with a time of 21:27. Kristabel Doebel-Hickok and Louise Hannallah rounded out the Vanderbilt top five, with Doebel-Hickok placing 19th (21:38.46) and Hannallah at 21st (21:41.69).

“The women ran pretty much right on our plan and came away with a very solid third place finish,” said cross country head coach Steve Keith. “Between our first and fifth place finishers there was just a 23 second gap, and only 33 seconds between our top seven runners, which is by far our best team effort of the season.”

Liz Anderson was the sixth Commodore to cross the finish line, posting a time of 21:48.60 in her first conference championship meet. Allie Scalf rounded out the top seven for Vanderbilt with a 28th place finish (21:51.01).

White, Jorgensen and Anderson were honored by the SEC for their accomplishments on the course. White and Jorgensen were named to the SEC second-team, while Anderson earned a spot on the All-Freshman team as she was the third rookie to cross the finish line.

In the men’s 8K race, Chris Baker led the Commodores with a time of 26:18.17, finishing 51st overall. Alan Ash clocked in eight seconds later at 26:26.74, while Jenner Kizer finished at 26:29.72. Conrad Goeringer and Kyle Rewick rounded out the top five fort Vanderbilt, posting times of 26:43.65 and 26:55.40, respectively.

“The men had a solid run and scored better than last year,” said Keith. “Their separation between the top five runners was just 37 seconds. They have a nice foundation to build from for next year.”

The Commodores have two weeks off to prepare for the NCAA Regional meet, Nov. 13 in Birmingham, Ala.