Oct. 13, 2007
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – On the second Saturday of October, Rita Jorgensen and Austin Williamson were the front runners for the Vanderbilt women’s and men’s cross country teams at the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. Each runner led Vanderbilt’s respective team and finished in 35th place overall.
In the women’s 6k race, Jorgensen finished 35th out of 322 runners in a time of 22:02.4. Jorgensen has been Vanderbilt’s lead runner in every meet this season.
“Rita ran a pretty good race,” commented Steve Keith.
Carmen Mims was the second finisher for the Commodores and finished in 56th place overall. Mims’ time in the event was 22:24.4. Julie Eckerly, Ellen Black, and Kate Southcote-Want rounded out the top five for the Vanderbilt women’s team. Eckerly finished 98th overall with a time of 23:15.6. Black’s time of 23:21.7 was good for 107th overall. Southcote-Want finished roughly four seconds behind Black in a time of 23:25.9, a time which placed her 111th overall. In all, the Vanderbilt women’s cross country team finished 15th out of 41 teams. The average race time per runner was 22:54.0.
Defending national champion Sally Kipyego from Texas Tech took first place in the women’s collegiate race. Her time in the event was 19:49.2. Texas Tech also took first place in the team portion of the competition.
Earlier in the day, the men’s cross country team posted a solid outing. The Commodores finished 16th out of 32 teams. At the front of the pack for VU was Austin Williamson. Williamson looked good for the black and gold and finished 35th out of 259 runners. His time in the 10k race was 31:37.7. Thomas Davis, Rick Semones, Matt Long, and Chris Noel finished the day as runners two through five for the Commodores. After leading VU two weeks ago in Louisville, Davis finished the race 80th overall in a time of 32:33.3. Semones finished 105th overall in 33:18.0. Semones’ placement today marked his fourth straight third place team finish. Long ran the 10k race for the men’s team in 33:25.3, good for 109th overall. Noel’s 33:37.8 positioned him at 123rd overall. The average race time per runner for the Vanderbilt men’s team was 32:54.4.
“Austin Williamson had a very nice race. That was by far his best 10k ever,” summed up Keith. “All in all, I thought the men had a very solid day. They grouped well together.”
Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s Shadrack Songok won the men’s collegiate race in 29:22.1. Arkansas, which hosted the Chile Pepper Festival, took the top spot among all men’s teams.
After two straight meets out of town, the women’s cross country team will return home next Saturday to participate in the Southeastern Classic. The meet will be held at Warner Park. The men’s team will rejoin the women’s team in competition the following week when both teams head to Lexington, Ky., for the SEC Championships.