XC South Regional Championships Saturday

Nov. 8, 2007

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The cross country postseason is approaching its second event for the 2007 Vanderbilt teams, as both squads will travel to Gainesville, Fla., this Saturday to participate in the NCAA South Regional Championships held at the Mark Bostick Golf Course. Each participating team is allowed to run a maximum of seven athletes in the competition. The men will run on a 10k course, while the women’s race will be a 6k.

The Commodore women are coming off of an eighth place team finish at the SEC Championships two weeks ago. Them VU men’s cross country team finished tenth.

“On both sides of the coin, we didn’t have the races that we wanted at the SEC Championships,” said Steve Keith.” For both teams, we want them to finish on a positive note and beat a couple of teams (in the Regional) that beat us at the SEC Championships. Our runners should take pride in all of the work they have put into the season.”

The men’s team will be made up from Thomas Davis, Matt Long, Chris Noel, Michael Nordlund, Rick Semones, Rob Whiting and Austin Williamson. Their 10k meet is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. CT. Leading the pack for VU will be Williamson, who has performed well all season for the Commodores.

“His (Austin Williamson’s) Chile Pepper race was excellent. However, I think he might have put too much pressure on himself for a big performance at the SEC Championship race,” claimed Keith, adding, “I think that Austin and the rest of the team will be more relaxed so that they can show their talent and fitness that they have to the rest of the field.”

The women’s 6k race will begin at 10 a.m. CT. The seven member Vanderbilt female squad will be comprised of Carolyn Bell, Ellen Black, Adrienne DiRaddo, Rita Jorgensen, Val Kazmer, Carmen Mims and Kate Southcote-Want. Erin Guglielmo will be also travel as an alternate. A notable absence from the list is Julie Eckerly. Eckerly is out of Saturday’s race due to injury, but Kazmer will be counted on to provide leadership for a relatively young squad.

“Julie has a broken metatarsal. She won’t be racing, so the only senior female who will race will be Val,” commented Keith. “Val has had a good season. She’s gotten better every meet. She’s contributed quite a bit. I would anticipate her continuing to use her experience to help the younger runners.”

The final round of the 2007 cross country postseason will be held November 19 in Terre Haute, Ind. Qualifying for the NCAA National Championships is determined from results of all regional competitions.