NASHVILLE – The Vanderbilt cross country teams will welcome a total of 17 teams, 14 in the men’s field and 17 in the women’s field, to Percy Warner Park for the 14th annual Commodore Classic on Saturday morning. The field features teams from the SEC, Big Ten and Conference USA along with several local teams.
Setting the Stage
Event: Commodore Classic
Date: Saturday, Sept. 16
Site: Percy Warner Park
Start Times: Men's 8K: 9 a.m. l Women's 5K: 10 a.m.
Directions to the course: HERE
Results/Live Timing: HERE
Home Sweet, Commodore Classic
Saturday’s Commodore Classic will mark the 14th time Vanderbilt has hosted the home meet. The women’s team last won the meet in 2014 on the strength of alumnae Carmen Carlos’ third-place finish. In total, the women’s squad has won the team title nine times and has taken the individual title six times with Rita Jorgenson being the last individual to win in 2010. On the men’s side, the Commodores have placed in the top 10 eight times and posted back-to-back individual winners in 2006 and 2005.
From the Coaches
Head Coach Steve Keith
On hosting the Commodore Classic …
“This meet is always a highlight of our season and a great opportunity to run in front of family and friends. The quality of the men’s and women’s fields is great, we have a number of nationally and regionally-ranked teams so this will be a great early season test”
Assistant Coach Rebekah Smeltzer
On the team’s preparation over the last several weeks …
“The team really worked hard these past two weeks. We worked on overall fitness, group synergy and racing mindfulness. We definitely challenged the group during our hill workout last week and really worked hard on our race rhythm workout earlier this week. I think both groups are really starting to gain some confidence in themselves and their teammates. I’m looking forward to seeing that translate nicely at the Commodore Classic.”
Scouting The Field
This weekend’s field is a strong one featuring teams from the SEC, Big Ten and Conference USA among others. In addition, there are two nationally-ranked teams in the field on the women’s side in Missouri (14) and Eastern Michigan (21). The men’s side will also feature nationally-ranked opponents Middle Tennessee State (19) and Eastern Michigan (23).
Men: Austin Peay, Belmont, Butler, IUPUI, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Marshall, Miami (Ohio) Middle Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio State, SIU Carbondale, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky
Women: Austin Peay, Belmont, Butler, Eastern Michigan, IUPUI, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Marshall, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee, Missouri, Ohio State, SIU Carbondale, Tennessee Tech, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky, Xavier (Ohio)
In The Rankings
The Commodore women were the No. 3 team in the South Region in the latest regional poll on Sept. 11 and received six votes in the latest national poll released on Sept. 12. The Dores are holding steady in the regional rankings as they also were the No. 3 team in the South in the preseason poll.
[ RELEASE ]
Additionally, several Commodores are coming in with marks at the top of the SEC. Maddie Criscione’s time of 17:50.46 at the Belmont Opener is the fifth fastest time in the SEC in a 5K and Megan Huebner’s 17:50.81 is just behind Criscione, ranking as the sixth fastest 5K time in the SEC to date. On the men’s side, Jason Vincze’s 15:39.32 in the 5,000 meter is 11th among SEC foes at that distance. [SEC WEEKLY RELEASE]
On Your Marks, Get Set, GO …
A total of 20 Vanderbilt runners will compete this weekend. Harrison Thomas on the men’s side makes his season debut this weekend while the rest of the Commodore contingent raced in the Belmont Opener on Sept. 2. A list of all runners competing is listed below:
Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
The Vanderbilt women kicked off the 2017 season with a win at the Belmont Opener. It was the second consecutive win for the women in Belmont Opener and the fourth win in the last six years. Maddie Criscione led the Vanderbilt finisher crossing the line with a time of 17:50.468 for third place. The men placed third and were led by Jason Vincze’s 11th-place finish with a time of 15:39.326. [ RECAP ]
Rewind to 2016 Commodore Classic
The Vanderbilt women took third place at the 2016 Commodore Classic on the strength of Sara Tsai’s sixth-place finish with a personal best time of 17:08.6 among a talent-laden field. The Vanderbilt women placed five runners in the top 45 in a field that featured more than 260 runners. The men took eighth place and were paced by Jack Van Geffen who placed 69th with a time of 26:08.8. [ RECAP ]
The Commodores will next race on Sept. 30 when both squads travel to Louisville. Ky. for the Louisville Classic.
A Look at the 2017 Schedule
The Commodores will race in four regular-season meets this season. Following the Belmont Opener, Vanderbilt will host the Commodore Classic on Sept. 16 before traveling to the Louisville Classic (Sept. 30). The men will get a preview of the NCAA South Regional course at the Alabama Crimson Classic (Oct. 13) while the women will head to Wisconsin for the Wisconsin-Nuttycombe Invitational. The Dores will head to Athens, Ga., for the SEC Championship on Oct. 27 before heading back to Tuscaloosa for the NCAA South Regional on Nov. 10. [ SCHEDULES: MEN | WOMEN ]
Another Van Geffen on the Commodore Roster
For the Van Geffen’s it’s a cross country family affair. Following in his older brother Jake Van Geffen’s footsteps, freshman Caleb Van Geffen is also a member of the Commodore men’s cross country team. Older brother Jake graduated last May and was awarded an NCAA Postgraduate scholarship.
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.