Oct. 2, 2009
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Vanderbilt cross country teams return to the course this weekend as they travel to Louisville, Ky., to partake in the 8th annual Greater Louisville Classic at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park on Saturday Oct. 3. The men’s 8000-meter gold race will start at 9:30 a.m. ET, with the women’s 5000-meter gold race to follow at 10:15 a.m. In addition to the gold races, the event will also have men’s and women’s blue races at 11 and 11:45 a.m., respectively.
The Commodores will get a big test this weekend against excellent competition, as they will be one of 76 teams competing Saturday. The Vanderbilt men will compete against a large field of teams, including Kentucky, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Louisville, Purdue, Central Michigan, Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee while the women’s field is highlighted by Missouri, Kentucky, Louisville, Purdue and Vanderbilt.
“There will be over 300 runners in each race so that puts a premium on getting out together and in good position,” Head Coach Steve Keith said. “We are looking forward to running against three SEC teams to see how we stack up against them. The women finished in fifth place last year but were only nine points out of second so I think this year we can score a much lower total.”
Last season at the Greater Louisville Classic, the women were led by Rita Jorgensen and Kristabel Doebel-Hickok, who finished fourth and 15th, respectively, while the men were paced by Thomas Davis’ 8K time of 25:27.95.
In their first two meets the VU men have been paced by Jenner Kizer and Thomas Davis, but are looking to run as a pack and be more consistent.
“The men still need to focus on narrowing the one through five gap so hopefully we can see five or six guys within 30-45 seconds of each other this weekend,” Keith said.
“It’s been two weeks since our last race so everyone is very excited to compete this weekend,” Keith said. “We are looking for everyone to be aggressive and get involved in the race while focusing on the later miles when concentration is the most important.”
Stay tuned to vucommodores.com for your official source of Vanderbilt cross country.