Women defend home turf

Sept. 15, 2012


Women's Gold (Division I) Results Get Acrobat Reader | Men's Gold (Division I) Results Get Acrobat Reader

Women's Black (Non-Division I) Results Get Acrobat Reader | Men's Black (Non-Division I) Results Get Acrobat Reader

NASHVILLE -- The Vanderbilt women's cross country team wanted to send a message. Running on its home course with seven other SEC teams as a preview of the SEC Championships, the Commodores wanted to prove they were ready to defend their SEC title.

Consider the message sent.

The Commodores placed runners third, fourth, sixth, seventh and 23rd, for a total of 42 teams points, beating out Ole Miss (84 points) and Eastern Kentucky (108 points).

Junior Liz Anderson (Louisville, Ky.) paced the Commodores, placing third with a time of 21:08.80. She was followed across the line by senior Kristen Findley (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia), who ran the season's first 6K race in a time of 21:12.36.

Just behind Anderson and Findley were Kristen Smith (Clarkston, Mich.) and Hannah Jumper (Chattanooga, Tenn.), who finished sixth and seventh, respectively. Smith posted a time of 21:18.92 in her first race of the season. Jumper, who won the individual title at the Belmont Opener two weeks ago, ran a time of 21:20.33.

Rounding out the scoring for Vanderbilt was freshman Sara Barron (Oakland, Mich.), who placed 23rd (scoring 22 points) with a time of 22:11.49 in her second career race.

Vanderbilt Head Coach Steve Keith was very pleased with the way his women's squad executed the plan.

"The top four ran well together, as we planned," Keith said. "It was only an 11 second gap between our top four, so that was very nice to see. Our main emphasis was team and group running, and we did that."

Keith was especially proud of Barron's effort in her first 6K race. It was even more important with some health issues hitting a few Commodores.

"Very nice effort from Sara to be our fifth today," Keith said. "Our second group is still dealing with some healthy issues, but overall we're doing well."

The Vanderbilt men's team placed 17th, edging Georgia State and SEC foe LSU.

Matthew Cleveland (Danville, Ill.) paced the men with a 73rd place finish. John Ewing (Atlanta, Ga.) joined Cleveland in the top-100 with a 94th place finish and a time of 26:43.08.

Keith was also proud of the men, especially of the Commodores topping an SEC squad.

"Very solid race for the men," Keith said. "We missed our number one runner with an ankle injury yesterday, but we got a really good team effort today to overcome that."

Both Commodore squads return to action in two weeks at the Greater Louisville Classic. The race will serve as a preview of the NCAA Championships, which will be hosted by Louisville. Anderson will be looking to pace the Commodores again as she returns to her hometown.



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