Nov. 9, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. --The Vanderbilt women's cross country team saved its best race for November and will head to the NCAA Championships for the second straight season.
Behind top 16 finishes from Kristen Findley (ninth), Hannah Jumper (11th) and Liz Anderson (16th), the Commodores finished with 112 points. Allie Scalf (34th) and Amira Joseph(42nd) rounded out the scoring for Vanderbilt.
The Commodores edged Georgia for second place and the final automatic berth to the NCAA Championships. The Lady Bulldogs finished with 115 points. The SEC dominated the top-six, with league champion Florida in fourth, followed by Ole Miss and Alabama.
The nation's top team, Florida State, won the meet with 24 points. The Seminoles will join the Commodores at the NCAA Championships.
Findley finished the 6K race in 20:22.6 to pace the Commodores. Jumper was just a few seconds behind with a time of 20:26.9, followed by Anderson crossing the line at 20:33.4. The trio earned All-Region honors.
Scalf ran the course in 20:59.6, while Joseph, who has surged in the past two weeks, posted a time of 21:06.7 to round out the scoring.
"We had our best day this year and that's when you want to have it," said Vanderbilt Head Coach Steve Keith. "We knew we had the pieces, but not having seen it yet this year, the ladies really had something they wanted to prove."
While Keith is happy with the entire squad, he was particularly proud of Scalf and Joseph for stepping up.
"You can single out every one of them, but Allie scoring number four in the low 30s was huge," Keith said. "We had Amira and Jordan (White) come in right together for our fifth and obviously it was so close, every point counted."
Keith was also able to put this year's trip to the NCAA Championships in perspective with last year's run.
"Last year and this year are so different," Keith explained. "As challenging as this season has been, to come away with an automatic bid is really special and it helps us continue to lay a strong foundation for the future. We're very proud of that."
Vanderbilt secures an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, which will be held in Louisville on Saturday, November 17.