Commodores run back into NCAA Championships
Nov. 15, 2013
Vanderbilt's women's cross country team ran their way back into the NCAA Championships for a school record third straight year with a second place finish at the NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. securing an automatic bid to the championship race next week.
"Super race for all seven runners," Head Coach Steve Keith said. "They came together when we needed it the most. A real team effort as all seven individuals contributed; a low number by Liz, great races from our 2-5 runners - Claire, Becca, Vanessa and Amira - only 18 seconds apart followed by Lily and Carmen, just 8-10 seconds behind that pack. Our numbers six and seven - Lily and Carmen - showed our depth as they displaced the numbers four and five runners from both Alabama and Florida… that’s a net gain of four crucial points in the team race."
Junior Claire Benjamin was the second Dore across the line in 20:44.39 to finish 20th overall. Rebecca Chandler and Vanessa Valentine finished together with Chandler running 20:56.03 and Valentine 20:57.21. Junior Amira Joseph rounded out the scoring for VU with a 36th overall finish in a time of 21:02.58. Not far behind were freshmen Lily Williams and Carmen Carlos. Williams covered the course in 21:10.32 and Carlos in 21:12.30.
"We ran this course two years ago, our first year to qualify a team to NCAA’s," Keith added. "In 2011 our team average was 20:53 (5:35/mile pace) and this year we averaged 20:47 for the 6k which is a nice improvement."
The Commodores return to racing next Saturday at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.
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