Women's Cross Country
Vanderbilt takes 27th at NCAA Championships

Nov. 23, 2013

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The muddy and wet mess that was the LaVerne Gibson Championship Cross Country Course proved to be tough on the runners at the 2013 NCAA Cross Country National Championship. Originally set for a full six kilometers, race officials pushed the start line up 110 meters due to dangerous conditions, officially making it a 5.89 kilometer course.

The Vanderbilt women's cross country team battled through the elements in Terre Haute, Ind., and finished the race in 27th place with 676 points. The `Dores finished just three points shy of Indiana in 26th and 36 points short of Penn State in 25th.

"The conditions were really tough out there today," said Vandy head coach Steve Keith. "I'm proud of the way our girls fought today and the effort they gave."

Senior Liz Anderson came across the finish line first for the Commodores, in 92nd-place with a time of 21:16.2. The Louisville, Ky., native was in 92nd after the opening 2k, but jumped up to 80th after the 4k split. She ran the final 2k in 7:35.2 and fell back into 92nd at the finish.

"Liz had been the real heart and soul of our team this year," Keith said. "We're really proud of what she's been able to accomplish, especially being the only Vandy runner to be First Team All-SEC twice in her career."

Vanderbilt did a good job of packing up between the two through five runners. There was a 25 second spread between Rebecca Chandler, who took second for the `Dores and Carmen Carlos, who came across fifth.

Chandler surged ahead, jumping 20 spots, in the final 2,000 meters and finished in 169th overall with a time of 21:47.6. Amira Joseph finished second and third for the Commodores, respectively, with times of 21:53.1 and 21:57.8.

Lily Williams was the fourth Commodore to cross the finish line. The freshman ran the first 2k in 6:30.9, and was in 178th. She jumped up to 166th before crossing the finish line in 189th with a final time of 21.57.8. Carlos, who after the 2k was in 248th, powered forward 38 spots in the final 4,000 meters to cross the finish line in 210th with a time of 22:!2.0.

Vanessa Valentine and Claire Benjamin finished sixth and seventh, with times of 22:14.3 and 22:49.5.

Of Vandy's seven championship runners, five had never run this race before. The future looks bright, as they return six runners from the 2013 National Championships.

"You can't create a legacy overnight," said Keith. "We have the depth and talent going forward to keep competing on this national stage. The team see's the ability and potential of growth for the program so we're excited."



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