Vandy set for third-straight NCAA appearance
Nov. 22, 2013
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Vanderbilt women's cross country team is set for their third-straight NCAA Championship appearance after earning an automatic bid last weekend at the NCAA South Regionals.
Indiana State University will act as the host for Saturday's championships races at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Cente, in Terre Haute, Ind. The men's 10k race will begin at noon Eastern, followed by the women's 6k race at 1:15 p.m. Eastern. A live webcast of the races will be available at www.ncaa.com.
The Commodores will have to battle Mother Nature along with the 30 other teams in the race, as the course has become muddied and wet. The elements are sure to factor in the race according to assistant coach Rhonda Riley.
"Given the fact that its been raining and the course is muddy, the team that runs the smartest will do the best tomorrow." Riley continued, "The course is not going to be fast, and if we can come out and be patient I think we'll do well."
Vanderbilt will be led by senior Liz Anderson, who finished ninth last weekend at the NCAA South Regionals. The Louisville, Ky., native has run in this race the past two seasons and fell just short of All-American status as a sophomore finishing in 43rd place, right here in Terre Haute.
Anderson, who has a 6k personal best time of 20:21.10, feels there is advantage to have raced on this course two years ago.
"I know my way around this course," Anderson said. "Running here before gives you an advantage just because I know what to expect, I know when to hold back and I know when to give it my all. This course is a grinder, and this is my last race so I'm going to give it everything I have."
Joining Anderson on the line for the Commodores on Saturday will be Rebecca Chandler, Claire Benjamin, Lily Williams, Vanessa Valentine, Carmen Carlos, and Amira Joseph. Freshman Reagan Andersonwill be the alternate for Vandy.
Vanderbilt comes into the race as the 25th-ranked team in the country and has eyes on a top-20 finish, improving on their 28th-place finish from a year ago.
"We had a great team race at regionals," said Riley. "Everyone is coming along nicely and I think we are in the best physical shape we've been in all year as well as being in the best mental state of mind. Throughout the season you want the best race to be your last race and I think our women are ready to do that tomorrow."
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