Nov. 28, 2011
All season long, Vanderbilt cross country head coach Steve Keith has been saying, “Wake me up after Thanksgiving and tell me it all really happened.”
His cross country team has gone from barely on the national radar to one of the best in the country, placing sixth overall at their first ever trip to the NCAA Championships.
From breaking personal, school, and conference records to winning the program’s first SEC title, to all of the personal honors the team and Keith have wracked up, it has been a dream season for the team.
Take a look at some of the images and videos of the “magical” season.
Sept. 2: Team opens their season at the Belmont-Vanderbilt Opener. We get a taste of what’s to come from Jordan White, Alexa Rogers, and Louise Hannallah, who finish 1-2-3 as they win the race. White is named SEC Runner of the Week for her performance.
Sept. 17: The freshmen stretch their legs out at the Commodore Classic. It’s our first look at freshman Amira Joseph, who finishes first for the Commodores and earns Freshman of the Week from the SEC.
Sept. 24: The team heads to the Roy Griak Invitational, where junior transfer Kristen Smith competes in her first race for the Black & Gold. They break into the national polls for the first time in school history at No. 27 after receiving votes up to this point in the season.
Oct. 1: Liz Anderson appears in her first race of the season, the last of the Commodores to enter into the season. The Commodores are still flying under the radar with a tenth place finish.
Oct. 14: Vanderbilt breaks out into national conversation at the Wisconsin-Adidas Invitational with a second place finish. They beat 19 top-30 ranked teams and rocket to the No. 3 spot on the USTFCCCA poll. Rogers is named SEC Runner of the Week, the third Commodore to earn honors from the SEC this season.
Oct. 31: The ladies place their five scoring runners in the top nine at the SEC Championship meet in Maryville, Tenn. winning their first ever conference title, scoring a low 30 points. Alexa Rogers places second in the meet, earning All-SEC First Team honors. Six of the seven runners were named to an All-SEC team.
Nov. 12: Vanderbilt heads to the NCAA South Regionals. The team places second overall, behind the No. 1 team in the country, Florida State. With the second place finish, they earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. It’s the program’s first trip to the Nationals.
Nov. 21: Alexa Rogers finishes in the top 40 runners to earn the university’s first cross country All-American. The team places sixth overall at the race, beating even their own expectations as they cap off their best season yet.