Meet Central: SEC | Florida
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Kentucky cross country teams will face yet another tough test as they will compete at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championships, hosted by the University of Florida on Friday, Nov. 1 at Mark Bostick Golf Course.
The men’s 8K race is slated for a 9 a.m. ET start, while the women’s 6K race will commence at 10 a.m. ET. An awards ceremony will follow the races.
“We are still a work in progress,” head coach Edrick Floreal said. “We just want to keep doing better than last year. I just want them to go out and focus on racing, meeting expectations and doing their best. That will be sufficient. We just have to keep climbing that ladder of doing well in the SEC.”
UK enters the SEC Championships led on the women’s side by defending conference champion Cally Macumber as her winning time was 20:23.29. The senior, Rochester Hills, Mich., has won two races this season, and has placed in the top five in all but one competition.
Macumber was named SEC Runner of the Week and USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week earlier this season, with the fastest 5K time in the conference all year: 16:32.11 at the Bluegrass Invitational.
“The field is always tough,” Floreal said. “The good thing about winning (individually) is that you won and the bad thing is that now everyone is prepared for you to win. The rest of the competitors set themselves up to know there will be a great kick. I’m sure people are going to try to push the pace to try and slow down her kick, people are going to be prepared.”
Macumber’s only 6K performance of the season, a time of 20:12.15, was the fourth fastest time in the SEC over that distance this year.
UK also boasts two more decorated seniors as Allison Peare and Anna Bostrom were both All- Southeast Region finishers in 2012. Freshman Cassidy Hale has also enjoyed a strong first season in Lexington with a top 5K time of 17:36.56.
The UK men’s team is led by a pair of seniors: Matt Hillenbrand and Adam Kahleifeh. Kahleifeh’s top 2013 time, which came on Sept. 14 at the Bluegrass Invitational, is the 10th fastest 8K performance in the SEC this year. Hillenbrand’s top 2013 8K time ranks 20th in the SEC.
Sophomore transfer Zack Beavin has enjoyed a strong debut season as a Wildcat with a top 8K time of 24:47.93. Mackay Wilson’s best 8K time: 25:00.92 came at UK’s last meet, Pre-Nationals.
The UK women were 5th, and the men finished 6th overall at the 2012 SEC Championships.
Admission to the 2013 SEC Cross Country Championships is free and spectator parking is available at the UF Law School.
The University of Florida is playing host to the SEC Cross Country Championships for the fifth time in history. Gainesville was also the home of the meet in 1973, 1981, 1990 and 2002.
The defending SEC men’s cross country champion is Arkansas, and the Razorbacks have claimed 20 of the last 22 SEC team titles. The defending SEC women’s champion is Florida, with the Gators having captured its third team title from the last four years in 2012.
Texas A&M’s Henry Lelei won the men’s individual title a year ago, but has no more cross country eligibility.
Three SEC programs currently are ranked among the nation’s top-30 according to the latest edition of the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I National Coaches Poll, released last Tuesday. Of the men’s tams, Arkansas is ranked No. 12, while Florida also is receiving votes. Of the women’s teams, Arkansas is No. 2, while Ole Miss is ranked No. 30. Texas A&M and Vanderbilt also are receiving votes on the women’s side.
SEC Cross Country Meet Information
Date: Friday, November 1, 2013
Time: Men’s 8K (9 a.m. ET); Women’s 6K (10 a.m. ET); Awards (11:15 a.m. ET)
Location: Mark Bostick Golf Course (Gainesville, Fla.)
Defending Men’s Champion: Arkansas
Defending Women’s Champion: Florida
Men’s 8K SEC Meet Record: Josphat Bolt, Arkansas (23:09.91), 2004
Women’s 6K SEC Meet Record: Andreina Byrd, Arkansas (19:07.21), 2001
Men’s 8K Course Record: Brian Jaeger, Auburn (23:34.0), 1986
Women’s 6K Course Record: Shannon Womack, Tennessee (19:50.16), 2005
The official meet Web sites are: http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/SECSPORTS/CHAMPIONSHIPS/2013CrossCountryChampionships.aspx and http://www.gatorzone.com/crosscountry/tour/sec/2013/.