Women win Crimson Classic, Men finish 9thBy Ben Boynton | 10/19/2014 8:35pm
The Crimson Tide women’s cross country team won its fourth straight Crimson Classic and its third title of the season Friday night while the men’s team came in ninth place at the University of Alabama's Harry Pritchett Running Park.
The women had a comfortable margin of victory, with their 68 points well ahead of second place Georgia Tech’s 116 and third place Auburn’s 130. The women were paced by a fourth-place finish from junior Katelyn Greenleaf, who finished in 17 minutes and 32.21 seconds. The Tide had a fifth-place finish in 17:41.59 from junior Kimberley Ficenec and a sixth-place finish in 17:42.96 from sophomore Hannah Waggoner.
The men were led by a 24th-place finish from senior Matt Airola who finished in 25:41.90. Sophomore Robbie Farnham-Rose finished in 25:50.60 for a 29th-place finish and classmate Conner Thompson finished in 26:03.23, good for 40th place. The team score of 212 points fell short of first place Clemson’s 123 by a fair amount. Auburn with 130 points and Georgia Tech with 133 rounded out the top three for the men.
Coach Dan Waters said the home setting helped the team prepare for the race.
“This is a course we know like the back of our hands, and we had a really good race plan we put together for it," he said.
The race was the first event of Alabama’s sixth annual Power in Pink program, which includes all women’s teams. The program helps raise awareness for breast cancer, and this year it coincides with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“I think it’s really good that we do this, and I feel it’s very important, and I’m proud to be part of a team that hosts a big event like this," Ficenec said.
Waters said Power in Pink makes a big statement.
“Every little thing we do helps, and it makes a tremendous statement that we are unified and we are pushing for the same fight," he said.
Both teams will turn their attentions now towards the SEC Championships Oct. 31, when the conference championships are hosted in Tuscaloosa.
“It’s a great home field advantage for us,” Waters said. “We’ll spend the next two weeks making sure we are putting the finishing touches on our training, making sure that we are exactly where we want to be mentally, physically and emotionally.”