Cross country team competes in first meet against Samford, Auburn

Cross country team competes in first meet against Samford, Auburn

11-01-13 MWCC SEC Championship Conner Thompson. Photo courtesy of UA Athletics

The Alabama cross country team traveled to Birmingham for the first meet of the year against Samford and Auburn. Alabama fell just short of Auburn on both the women’s and men’s side for a finish of second place, but it was a chance to let the new freshmen and underclassmen get experience.

“Yesterday went pretty well,” junior Connor Thompson said. “We had a lot of good performances on the team side, Josh Short was a really exciting performance. He finished third for our team [11th overall] in his first collegiate race. We are still missing some pieces, but we expect to be there at the end of the year. Overall it was a great first step.”

Thompson himself finished 10th overall while fellow junior Robbie Farnham-Rose finished fifth. Overall the men averaged a time of 16:11.34, while Auburn averaged 15:44.34. On the women’s side another first time runner, Calli Coggins, was the top performer for Alabama. The freshman finished eighth overall with a two mile time of 11:29.55. The women finished with an average time of 11:40.32.

“I think it was a really good opportunity for our younger girls to get out there and race. Calli Coggins was our top performer and she is a freshman. It was good to see her to go out there and put on the Alabama jersey for the first time,” junior Allison Gregg said.

Up next for the Crimson Tide is a trip to Memphis, Tennessee, for the Brooks Twilight Classic. Alabama will face two SEC teams, Mississippi State and Ole Miss along with various other colleges.

“I think it is good for us to get a feel for them and see where we stack up and see how we can improve and how much further we need to go,” Thompson said.

Thompson, who is originally from Murfreesboro, Tennessee, will be excited to go back to his home state and compete. Thompson’s high school will be there at the same time, with there being a high school meet the same day.

Thompson and Gregg said they are ready for the season to get into full swing. Memphis will be the first major meet of the season and both of them cannot wait.

“I know as a team we are looking for an overall aggressive, competitive effort. It's the first time a lot of us will be racing this season. So it’s going to set the tone for the season,” Gregg said.

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