Tide cross-country teams' busy weekend at pre-national meet

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The University of Alabama women's cross country team had three runners set personal bests as the team finished tied for 35th out of 39 teams in an extremely stout field at the Pre-National Meet Saturday afternoon. The Crimson Tide raced against eight ranked teams  and two top-10 teams in the Blue Division race which is designed to be a preview of next month's NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Leigh Gilmore continued her breakout season for the Tide with a 105th-place finish in the 261-runner field. Gilmore crossed the line first for the Tide with a personal-best time of 21:42.90 on the 6-kilometer course to eclipse her previous best by nearly 18 seconds. Junior Andrea Torske crossed next in 150th place with a 22:02.80 finish to continue her solid season and beat her personal best by more than 50 seconds.

"This was a solid performance but not an outstanding one for us," head coach Randy Hasenbank said. "We've got to perform better in all five spots to score better. However, Leigh [Gilmore] and Andrea [Torske] both ran well and turned in PRs while Elsbeth [Denton] ran a great race as well for her PR."

Elsbeth Denton's personal best came in a time 22:20.40 and a 170th-place finish in one of her strongest performances this season. Kelsey Johnson and Katlyn Will were the final two scorers for the Tide in 185th and 213th, respectively. Johnson finished in 22:28.30 while Will crossed in 22:51.10 to ensure that the team's five scorers finished within 1:09 of each other. UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo took top individual honors with a time of 20:03.40 while No. 3 Florida State won the team scoring with 115 points.

The Pre-National Meet is the final race for UA before the championship portion of its schedule begins on Nov. 1 with the SEC Championships in Columbia, S.C.

Alabama Individual Results

105. Leigh Gilmore – 21:42.90

150. Andrea Torske – 22:02.80

170. Elsbeth Denton – 22:20.40

185. Kelsey Johnson – 22:28.30

213. Katlyn Will – 22:51.10

220. Dayle Van Ess – 22:55.20

247. Haley Moody – 23:42.20

No. 24 Men's Cross Country Finishes Eighth at Pre-National Meet

The University of Alabama men's cross country team faced its strongest competition to date and turned in an eighth-place performance in a 36-team field that featured 10 ranked opponents on Saturday afternoon.

UA finished with 314 points while No. 16 Oklahoma won the team scoring with 106 points and all five scorers in the top 30.

Four of the Crimson Tide's five scorers finished in the top 100 of the 241-runner field while Julius Bor was the Tide's first finisher in 12th place with a time of 23:57.60. Bor ran up front the entire race and was among the top three runners for the first five kilometers before the field caught up to him in the 8-kilometer race.

"Effort-wise, today was a little better today and we were more aggressive and got ourselves into the race," head coach Joe Walker said. "But we've got to not only do that, but find a way to finish as well. We've got a few more weeks until the conference championship and a few more weeks until hopefully we're back here [in Terre Haute for the NCAA Championships]. We're not quite where we need to be and we've got to keep moving forward."

Carison Kemei continued his strong season by finishing 23rd with a time of 24:13.40. The junior's finish would have been much higher had he not been stepped on in the beginning of the race a lost and shoe. According to Walker, Kemei ran exceptionally well the remainder of the race to turn in a solid finish despite the early setback. Moses Kiptoo, who has battled illness all week, finished 67th in 24:44.90 while Joel Rop was 84th with a 24:52.80 finish. Andrew Kirwa rounded out the Tide's scoring with a 128th-place finish and a time of 25:18.50.

Defending NCAA Champion Sam Chelanga of Liberty University was the top individual finisher with a time of 23:19.90

The Pre-National Meet is the final race for UA before the championship portion of its schedule begins on Nov. 1 with the SEC Championships in Columbia, S.C.

Alabama Individual Results

12. Julius Bor – 23:57.60

23. Carison Kemei – 24:13.40

67. Moses Kiptoo – 24:44.90

84. Joel Rop – 24:52.80

128. Andrew Kirwa – 25:18.50

228. Nathan Corder – 27:07.30

INFORMATION SOURCE: Unversity of Alabama Athletics