MONTGOMERY—The Alabama State University cross country teams have worked hard all season leading up to the Southwestern Athletic Championship, and this is the weekend they have been waiting for. The Hornets will travel to Clinton, Miss., for the SWAC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships on Sunday Oct. 31 beginning at 1 p.m.
The runners on both the men's and women's team have improved their times over the course of the season and head coach Ritchie Beene is excited to see if they continue their improvement at the SWAC Championships.
"Through the course of the season our Ladies have improved a great deal," Beene said. Our freshmen runner Soyong Smith has improved her time consistently in every race. We are looking forward to great things from her at the SWAC Championship and of course for years to come. Our top runner, junior Kesia Derilus, has also had a great year thus far. She has run extremely well throughout the season and is looking good to be one of the top runners at the Championship. Our other runners, juniors Breana Kelly and Courtney Gooch, have also had good races this season. Simone Buford is our senior leader and voice that will pull these ladies through this championship."
"The men's team has really come along well this season," Beene added. "We have some very inexperienced runners who have taken an aggressive approach to making this team memorable. There is a chance the men can be in contention for the title. They will have to be perfect on that day, and the other team(s) mistakes must work in our favor. Senior Jepthah Kenei will be leading the men's team along with junior Charles Flewellen. We will be looking to sophomore Cody Pace as our late bloomer to push us closer to the top of the conference finish."
ASU has been in several meets against other SWAC competition during the season and know how tough some of the teams are going to be.
"The SWAC Conference will be exciting this year," Been said. "The competition will be challenging, but challenge is our water. At this time the team to beat is the team that comes to run. The three teams to look out for are of course Alabama State University, along with Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Grambling, and Mississippi Valley State University. We are looking forward to a great race and a great performance from all our ladies and men."