Oct. 12, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - This Saturday, the Tulane cross country teams will head to the University of Alabama to compete in their last meet of the regular season. The Crimson Classic is set to start the men's 8K race off at 8:30 a.m., and the women following with their 5K distance at 9:10 a.m.
"We feel like we're going into this meet with both teams having done some really good work this season to build confidence and prepare for our post season," said Head Coach Eric Peterson.
Sophomore Paige Callahan is coming off a big week in her career after winning her first individual title at the Disney Classic in Orlando, Florida. Finishing the course with a time of 18:53.70, Callahan was the only runner who crossed the finish line in under nineteen minutes. Her performance was recognized by C-USA who named her Co-Female Cross Country Athlete of the Week, the first time a Tulane female has been given the honor since 2009.
The match was also important for Freshman Mikayla Sonneborn who recorded a personal best time for a 5K distance at 20:11.00. Her performance earned her the twenty-fourth spot out of 232 runners in the competition. Seniors Katherine Crabtree and Senior Emmi Aguillard as well as Junior Callie Turlington performed like veterans, all placing in the Top 25. The team brought home second place, tying their best finish all year and one they hope to build on this Saturday.
The men's squad kept up their strong performances as well, snagging fourth place last week. Sophomore Mark Manion has set the pace all season for the team taking twelfth at the Disney Classic. His season has been outstanding in part because of his performance at the Screaming Eagle where he took home first place. Like Callahan, this was Manion's first individual title. His win led the Green Wave to a team victory for the first time in eight years.
The largely freshman team had impressive performances by their rookies Jack White, Adam Yohanan, and Nicholas Meloro who all finished in the Top 50. White's 27:37.73 finishing time was a personal best for the youngster whose career at Tulane has only just begun.
Last year at the Crimson Classic, the Green Wave took 13th place for the men and 14th for the women. With the stunning season both teams have been having, Tulane hopes to improve those finishes from last year. After three meets this season, both the men's and women's squad have yet to finish below the Top 5. The same runners are set to take the course this weekend. They hope to continue this streak although the task is hard because of the stiff competition that awaits the runners in Tuscaloosa.
"This meet is definitely a step up in class," Peterson said. "I mean we're going against teams that are more competitive than what we've faced. The course itself is going to be very fair and challenging. It's the meet we need to test ourselves and see where we are."
After the Crimson Classic, the cross country program will have a week off before continuing on to the Conference-USA championships in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on October 27.
You can follow the Green Wave cross country/track and field program on Twitter (@GreenWaveTkFld) or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TulaneXCTF.