A number of SEC cross country teams were in action last weekend, including several at the Joe Piane Invitational. A recap of the weekend action is below.
Alabama graduate Vincent Kiprop took home the Joe Piane Notre Dame individual crown Friday afternoon at the Burke Golf Course, finishing first overall with a mark of 23:09.88 in the men's Blue Division 5-mile. Fellow graduate Gilbert Kigen (23:13.70) crossed the line almost immediately after Kiprop as the Crimson Tide went 1-2 in the 5-mile event. Sophomore Mercy Chelangat was the Crimson Tide's highest finisher on the women's side as she placed 35th individually in the 5k at 16:56.85. As a team, Alabama women finished 14th pulling an upset over nationally ranked No. 16 Iowa State (15th place), while the men placed 16th in one of the deepest men's fields the sport has seen this year.
The No. 25 Arkansas men's cross country team grabbed a top-five finish on its home course at the Chile Pepper Festival posting a score of 165-points Saturday morning at Agri Park. Junior Matt Young led the way for the Hogs Saturday morning at Agri Park, finishing fourth overall and second among collegians. Arkansas' Cameron Griffith and Gilbert Boit, both running unattached, finished first and second in times of 23:35.90 and 23:46.10, respectively. Placing four runners in the top-five, the No. 2 Razorback women's cross country team dominated from start to finish on its home course at the Chile Pepper Festival posting a ridiculously low score of 24-points and winning by an impressive 66-points Saturday morning at Agri Park.
Junior Joyce Kimeli, making her 2019 debut, ran an outstanding race en route to a third-place finish over 5k at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational at the Burke Golf Course Friday. The 2018 All-SEC performer crossed in 16:20.69, finishing behind Weini Kelati of New Mexico and Alecia Monson of Wisconsin. Kelati was the 2018 NCAA Cross Country runner up, while Monson was fourth at nationals a year ago. The Auburn men also had a strong showing on the team side, finishing 10th, with four runners finishing in the top 60, led by sophomore Silas Kipngetich, who crossed the five-mile course in 25:08.01. Junior Tommy McDonough was 40th (25:15.83), senior Andy Smith was 53rd (25:22.27), while junior Jack Rogers was 57th (25:23.80). Rogers' younger brother, Evan, a freshman for the Tigers, rounded out the scoring crossing in 26:19.36 for 114th place. On the women's side, the Tigers finished 19th in the team standings. Sophomore Faith Bett was 73rd finishing in 17:22.30, while sophomore Abbey Zane was 126th in 17:48.07.
Kentucky raced in the Greater Louisville Classic at Tom Sawyer Park on Saturday morning. The women's team finished 20th overall on 588 points in a 5,000-meter competition while the men's team finished 22nd overall on 540 points over an 8k course. Middle Tennessee State won both the men's and women's races. The Wildcats will be back in action on Oct. 19 at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Indiana at 11 a.m. ET.
The LSU men's and women's cross country teams traveled to South Bend, Ind. where they competed in the Joe Piane Invitational on Friday afternoon. The men's squad competed in the Gold Division 5-mile race and placed fifth overall with 163 points. The women ran the Gold Division 5K where they finished in 10th place with 283 points. This meet was the largest one LSU has competed in thus far as there were over two hundred runners who participated on Friday.
Ole Miss men's cross country put together a fantastic race, placing second in an extremely competitive field in the five-mile race at Notre Dame's Joe Piane Invitational on Friday. The No. 14 Rebel men trailed only No. 4 Colorado in the team standings of the men's blue 5-mile race by a score of 71-107. Ole Miss used a tight scoring spread of 28.7 seconds (the best out of the top-five teams) to edge out 10 other ranked schools. The No. 14 Rebel women faced a gauntlet in the women's blue 5K race, which featured 11 total nationally ranked schools. Ole Miss finished 10th overall.
The Mississippi State cross country team set 12 personal bests Saturday at the Louisville Classic held at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park. All six of MSU's runners in the men's 8K set collegiate-best marks en route to a 26th-place finish. In the women's 5K, State clinched a 12th-place finish as six of its eight runners set personal bests. The women were led by Sylvia Russell, who shattered her previous 5K best by 48 seconds with a time of 17:32.7. Kristy Terp was the second Bulldog to cross the finish line with a personal-best time of 18:16.5, placing 80thoverall.
South Carolina junior Heather Stone ran the fastest 6K time in school history on Saturday afternoon at the Paul Short Run at the Goodman Campus Cross Country Course in Bethlehem, Pa. Stone finished her first 6K of the season in 20:38.8, beating the previous record of 20:40.4, set by Kayla Lampe in 2012. Coming in second for the Gamecocks, Anna Kathryn Stoddard came across the line at the 21:19.2 mark.
Senior distance specialist Megan Murray placed ninth overall at the Paul Short Run Saturday afternoon, leading the Lady Vols cross country team to a fourth-place finish at one of the largest meets in the country. The Knoxville native clocked a time of 20:03.3 over the six-kilometer course to pace the Big Orange. Tennessee placed 21st out of 44 teams competing in the men's college gold 8K with a total of 601 points. In a race of nearly 400 runners, Vol junior Alex Crigger led the Big Orange with a 55th-place outing individually as he clocked a time of 24:14.6.
Vanderbilt turned in a pair of top-25 team finishes Saturday at the Live In Lou Cross Country Classic held at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park. Nick Laning's 24:04.6 was good for 15th among individuals in the men's gold 8k race, headlining an 11th-place showing for the Commodores at one of the nation's most highly-attended cross country events. Annie Gallagher (18:08.4) paced Vanderbilt with a 63rd-place finish in the women's gold 5k, as Vanderbilt posted a collective 22nd-place standing.