Nov. 9, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--The UAB cross country team finished in 15th of 38 teams at the NCAA South Regional, hosted by Florida State, on Friday at the Apalachee Regional Park.
"Our finish puts us in the top 15 of the NCAA South Region for the first time since the first week of the season, and this end result is all that matters," head coach Tony Houchin said. "Everyone in the region toes the line and runs like mad when the gun goes off. Today we were the 15th best team in the South, which is a big accomplishment."
In the 205-person field, senior Sarah Hudak finished the 6K race in 17th place with a time of 20:34.40. The mark is a persona best for the Manchester, England native, and also the UAB 6K record. Hudak set the previous record, 20:40, at the Bradley Classic on Oct. 12.
Junior Elinor Kirk finished next for the Blazers with a time of 20:38.92 for 21th place. Kirk's previous best in the 6K was 20:58, also set at the Bradley Classic. Both Kirk and Hudak's finishes put them on the NCAA All-South Regional team.
"It is a huge accomplishment for Sarah and Eli to finish on the All-South Region team, and could qualify them for Academic All-American honors," Houchin said. "For Sarah it is an incredible improvement from last year's finish. For Eli, it's a fantastic starting point."
Also for UAB, junior Kate Brown crossed the finish line in 73rd place with a time of 21:45.00. Sophomore Kristie Leybourne and senior Rachel Harley finished within seconds of one another with times of 23:38.12 and 23:39.72, respectively. Harley shaved nearly three minutes of her previous best, which had also been set at the Bradley Classic.
Individually, Florida State swept the top three positions, with Violah Lagat taking first place with a time of 20:06.52. Colleen Quigly finished in second place with a time of 20:11.92, and teammate Amanda Winslow crossed the finish line two seconds later with a 20:30.82.
UAB's will open the indoor track schedule on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Birmingham Southern Invite.