2012 C-USA Cross Country Championship Preview
Oct. 26, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.--The UAB cross country team will compete in the 2012 Conference USA Cross Country Championship, hosted by Southern Miss on Monday.
The women's 5K race is scheduled for a 9 a.m. CT start at the Pine Belt National Golf Course in Moselle, Miss.
Last year, UAB finished in sixth place with 167 points, while SMU won the championship with 57. Individually, SMU's Silje Fjortoft won with a time of 16:06.8.
"Cross Country is a really unique sport in that we don't have a regular season win/loss record," head coach Tony Houchin said. "When championship season rolls around, every team in the conference toes the line and we definitively get to see who the best team is on that day. You're either going to be on that line prepared to perform or you're not."
Senior Sarah Hudak is the only member of the current team to have competed in last year's race, where she finished in 21st place with a time of 18:04.10.
Hudak leads the Blazers with four victories in five races, including four personal bests. At the 2012 Bradley Classic on Oct.12 in Peoria, Ill., the Manchester, England, native finished the 6K with a school record time of 20:40, besting former Green and Gold standout Rhiannon Johns' time of 20:42.22, which had been set at the NCAA South Regional in 2010.
"The way we've been running all season, from meet to meet, we've been seeing significant steady improvement," Houchin said. " I don't know where we'll finish once the dust settles, but I do know that each and every Blazer is ready to run the race of their lives. It should be a pretty exciting race!"
Along with Hudak's victory at the Bradley Clasisc, four other Blazers set personal bests in their quest for continued improvement, junior Elinor Kirk finished with a time of 20:58 for fourth place, and sophomore Kristie Leybourne crossed the finish line at 23:05. Senior Pascale Pinard shaved more than three minutes of her best in the 6K with a time of 24:04, and sophomore Kara Woods improved on her mark with a finish at 26:22.
Following the conference championship, the Blazers will compete in the NCAA South Regional in Tallahassee, Fla., on Nov. 9.