BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The UAB cross country team wrapped up its 2016 season last month after competing in six meets held across the Southeast.
UAB SEASON HIGHLIGHTS
MEET BY MEET
CONFERENCE USA CHAMPIONSHIP
NCAA SOUTH REGIONAL
Head Coach Matt Esche
On the season overall…
This cross country season was a big step in the right direction of changing the culture and expectations of UAB Cross Country. We had a lot of positives starting with many big PR's from almost every single girl on the team. The attitude and dedication of the girls this year has truly laid the foundation for a very exciting future for Blazer XC.
Individually we had some great seasons put together. Rebecca Evans was stellar – soaring past her accomplishments from last year and capping her season off with an All-Conference USA performance and highest NCAA Regional finish ever. Sarah Livett had a bounce back year as last year she was slowly coming back from an achilles injury during the fall. Sarah came on strong, showing what focus and dedication can do as she earned All-Conference USA honors as well as her highest regional finish as well. Emily Drouin was a consistent rock for us throughout the year – despite battling sickness, Emily showed up when it counted and gave us her best performance each time out. Track season is going to be very exciting not just for these ladies but the entire distance squad.
On the incoming freshmen ...
The incoming Freshman class will make an immediate impact on the team. Their talent, dedication and expectations will help the UAB Cross Country team reach new heights even quicker. These are young ladies that want to be at UAB, love the campus, believe in the world class education they are going to receive and are excited about where UAB XC is headed. We have not finished our recruiting for next fall just yet, and are very excited adding a few more dedicated student-athletes to our crew.
Junior Rebecca Evans
On her thoughts heading into the 2016 season…
We went into the 2016 Cross Country season full of excitement and were eager to show how much we had improved as a team and also to show that we were all coming back stronger and more fit. We were excited to have the freshmen join us and we soon became a very tight and unified team.
On the progress throughout the season …
As the season progressed each race seemed to present us with a different challenge or obstacles, but I feel that we were able to learn something different from each race which helped spur us on for the next competition. Our hard work and determination definitely showed with almost all the team running personal bests several times during the season and to end the season with two All-Conference Second Team honors. We improved our C-USA from 11th to seventh, which was fantastic and a real testament to all the hard work the whole team have put in. We are also very lucky to have Coach Esche coaching us and to have such belief in us as a team and we can't wait to see what we can do on the track.
Senior Hannah Coffin
On the season overall…
This past cross country season was the most exciting for me from a building standpoint - roster size was doubled, and only two people who competed last year were back again this year. It was a big undertaking for the small number of returners to guide the many new faces through the team’s schedule and routines. The beginning of the season was started on an incredibly high note. First collegiate meet for some, a huge PR for myself and a couple others, and most importantly, an outstanding team finish with the closest top-5 spread that I have ever seen at my time at UAB. As the season went on we got knocked back a bit with minor injuries and sickness, but I think we ended on a positive note to carry us into track season.
On the goals of the group…
We had set many ambitious but very achievable goals for ourselves at the beginning of the year, but we did not reach all of them due to these setbacks. I was disappointed in how my season turned out because I had such high hopes for my final year of cross country. It is mentally frustrating to come off a great summer of training to then become sick for months at a time. I am healthy now and I could not be more excited for track season. I think this year served as a great learning experience for many.
On the future of UAB cross country…
To me, this team was the true foundation of all the great things to come for UAB XC. They will accomplish great things next year with more depth than this program has ever seen before.
Head Coach Matt Esche announced the addition of three runners to the team for 2017 as Karlee Stortz, Bethan Evans and Karsyn Whitehead will be joining UAB next fall.
For more information on UAB Cross Country and Track and Field, follow the Blazers on Twitter (@UAB_TF_XC).