The SEC cross country season began last week with teams competing in seven different meets. A recap of those meets follows:
Texas A&M's Eric Casarez and Gemma Goddard claimed individual titles, while Texas A&M swept the men's and women's team titles Wednesday night at the Aggie Opener at the Dale Watts Cross Country Course. The Aggie women AM finished 1-3-5-6-9 to total 24 points, defeating runner-up SMU by 25 points. In the men's race, five Aggies recorded top-10 finishes to help A&M claim the team title by 54 points.
Kennesaw State Showcase
Georgia competed in the Kennesaw State Showcase Friday morning. Junior captain Wesley John and junior Sara Bailey led their respective teams. John was 14th overall in the 66-man field to help give the Georgia men a third-place finish in the 6k race with 81 points. Bailey clocked a 14:23.42 in the 4k race to take sixth out of the 86 runners as the Lady Bulldogs opened their year with a fourth-place showing. The Georgia Tech men and women won top team honors.
Memphis Twilight Classic
Alabama and Ole Miss were in action at the Memphis Twilight Classic. The Ole Miss women won the 5K race with just five runners, placing all five within the top-13. Cate Tracht led the way for the Rebels in fourth place at a near-PR of 17:43.33. In the men's college four-mile race, No. 18 Ole Miss came away third overall. Newcomer Dereck Elkins was the frontrunner for the Rebels, finishing fourth at a four-mile time of 19:39.02. The Alabama women, led by Megan Patton's ninth-place finish, tallied 122 points to take fourth place out of 22 teams. Rich Saenz took 16th place to lead the Crimson Tide men to a seventh-place finish out of 20 teams.
Missouri XC Opener
Four SEC teams competed in the Missouri XC Opener held at the site of the 2021 SEC Championships - the Gans Creek Cross Country Course. Kentucky won the men's 6K, while Ethan Kern won the individual title with a time of 17:36.9. Arkansas won the women's 5K race, led by Razorbacks finishing in each of the top seven spots. Lauren Gregory was the individual winner with a time of 16:54.4. Runners from Vanderbilt and Missouri also competed.
South Carolina won the Eye Opener meet at USC Upstate, winning Friday night's race with 28 points. Hannah Twine and Lilly Weeks took second and third, respectively, leading the way to victory. Twine finished the 5K with a time of 18:51.7 and Weeks crossed the line in 18:52.2.
Auburn's Tommy McDonough won his first collegiate cross country race as the Tiger men claimed the top four individual spots to win the Foothills Invitational team title Friday. McDonough crossed the 5k course in 15:17.17 and Auburn won the men's race with 20 points. On the women's side, freshman Hallie Porterfield made her collegiate debut in style as she ran a 14:32.00 4k to nab second place.
The Tennessee men's and women's cross country teams opened the 2021 season with a sweep of Louisville at the Cherokee Farms Cross Country Course. The women's team won the 3-mile run, while the men won the 4-mile. Lady Vol Sydney Seymour paced the women as she crossed the line first in the women's 3-mile. Karl Thiessen led the Volunteer pack on the men's side, finishing second in 20:00.27, just two hundredths behind the leader.