Ole Miss Cross Country Ready For SEC Championships

OLEMISSSPORTSDOTCOM Amy McCrory (photo by Jeff Cutright)
Amy McCrory (photo by Jeff Cutright)

Oct. 30, 2013

SEC Championships Central

OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss men’s and women’s cross country teams will run in the 2013 SEC Championship meet this Friday in Gainesville, Fla.

The University of Florida plays host to the meet for the fifth time in school history and the first time since 2002 at the UF Mark Bostick Golf Course.

The men’s 8K race is scheduled for an 8 a.m. CT start, and the women’s race is set to begin at 9 a.m. CT. Admission is free and the SEC Championship Award’s Ceremony begins at 10:15 a.m. CT.

“We are relishing going to the Southeastern Conference Championships,” second-year head coach Brian O’Neal said. “It is certainly a day that every coach circles on their calendar and tries to have everybody as fit as possible. We feel like we are healthy and we are fit and we are ready to go and compete.”

The Rebel women are nationally ranked for the first time in program history at No. 30 in the most recent USTFCCCA poll and are one of two ranked women’s teams in the SEC along with No. 2 Arkansas.

Ole Miss placed fourth on the women’s side at last year’s SEC meet, which was the best finish in school history. This year’s group will try to match or improve upon that finish with a mixed group of veterans and newcomers led by junior Haley Cutright. She and freshman Michaela Quinn recently became the third and fourth Lady Rebels ever to clock under 21 minutes over a 6K course at the Pre-National Invitational.

Other upperclassmen that will travel to Gainesville are seniors Amy McCrory and Kayleigh Skinner and junior McKenna Coughlin. They will team up with newcomers Saga Barzowski, Mary Alex England, Scarlett Fox, Annie Kelly, Sophie Linn and Kacy Smith.

“The SEC Championships is a back-yard rivalry and it is a meet where everyone puts their best foot forward,” O’Neal said. “The women go out and run 20, 21 minutes and the guys line up and go 24, or 25 minutes. You go and see who is the best on that day. I know our men and women are looking forward to the challenge.”

The Ole Miss men have blended veteran leadership in the form of sophomore Ian Carter and senior Max Holman, with new faces such as freshmen Robert Domanic and Trevor Gilley, throughout the 2013 season. Joining them in Gainesville will be junior Ryan Smith and freshmen Will Spiers and Jon Luke Watts. The Rebels placed 10th at last year’s SEC meet in Nashville.

“Our expectation is simply, same as always, that at the end of the day we want to put our best foot forward and represent Ole Miss with pride and class. That is what our job is week in and week out, and this weekend is no different than that.”

Be sure and follow Ole Miss on Twitter at @OleMissTrack and head coach Brian O'Neal at @CoachBrianONeal. Also, check out Facebook.com/OleMissTrack.

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