Cross Country Races to Best Combined SEC Finish
Oct. 28, 2016

Full Men's Results | Full Women's Results | Photo Gallery

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –
It was an historic day for the Ole Miss cross country program as both the No. 11 men and No. 16 women took second place at the 2016 Southeastern Conference Championships, along with a number of program firsts on a gorgeous morning at Argi Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

"Overall, it was a very solid day for our program," coach Ryan Vanhoy said. "Obviously in this league you always want to be competing for a title and it's never easy to dethrone the reigning champions on their home course, but our team had a great day." 

The women started off the day with their best team finish in school history. The second-place finish tops their previous best result by two spots, fourth place in 2012. Their finish also topped their predicted fifth-place showing during the preseason. The Rebels finished the race with five runners in the top 25.

"The women worked together very well and had a great competitive effort," Vanhoy said. "I thought it was one of our more complete performances as a team this season. It was great to see them have the best finish in program history."

Led by senior Mary Alex England who finished seventh for not only her personal-best SEC finish with a time of 20:51.2, but the best individual finish by an Ole Miss woman at the SEC Championships ever. The previous was Katie Breathitt who finished ninth in 2012. England's seventh-place finish topped her 10th-place finish in 2015.

"It was really fun to work together and improve our finish from last year," England said. "Best of all, the year isn't over yet, and we are so pumped to continue the momentum into regionals. We gave the race our all today, and I'm really proud that we can say we finished second in the SEC."

Senior Bo Ummels finished eighth as an individual with a time of 20:52.1, which now ranks as the second-best finish by an Ole Miss woman in SEC Championship history.

"It was awesome today to go out there and show all the hard work we've put in over the season," Ummels said. "I am so proud of how we all worked together and that we all could be a part of this historic day."

"We were able to measure ourselves up against some other teams in the South Region and we are very excited about what's to come this season."

England earned first-team All-SEC distinction with her top-seven finish, making her the first Ole Miss women to ever receive first-team distinction. Ummels received second-team honors.

The men matched their best finish in school history coming in second as well. They also places second in 2014 and 1968. They beat out their finish from 2015 by one spot and matched their predicted SEC finish from the preseason. The Rebels finished the day with the second and third place individuals as well as finishers 10-13. All together the Rebels finished with seven runners in the top 25.

"The men are obviously disappointed to walk away without a team title," Vanhoy said. "That was a great Arkansas team who ran very well on their home course and showed why they've been a top-five team all season. We gave it our best shot today, but we'll regroup and focus on closing out the season on a high note."

Just like he had done for most of the regular season, junior Sean Tobin led the way for the Rebels. Finishing second with a time of 23:33.9, Tobin topped his 2015 finish by 13 spots and his previous best of sixth in 2014.

"We came into the meet with high expectations which unfortunately we just fell short of," Tobin said. "However, the group had some solid results which is great because you see the hard work pay off. We have three weeks until NCAAs so I am excited to get back to Oxford and put in some great work with this great team."

Senior MJ Erb finished third with a time of 23:39.7. Erb's finish is his best individual finish at an SEC meet. The Rebels had a pack cross the finish line with seniors Robert Domanic, Craig Engels and Wesley Gallagher finishing 10-12 with junior Ryan Manahan coming in 13th.

"We definitely had a good chance coming into this meet to make history," Erb said. "A little disappointing to get 2nd regardless, but we now know that we have to adjust our focus to regionals and put this meet in our rear view mirror. We still have a great opportunity ahead of us to show what we are capable of and we look forward to it."

Six Rebel men leave Fayetteville with All-SEC distinction. Tobin and Erb earned first-team honors, while Domanic, Engels, Gallagher and Manahan earned second-team honors. The Rebels six All-SEC runners were the most of any team at the meet. SEC Champion Arkansas had five.

Both the men and women will now shift their attention to the NCAA South Region Championships on November 11 in Tallahassee, Florida. The Rebels will look to qualify for the NCAA Championships with top-two finishes at the Regional Championships.

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field and Cross Country, follow the Rebels on Twitter (@OleMissTrack), Facebook and Instagram.

 
Men - Team

1) Arkansas - 25

2) Ole Miss - 38

3) Kentucky - 100

4) Georgia - 149

5) Alabama - 152

6) Missouri - 156

7) Texas A&M - 191

8) Florida - 207

9) Tennessee - 275

10) Auburn - 278

11) LSU - 296

12) Vanderbilt - 319

 

Men - Individual

2) Sean Tobin - 23:33.9 **

3) MJ Erb - 23:39.7 **

10) Robert Domanic - 24:08.4 *

11) Craig Engels - 24:14.9 *

12) Wesley Gallagher - 24:24.1 *

13) Ryan Manahan - 24:26.7 *

24) Derek Gutierrez - 24:59.7

27) Mark Robertson - 25:10.1

39) Taylor Caldwell - 25:25.8

42) Brandon Harvey - 25:32.3

 

Women - Team

1) Arkansas - 46

2) Ole Miss - 76

3) Missouri - 125

4) Mississippi State - 138

5) Vanderbilt - 170

6) Alabama - 170

7) Kentucky - 180

8) Florida - 185

9) Auburn - 207

10) Georgia - 225

11) Texas A&M - 263

12) LSU - 366

13) South Carolina - 385

14) Tennessee - 393

 

Women - Individual

7) Mary Alex England - 20:51.2 **

8) Bo Ummels - 20:52.1 *

18) Shelby Brown - 21:09.4

19) Emily Bean - 21:10.1

25) Hannah Christen - 21:15.6

30) Britt Ummels - 21:24.3

31) Anna Braswell - 21:25.3

46) Anna Elkin - 21:55.0

48) Tavyn Lovitt - 21:56.2

49) Nicole Park - 21:56.4

66) Julia England - 22:14.2

72) Katherine MacNeal - 22:17.8

 

** - First-team All-SEC

* - Second-team All-SEC


 

 

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