TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – With official practice well underway, the Alabama cross country teams are gearing up for the 2021 season that will get underway the first week of September. The Crimson Tide women add five newcomers to their 16 returners, while the men are balanced with 10 veterans and nine rookies this season.
“We’re excited to have everyone back on campus and to have the chance to get out there and train together, building on what everyone did on their own over the summer. We have just a few short weeks before we open at the Memphis Twilight, which will give us an opportunity to see where we are as a group and what we need to work on. Our women’s lineup is pretty much intact from last year and we’ve added some folks who we feel like can help us improve on a season that saw us finish second at SECs and eighth at nationals. On the men’s side, we feel like we’ve got some real difference makers coming in, who, combined with a solid core of returners, will give us a real boost. Overall, we have a chance to do something really special on both the men’s and women’s side of the slate.”
The 2021 Schedule
- After splitting last season between the fall and winter due to COVID-19, the 2021 season is slated to run from September to November
- The Crimson Tide opens the 2021 season Saturday, Sept. 4 at the Memphis Twilight in Memphis, Tenn., the first of four regular-season outings
- Alabama travels to the North Alabama Showcase on Friday, Sept. 17 in Huntsville, Ala., before heading north for the Joe Piane Invitational on Friday, Oct. 1 in South Bend, Ind.
- The Tide closes the regular season at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla., on Friday, Oct. 15
- The postseason opens in Columbia, Mo., on Friday, Oct. 29 with the SEC Championships
- Alabama returns to Huntsville, Ala., on Friday, Nov. 12 for the NCAA South Regional Championships
- This year’s NCAA Championships are in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 20
The 2021 Crimson Tide Women’s Squad
- The defending NCAA cross country champion and Honda Award for Cross Country winner Mercy Chelangat and All-Americans Esther Gitahi and Amaris Tyynismaa lead the way for the women’s team after last year’s eighth-place NCAA Championships finish
- Returners Megan Patton, Sophie Spada, Jami Reed and Riley Schelp were also part of the Crimson Tide’s NCAA Championships contingent, while Lauren Brackin, Leahrose Mami and Sophie Spada were also part of the Tide’s SEC Championships runner-up finish
- Ellie Bachmann, Rebecca Billman, Bianca Carroccio, Savannah Noethlich, Lauren Turner, Kerri Walsh and Alex Wilkins are also back for the women’s squad
- Newcomers for the women’s team includes Flomena Asekol, Kaylie Crews, Keaton Morrison, Campbell Petersen and Macy Schelp
The 2021 Crimson Tide Men’s Squad
- The Crimson Tide men are led by Eliud Kipsang who was Freshman All-SEC in cross country and earned All-America honors during both the indoor and outdoor seasons as a rookie
- Paul Selden, Jacob Wiggers, Jack Hawes, Alex Mielke, Mateo Barreto and Rich Saenz are also back from last year’s SEC Championships squad, where the Tide took 10th
- Jace Jones, Jalen Murray and Scott Platek are also back this season
- This year’s rookies for the men include Brady Barton, Carson Burian, Hillary Cheruiyot, Arthur Graham, Collin Jones, Victor Kiprop, Aubrey Lake, Gavin Saacke and Randy Smith
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