Alabama Cross Country Sweeps Individual Titles at SEC Championships Friday Morning – University of Alabama Athletics

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Alabama swept the individual titles at the 2021 Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships Friday morning in Columbia, Mo., with Mercy Chelangat winning her second-consecutive title, while Eliud Kipsang won the men’s championship.

Chelangat is the first member of the UA women’s team to win back-to-back SEC titles and her win marks just the second time the Crimson Tide has won consecutive individual titles, with the first coming in 1987 and 1988. Chelangat’s and Kipsang’s wins also mark just the second time Alabama has won the men’s and women’s races in the same year, and the first time since 1988.

Both Chelangat and Kipsang won with course records. Chelangat became the first woman to cover the 6-kilometer Gans Creek Cross Country course in under 20 minutes, going 19:55.2, while Kipsang lowered the 8-kilometer course standard to 23:33.5.

Over a rain-soaked course, the women finished third in the team race after tallying 91 points, while the men took fourth after totaling 132 points.  In addition to Chelangat’s win, Flomena Asekol took seventh, Amaris Tyynismaa was 8th, Esther Gitahi took 11th and Leahrose Mami rounded out the Tide’s scoring five after taking 69th place. For the men, Kipsang was followed by Victor Kiprop in fourth, Hillary Cheruiyot in 22nd, Gavin Saacke in 55th and Carson Burian in 56th.

“We are so proud of Mercy and Eliud and the way they competed today. They moved up throughout the race and then dominated the final 1,000 meters to get the win. For them to run that way, with both setting the course records in wet, sloppy conditions, it’s a testament to how well they raced. Overall, we had several strong individual performances, and while the team finishes weren’t what we wanted them to be, we’ll learn from today and come back stronger next time.”

Women’s Team Finishes

1. Arkansas 68 pts

2. Ole Miss 83 pts

3. Alabama 91 pts

4. Kentucky 93 pts

5. Tennessee 136 pts

6. Florida 170 pts

7. Missouri 192 pts

8. Vanderbilt 214 pts

9. Auburn 253 pts

10. LSU 256 pts

11. Texas A&M 270 pts

12. Georgia 292 pts

13. Miss State 363 pts

14. South Carolina 435 pts

Alabama Women’s Individual Finishes

1. Mercy Chelangat 19:55.2*

7. Flomena Asekol 20:20.6

8. Amaris Tyynismaa 20:21.0

11. Esther Gitahi 20:30.3

69. Leahrose Mami 22:01.5

81. Kerri Walsh 22:15.1

89. Kaylie Crews 22:32.0

97. Sophie Spada 22:45.5

98. Megan Patton 22:47.2

113. Riley Schelp 23:28.1

128. Keaton Morrison 24:17.4

136. Jami Reed 27:57.7

* course record

Men’s Team Finishes

1. Arkansas 40 pts

2. Ole Miss 59 pts

3. Missouri 105 pts

4. Alabama 132 pts

5. Tennessee 169 pts

6. Kentucky 183 pts

7. Florida 215 pts

8. Georgia 223 pts

9. Texas A&M 229 pts

10. Auburn 250 pts

11. Vanderbilt 253 pts

12. LSU 261 pts

Alabama Men’s Individual Finishes

1. Eliud Kipsang 23:33.5*          

4. Victor Kiprop 23:43.8

22. Hillary Cheruiyot 24:13.7

55. Gavin Saacke 25:08.6

56. Carson Burian 25:09.7

63. Jack Hawes 25:17.2

75. Brady Barton 25:36.7

77. Paul Selden 25:40.4

101. Rich Saenz 26:58.1

105. Jace Jones 27:26.0

*course record

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