Kiboiywo Captures Third-Straight NCAA South Region Cross Country Championship
Nov. 14, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Senior Felix Kiboiywo earned the third NCAA South Region crown of his career Saturday morning in Tuscaloosa, winning with a time of 29:35.88. The men came away with a third-place finish and a shot at returning to the NCAA Championships for the second-consecutive season. The Tiger women came away with a sixth-place finish to end their season.
"We are absolutely delighted with Felix getting his third title," said head coach Mark Carroll. "It is a real feat, he ran an awesome race and came from behind to run down SEC Champion Barnabus Kirui of Ole Miss."
Auburn was able to place another runner in the top-three as junior Ben Cheruiyot placed third with a time of 30:00.54.
Jean-Pierre Weerts was Auburn's third finisher on the day with a time of 30:46.36 to place 16th overall. The fourth and fifth Tiger finishers proved to be pivotal in giving Auburn a shot to head to nationals, as senior Scott Novack, running in his fourth NCAA South Regional, placed 27th with a time of 31:17.95. Sophomore Jeff Sanders placed 67th with a time of 32:45.05 to become Auburn's fifth and final finisher in the 10K race."
"Weerts, Novack, Sanders all ran great for us, and were an instrumental part in us getting a shot to head to nationals," said Carroll.
The host school, Alabama, won the race with 45 points. Florida State followed with 80, while Auburn came in third with 110 points. The Tigers were followed by Georgia with 125 points, and Florida (143) to round out the top-five.
Stephanie Barnes led the women in the 6K race with a time of 20:49. 96 to place 14th, giving the junior from England a shot at receiving a wild card berth to the NCAA Championships. Senior Laurel Pritchard, running in the final race of her Auburn career, clocked a 21:26.58 to place 27th.
"It is sad to see a runner like Laurel go. The girls were all proud of how she did and what she has accomplished during her career here at Auburn."
Junior Holly Knight, Auburn's top runner throughout the 2009 season, placed 30th after a runner-up finish in the race during her 2008 campaign.
"Holly had been ill this week and she didn't get her usual top finish. We are looking forward to her continuing her solid performances in 2010," said Carroll of his soon-to-be senior.
Florida won the race with the two top-finishers and came away with 33 points. Florida State followed with 54 points, while Tennessee (102), Georgia (114) and Vanderbilt (164) finished ahead of Auburn in sixth with 197 points.
The men's side will await the NCAA selection committee to determine if their season to continue, something that Carroll expects will occur.
"We hear Sunday night if we earn an invitation. Traditionally, the third team in a regional has a good shot at making it."
The NCAA Championships will be held in Terre Haute, Ind., on Mon., Nov. 23. The 2009 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships will be broadcast live on Versus, marking the third consecutive year the championships will be on live television, and the first with Versus. A live web stream of the championships will also be available on NCAA.com.
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