Nov. 8, 2007
Auburn, Ala. -
The Auburn men's and women's cross country teams head to Gainesville, Fla., to compete in the NCAA South Regional Championship on Saturday held at the Mark Bostick Golf course, hosted by the University of Florida.
The men's 10K will begin at 10 a.m. The women's 6K will follow at 11 a.m.
Forty-seven teams will compete in the men's 10K, including SEC rivals No. 17 Alabama, No. 24 Florida, Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee. Forty-five teams will compete in the women's 6k, including SEC opponents Alabama, Florida, No. 29 Georgia, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and No. 25 Tennessee.
Both Auburn teams enter the competition as the number six seed in the race. Auburn hopes to earn a top 10 spot for both teams.
The men's team will look to top-runner Felix Kiboiywo to lead the team in another strong race in his hunt for a Nationals berth. The Tigers are also counting on senior Pat Philbin to come in second for the team.
"The guys are looking great every day," said Auburn head coach Peter Watson. "Because this is Pat's last race in an Auburn uniform, they really want to send him out on a good note."
Auburn will also race junior Chase Oliver, sophomores Mark Fleming, Scott Novack and Simon Nyang and freshman Joby Peake. Watson hopes to see Oliver, Fleming, Novack and Peake finish together to get the team five across the line.
The women's team will compete without top-runner Hollie Knight. Knight has suffered through a season-long injury and doesn't want to risk further aggravation. The Tigers will look to their number two runner Sabrina Fischer to lead the team.
"Sabrina has had a very solid fall and gets better and better each week," Watson said. "I believe she has a shot to make it as one of the individual qualifiers in the region."
Auburn is counting on Laurel Pritchard and Amber Riley to round out the top three AU spots with Fischer as the lead. Watson hopes to see All-Region Honor performances out of the trio.
Katelyn Simpson, Allison Smith and Cathryn Albright will each get a final shot at the 6K in the championship.
"I hope they can be aggressive and get involved in the race early and stick around in the top 60," Watson said.
Results of the championship will be available at www.auburntigers.com following the women's race.