TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Redshirt junior Dominique Scott ran a great race at the 2014 Southeastern Conference Championships taking first place individually and leading the No. 5 Arkansas women’s cross country team to its second straight SEC cross country title on Friday afternoon at Harry Pritchett Running Course.
Scott became just the sixth woman in SEC history to win multiple individual SEC cross country titles, capturing her second in a row in a time of 19:22.74. It is the second-fastest winning time in meet history and it helped spark four Razorbacks in the top 10 of the individual standings. Arkansas earned an overall score of 32, putting them 53 points ahead of Vanderbilt’s 85 points to capture a league-best 15th SEC Cross Country Championship for the Razorbacks.
Senior Grace Heymsfield placed second with a time of 19:32.21, while Tennessee’s Chelsea Blaase took third in 19:32.37. Heymsfield earned All-SEC first team honors for the third time in her career.
Senior Jessica Kamilos collected a seventh-place finish with her time of 20:05.80 to earn All-SEC first team accolades, while redshirt junior Diane Robison and senior Shannon Klenke both earned All-SEC second team honors, placing 10th (20:16.17) and 12th (20:24.62), respectively.
Freshman Kelsey Schrader was the sixth Arkansas runner to cross the finish line, as her time of 20:42.62 gave her a 19th-place finish. Sophomore Regan Ward came in at 20:54.21 to finish in 28th, while redshirt sophomores Valerie Reina (20:58.26) and Samantha Mohler (21:02.25) finished 31st and 34th, respectively. Junior Kaitlin Flattmann rounded out the group of runners for the Hogs, earning a 50th-place finish with a time of 21:29.91.
The Razorbacks will continue to focus on the championship portion of the schedule their next time out, as they will return home to compete in the NCAA South Central Regional. The race from Agri Park is set for Nov. 14 and will begin at 12 p.m.
For more information on Arkansas women’s cross country, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.
SEC CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES
- Friday’s race marked the fifth time Alabama has hosted the SEC Championship and the first time since the 2000 season. That year the Razorbacks ran away with the title, scoring 43 points, as Lilli Kleinmann brought home the individual championship.
- Arkansas’ win secured the program’s second straight SEC Cross Country Championship and the program’s 15 overall.
- Last season, Arkansas collected a score of 32 to win its first SEC Cross Country Championship since 2008 as the Razorbacks took the top three spots in the race.
- The Razorbacks have now won a league-best 15 SEC Cross Country Championships, all under Coach Lance Harter.
- The Razorbacks have won the individual title in three of the last four years.
- Dominique Scott is the first back-to-back individual SEC Champion for Arkansas, since the 1998 and 1999 races, when Amy Yoder won the concluded her three-peat.
- Redshirt junior Dominique Scott won her first career SEC individual title last season, posting a 6K time of 20:02.81.
- Scott won her first career SEC individual title last season, posting a 6K time of 20:02.81.
- In securing her second consecutive SEC women’s individual cross country championship, Scott became the first repeat women’s SEC champion since Auburn’s Angela Homan won three in a row from 2003-2005.
- Scott is the sixth woman in the history of the SEC Cross Country Championship to have captured multiple career titles.
COACH HARTER POST-RACE SOUND
On overall thoughts of performance
“Well obviously we are elated. Anytime you can get a victory, you have to celebrate it. When we get a chance to get all the kids to sit down and talk to them, we are going to tell them to cherish this moment because the SEC is such a chameleon. It will adapt and bring in better and better talent. Eventually it will catch up and we will be thinking about distant memories but I think we had a great effort today. Some people really rose up that haven’t in the past. Jessica Kamilos had a fantastic race. Shannon Klenke is rock solid as she always is. Diane Robinson ran a great race. Diane was 27th last year and this year she’s in the top 10. We had those types of performances. Then our youth did a great job. Kelsey Schrader had a huge breakthrough and I’m really excited because she kind of lays the foundation for some of the others we have redshirted. She didn’t come in with great credentials; now she’s running like a superstar. I was elated with how we did. I think we are right on schedule for what we want to do at regionals then eventually at nationals.
On Dominique Scott’s performance
Dominique is a very special athlete. She is unbelievable. She has great composure in the heat of the battle. Today we had her sit back and she and Grace (Heymsfield) both just kind of observed for the first half of the race; see what everyone was going to want to do. There are some very, very fine individuals that don’t wear the Arkansas uniform, unfortunately. I think they just kind of split the race in half. Observed, then in the second half, they took command. It was really nice to see Grace (Heymsfield) close so fast because she’s got that patented quick finish. I think our front two did a great job of setting the tempo and the rest followed well.”
On Grace Heymsfield’s race and her career at Arkansas
“Coaches get those once in a lifetime. She has done everything and exceeded everything that I could have possibly dreamed of. She is truly a special athlete but even more so a special person. She is going to be a blessing to whoever hires her down the road. She is one of those who can swoop on you at the end of a race. She has that patented finish. She did it at the NCAA indoors, she did it at the SEC outdoors and she did it again today against a very, very fine athlete from Tennessee named Chelsea Blaase.”
On preparation for Regionals and Nationals
“The training has all been schemed ultimately for the nationals. We still aren’t really snappy; we aren’t really polished yet, but I think that is going to happen in the next three weeks. This is the most fun part of training. The work is done, now it’s a matter of sharpening up and keeping the confidence developing; being a little more confident earlier in the race because the national race will go much, much faster; keeping our composure under the heat of the battle. Regionals will be at home and we will maybe be able to do some alternating with some of our top 7. Then run the best group we can at the national meet.
On winning the 2014 SEC Women’s Cross Country Individual Championship
“That was the most exiting race, ever – not only individually, but running as a team, as well. We, as the Hogs, we had a really good chance of winning, but I didn’t know we’d have so much fun running as a team. We were talking to each other when we were out on the course like a training run. I felt so strong. I knew my training had been going well so far this season, so I knew I had a good chance of winning, and I’m glad we’re coming together at the right time. I’m excited I’m peaking at the right time of the season. It’s really important, and it’s sometimes hard to do, especially as a team to do it as a team on the right day.”
On becoming just the sixth woman to win multiple SEC Cross Country individual championships
“That’s really, really exciting. What an honor, that’s really cool. I’m excited I’m in the record books for that.”
On her Arkansas team winning the 2014 SEC Cross Country Championship
“It’s so special. This year, our team is like a family. We’ve just been supporting each other so far this season, encouraging each other. I’m so happy to be a part of this team and help my team get this victory today.”
Women’s All-SEC First Team
Dominique Scott, Arkansas
Grace Heymsfield, Arkansas
Chelsea Blaase, Tennessee
Rhianwedd Price, Mississippi State
Hillary Montgomery, Texas A&M
Kaitlyn Fischer, Missouri
Jessica Kamilos, Arkansas
Women’s All-SEC Second Team
Karis Jochen, Texas A&M
Katherine Delaney, Vanderbilt
Diane Robison, Arkansas
Katelyn Greenleaf, Alabama
Shannon Klenke, Arkansas
Claire Benjamin, Vanderbilt
Sara Barron, Vanderbilt
Women’s SEC All-Freshman Team
Karissa Schweitzer, Missouri
Kelsey Schrader, Arkansas
Aundrea Busse, Kentucky
Katy Kunc, Kentucky
Tayler Tuttle, Georgia
Molly McKenna, Arkansas
Emma Abrahamson, Vanderbilt
1. Arkansas 32
2. Vanderbilt 85
3. Alabama 140
4. Missouri 142
5. Miss State 171
6. Texas A&M 187
7. Florida 201
8. Kentucky 215
9. Auburn 217
10. Georgia 222
11. Tennessee 274
12. Mississippi 275