OXFORD, Miss. – No. 29 Arkansas Razorback women’s cross country earned a bronze finish in the team race at the 2009 SEC Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Ole Miss.
Paced by junior Miranda Walker’s 10th-place finish, Arkansas finished three in the top 16, five scorers in the top 26 and all seven finishers in the top 82. Florida won the team title with 24 points and Tennessee was second with 80 points.
"I’m very pleased with today’s results considering who we were able to put on the starting line," head coach Lance Harter said. "Obviously, we are really looking forward to regionals in two weeks. We have a lot of positive momentum heading into that meet and we’ll add our only senior, Megan Jackson, back to our line-up. It was great to see Alyssa Allison and Taylor Johnson earn SEC All-Freshman honors. Two of our five scorers were freshman and three of our five scorers were running in their first SEC Championship. Youth have a tough time in the SEC but ours fared well today."
Walker was Arkansas’ top finisher in 10th-place. Her time of 21:41.07 earned her a spot on the second-team All-SEC. She has led the Razorbacks in all five meets this season.
"We knew today was going to be a big today with the first meet of the championship season," Walker said. "We all had to put our training to use out there. We overcame some obstacles with the conditions, raced hard, and walked away with a third-place finish looking ahead to regionals in two weeks."
Freshman Alyssa Allison, in her SEC cross country debut, was Arkansas’ second finisher. She was 15th with her 6,000-meter time of 22:01.69. She was named to the SEC All-Freshman team as the second freshman finisher overall and was one spot away from earning second-team All-SEC honors.
Sophomore Kristen Gillespie was Arkansas’ third scorer. In her SEC cross country debut, she finished 16th with a time of 22:05.49. Sophomore Samantha Learch was the fourth Razorback to cross the finish line and was 20th overall. She ran a time of 22:17.19.
Freshman Taylor Johnson, in her SEC cross country debut, rounded out the Razorback scorers in 26th-place. She clocked a time of 22:26.40 and earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team as the fifth freshman finisher overall.
Also competing for Arkansas were freshman Keri Wood (48th, 23:12.06) and senior Ashley Williams (82nd, 24:39.60).
The Razorbacks will compete next at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships, Sat., Nov. 14, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. For more information and complete results, visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com, OleMissSports.com or SECSports.com.