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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Cross country teams head to Georgia for SEC Championships

Sophomore+Ashley+Driscoll+will+compete+in+her+second+SEC+Championships+meet+this+weekend.
Photo by By Meredith Seaver

Sophomore Ashley Driscoll will compete in her second SEC Championships meet this weekend.

The Texas A&M cross country team heads to Athens, Georgia this Friday to partake in the SEC Cross Country Championships. The men’s team start their run 8,000 meter run on Friday at 10 a.m. and the women’s start their 6,000 meter run at 11 a.m.
This is not the first time the Aggies ran on this course, as they took part in the Bulldog SEC Preview in early September.
Earlier this week, assistant coach Wendel McRaven brought up the previous experience of running this course while looking ahead to this weekend’s meet.
“We had a pretty positive experience the last time we were there,” McRaven told 12thMan.com. “It was a bit of dress rehearsal, so the team could see the course and get some experience racing on it.”
In the SEC, nothing ever comes easy, and McRaven said he realizes the difficulty of the competition by.
“The SEC Championships are always tough, the teams always care about doing well in the conference meet,” McRaven said. “If we run the way we’re capable, we are going to do pretty well.”
This will be the sixth time the Aggies take part in the SEC Championships and both teams have finished runner-up as their best performance. The women’s team finished runner-up in 2013 and the men’s finished runner-up in 2015. Last year, the men’s finished in seventh, while the women’s team finished eleventh.
For the women’s and men’s team, they have their work cut out for them as they are facing against nationally ranked teams such as Arkansas (No. 6 women’s and No. 27 men’s), Georgia (No. 16 women’s), Ole Miss (No. 22 women’s and No. 16 men’s).
For the Razorbacks, the men’s team is on a roll. They have won seven-consecutive league titles and Ole Miss finished runner-up to the Razorbacks in 2014 and 2016. On the women’s side, Arkansas has won the past four SEC Conference Championships, while Georgia has finished 10th in this tournament for the last three years. Ole Miss, who finished runner-up to Arkansas last year, finished 30 points behind the champions.
The Aggies men’s and women’s team still have a solid core to build on. The men’s team consists of Alex Riba, Christian Farris, and Jon Bishop, while the women’s team features Kelsie Warren, Ashley Driscoll, and Kelsey Persyn.
McRaven was happy with the efforts of each team saying, “In our last meet at Alabama, I couldn’t have been more pleased with our top three runners on both genders. We didn’t back off for the meet, we were still doing long, grinding-type workouts. For our leading crew to run as well as they did was pretty impressive.”
The Aggies also have experience in this competition as they return many runners from last year’s SEC meet. Farris, Bishop and Jacob Perry return on the men’s side whereas Warren, Driscoll and Devin Norton return for the women’s team
As for this year’s team, there are some new faces running in this year’s SEC Cross Country Championships. For the men, Eli Canal, Taylor Clayton, Sam Erickson, Brandt Preston, Zephyr Seagraves and Ryan Yerrow will all be participating in this year’s event. For the women, Olivia Arriaza, Lizette Chapa and Maddie Vondra will be partaking in this year’s tournament.

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