ATHENS, Ga. — The Bulldogs cross country teams race in their third game of the year and first since mid-September at the Pre-Nationals in Tallahassee, Florida, around Apalachee Regional Park on Friday morning.
The meet will serve as a preview for the 2021 NCAA Championships to be held at the same venue on November 20.
When do the starter guns fire?: The Georgia men will start their 8k Garnet race at 8am while the Lady Bulldogs will race in the 6k Open competition at 9:45am
Who is the competition?There are 38 teams in addition to the Bulldogs in the men’s race, including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky, Ole Miss, and Tennessee of the Southeastern Conference. The Georgia women are joined by the league’s Alabama and 23 other squads in their showdown.
Weather:Temperatures during the race are predicted to be in the mid-60s, with partly cloudy skies turning sunny and just a breeze.
Cunniffs Quotes: “This is a very important meeting for us,” said Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff, which are in 10 . iseyears with the Bulldogs. “It’s that most crucial challenge to turn work into performance and mentally commit to racing hard three games in a row. We’ve had a great block of training and both teams have made a lot of progress from where we were in Huntsville.
“For the guys getting their first taste of 8k in North Alabama and more importantly: Sam Bowers racing gives us a lot of optimism. The competition in that Garnet race will be great and should really put us to the test. We want to respond to that pressure, run our races and fight incredibly hard at the end.Michael Hans is ready to build out a great race in Huntsville and we have several men ready for breakout performance including, Wesley John, Zachary Roe, among other things. Honestly, any guy we line up could deliver a great race and a few we have at home this week could be big for us later on. The whole group is training well and the energy was great.
“The women’s team is still an incomplete lineup and we won’t be our best until the end of the season. The challenge this week is for every woman racing to get ahead so that when we have our full lineup, we are ready to maximize our potential Everyone runs their first 6km of the year and some run the first 6km ever If we race with confidence and give our best we will surprise people by the end of the year. race is a big step on that journey.
“I think Sara Bailey will race at a very high level and we have several women including Charlotte Augenstein and Sophia Bakker, run better than they’ve ever done. I’m excited to see what they all will do.”
Which dogs compete?: Georgia expects 18 runners to compete in the opener. With the ladies, seniors Marisa Little, Anna Marian Blok, junior Sara Bailey, red shirt sophomore Ellie Hall, sophomore Charlotte Augenstein, Sophia Bakker and red shirt freshman Grace Ellsworth and Morgan Vaden will represent the Red and Black.
To graduate Michael Hans, juniors Nicolas Fontova, Wesley John, Clay Pender, Sam Bowers, sophomore Noah Hayesfreshman’s red shirt Cole Heron, Zachary Roe and freshmen Cooper Bocko and Davis Potts and will be taking the Bulldog men’s course.
Seasonal Debut: A couple of Georgia shiners will race cross for the first time in 2021. Bowers will make his season debut after leading the Bulldogs in both meetings of 2020, including an All-SEC Second Team performance. the first time this fall after scoring in the season opener last year.
What happened last time?: Hans and Bailey took off from the North Alabama Showcase on September 17 with an individual top 10 placing in the Bulldogs’ second regular season promotion of the year. race with a 24:17.65 in the field of 174 men. Thanks in part to Hans’s finish, the Bulldogs finished fifth (146 points).
Bailey, an Alpharetta native, led the Lady Bulldogs for the second meeting in a row after posting her second consecutive top-10 individual finish (ninth, 17:09.74) in the women’s 5k against a field of 171 runners in total . were sixth (195).
Behind Hans,John was second to Georgia in Huntsville and took 25egeneral (25:11.98). Roe scored for the second meeting in a row after crossing the line in 31NSwith a 25:21.10 on his second collegiate action. Potts made his debut in red and black and scored after completing the course in 25:47.82 for 47e.The Bulldogs’ five scorers were the red shirt freshman KC Heron, who scored for the second time in a row thanks to a 50e-place finish (25:49.71).
During the 5 k ladies seniors Grace Clements Scored for the first time in 2021 and for the third time in a row, bridged the shortened 2020 season by 35 . to takeewith a 17:59.03.Hall continued her comeback and finished 48e(18:17.39) to make it two consecutive goals after she completed the 2020 season.e-place finish (18:18.17). Petit completed the top five of the Lady Bulldogs with a 76e-place finish (18:54.12).
What’s next?: After Friday’s game, Georgia will begin the SEC Championships in Columbia, Mo., on October 29. After the NCAA South Regional in Huntsville, Ala., on Nov. 12, Georgia plans to conclude the season at the NCAA Championships in Tallahassee on Nov. 20.
Keeping up with the dogs: Updates from Georgia’s track and cross-country teams can always be found on Twitter/Instagram (UGATrack).
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