The Georgia cross country teams ran to eighth and 11th place finishes while competing in the SEC Cross Country Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, on Friday morning.
The Lady Bulldogs captured eighth place after scoring 184 points in the women’s 6k event. Arkansas, the fifth ranked team in the country, scored 21 points en route to a seventh-consecutive league championship.
Georgia men scored 261 points, garnering an 11th place finish. Ole Miss took the trophy in the men’s 8k race with a total score of 35.
“We had a very solid day effort wise that just did not translate into the team places or team performances that we wanted,” Bulldog distance coach Patrick Cunniff said. “The individual performances were very strong, particularly for Nicholas Yanek.”
Redshirt-freshman Nicholas Yanek led the Bulldogs with a 19th-place finish and SEC All-Freshman honors.
“For a freshman to come in and run with most of the top guys in the SEC, finish 19th and make the All-SEC Freshman Team is a great starting point for him,” Cunniff said.
For the Lady Bulldogs, senior Jessica and redshirt junior Samantha Drop finished sixth and eighth, respectively. After redshirting last season, Samantha earned Second Team All-SEC honors with her 20 minute, 24.9 second race time. Jessica received First Team All-SEC honors for the third consecutive year after crossing the line in 20:12.0.
Following the Drop twins, sophomore Nicole Pachuta finished 52nd overall at 21:28.6 and true freshman Ellie Hall finished in 21:39.2, scoring in her first ever SEC Championship meet.
Behind Yanek, the Bulldogs saw juniors Nathaniel Reichard and Jack Bradley take 60th and 61st place, respectively. Reichard clocked 24:37.9 in his third SEC Championship race. Bradley improved his time from last season by close to a full minute and crossed the line at 24:42.4.
This was the first of a possible three postseason meets for the Bulldog teams. The Lady Bulldogs look to make their second straight NCAA meet while the Georgia men are hoping to qualify for their first NCAA South Regional meet since 2013.
The NCAA Championships will take place on Saturday, Nov. 23, in Terre Haute Indiana.