Nov. 8, 2001
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech men and women’s cross country teams are set to tackle the field at Saturday’s NCAA South Regional Championship at Harry Pritchett Golf Course in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
At stake for Yellow Jackets’ are berths in the 2001 NCAA Cross Country Championships, slated for Nov. 19 in Greenville, S.C. The top two teams earn automatic bids to the national championship.
Tech’s women finished second in the region a year ago and at least hope to repeat that feat this season. Sophomore Renee Metivier, the Atlantic Coast Conference runner-up, will lead the women’s squad in the six-kilometer race. Following Metivier should be senior Sara Pardue, sophomore Katie Griffin and senior Nicole Campbell.
Head coach Alan Drosky expects the Jackets’ main competition to be Southeastern Conference runner-up Tennessee, defending regional champion South Florida and ACC rival Florida State.
“The first goal is to qualify for nationals, which means being in the top two. And the second goal would be to win the regional,” said Drosky. “We have a really good shot to do both. We’re ranked No.1 in the South region going into it but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s all about what you do on Saturday.”
On the men’s side, Drosky sees the regional as wide open, with five teams having a shot to earn the two berths. Joining the Jackets in this group are Florida State and SEC squads Alabama, Florida and Tennessee.
“I like how the men’s team has been coming on, like we’ve planned,” added Drosky. “The men are running better and better every day and every week. I think we have a chance to do some special things on both sides.”
Senior Joey Zins, who has been the team’s top finisher in its last three races, should lead the Tech men. He should be followed closely by classmate Philip Gable and sophomore Brendon Mahoney.
Drosky believes the fact that this meet is a 10K will favor the Yellow Jackets, especially Zins and Gable.
In addition to the top two teams, the top four individuals not on of the qualifying squads earn a trip to nationals, which will feature 31 men’s and 31 women’s teams. The top two teams from each region, as well as 13 at-large teams, will advance to the NCAA meet.
Tech’s women earned the program’s first berth a year ago and finished 31st at the NCAA meet.