The men finished third with 59 points, while the women finished third with 80 points. It is the first time both teams placed top three at the SEC Championships since 2001. That year, the men were third and the women were second.
“We had two third-place finishes – the men were really close to second, but we live to see another day and we’ll go fight at regionals and get to the national meet and keep pressing on,” head coach Sean Carlson said. “The women showed out. That was just an awesome, awesome day. We didn’t get a lot of credit on the women’s side – unranked most of the season and picked sixth in the preseason – but they went out and beat two highly-ranked teams. The girls fought for each other and that was special to see.”
MEN’S RACE RECAP – 8K
Leading the way for the Vols was Yaseen Abdalla, who finished the 8K course in a time of 22:47.5. Abdalla placed fourth overall, earning him a spot on the All-SEC first team. His top-five placement at the SEC Cross Country Championships marked a historic moment for the Vols, as he became the first Vol since 1994-95 to achieve the feat in consecutive years.
Gabriel Sanchez, making his SEC Cross Country Championships debut, finished in eighth place at 23:12.9. Sanchez’s performance earned him a spot on the All-SEC second team.
Dean Casey, another first-timer in the SEC Cross Country Championships, put on a strong showing, securing the 11th spot with a time of 23:15.0. Casey’s impressive debut not only landed him a place on the All-SEC second team but also on the All-SEC freshman team. Highlighting his excellent showing, he was also the highest-finishing freshman in the competition.
Brandon Olden and Jacob Lewis also contributed significantly to the Vols’ success, finishing in 17th and 19th places with times of 23:32.0 and 23:40.4, respectively.
Jacob Nenow placed 32nd overall on Friday but was the fifth freshman across the line at 24:16.8, earning him a spot on the All-SEC freshman team.
WOMEN’S RACE RECAP – 6K
Ashley Jones led the way for the Lady Vols, completing the 6K course in a time of 20:00.9. Jones’ impressive effort earned her a spot on the All-SEC second team in her SEC Championships debut.
Rachel Sutliff also had a remarkable race, finishing…