Cross Country: Vanderbilt falls short at SEC Championships

Vanderbilt’s men’s and women’s cross country programs raced at the SEC Championships over the weekend but both fell short of the crown.


Claire Gatlin

Vanderbilt women’s cross country runs in a pack through the wooded course, captured on Sept. 2, 2022. (Hustler Multimedia/Claire Gatlin)

Anish Mago, Deputy Sports Editor

Following a short regular season of just four meets, Vanderbilt’s men’s and women’s cross country teams both competed at SEC Championships on Oct. 28, which was hosted by the University of Mississippi. Of the 14 competing women’s teams, Vanderbilt finished in ninth place, while Vanderbilt’s men’s team tied for last place in their 12-team field. 

As they have all season, Vanderbilt’s men’s team competed in an eight-kilometer race and Vanderbilt’s women’s team raced on a six-kilometer course.

After leading the Commodores at the Arturo Barrios Invitational on Oct. 15, Cameron Fawcett was once again the first Vanderbilt runner to cross the finish line in the women’s race on Saturday. Fawcett finished the race in 28th place, earning a time of 20 minutes and 38.03 seconds. The sophomore was followed shortly after by Caroline Eck (20:56.01) and Audrey Allman (20:56.25), who finished in 39th and 40th place, respectively. With the close finishes, Vanderbilt was one of seven teams at the meet who fielded three top-40 finishers. 

Following Vanderbilt’s first three finishers were senior Haley Walker (21:23.65) and sophomore Ella Lambert (21:30.64). Despite not counting toward Vanderbilt’s scoring for the meet, Jenna Holland, Lainey Phelps, Julia Rosenberg, Emma Curry and Gigi Clifford also competed for the Commodores on the course.

On the men’s side, the Commodores were led by Phillip Metcalf, who finished the eight-kilometer race in 54th place with a time of 25:07.76. Metcalf has come on strong for the Commodores as their season has progressed, finishing first on the team in Vanderbilt’s last three meets. The sophomore was followed shortly by Zach Hodges, who completed the race with a time of 25:32.57 to earn 65th place. 

Rounding out Vanderbilt’s top-five finishers were Michael Schumacher (25:41.70), Brody Haar (26:32.50) and Matthew Ragsdale (28:44.90). Freshman Dylan Ballard and senior Max Beck also ran in the race.

The Commodores will finish their season with the NCAA South Regionals on Nov. 11 and the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19.