Amber Zimmerman was UT's top finisher for the fourth time this season.
Nov. 1, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- It was a difficult day for the University of Tennessee women's cross country team on Monday, as the Lady Vols reported in with a 12th-place finish at the Southeastern Conference Championships.
Having placed in the top three every season since 2000, including a three-year spree of SEC crowns from 2003 to 2005, it was an especially tough pill to swallow for the Big Orange. The Lady Vols tallied 326 points to finish well back of 11th-place LSU (279). Florida scored 60 points to edge Arkansas (61) for its second straight and fifth overall trophy. Vanderbilt checked in third with 76, while Georgia was fourth, fueled by the individual victory of Kristie Krueger in 20 minutes, 41.25 seconds.
If there was a bright spot for Tennessee, it came in the form of freshman Amber Zimmerman. The rookie from Knoxville's Webb School paced the team for the fourth time in five races this season, covering the 6,000-meter Hilton Field Course at Fort Jackson in a career-best 22:15.91 seconds to cross the line 42nd overall (41st scorer). As the eighth rookie finisher in the field, she just missed making the seven-member SEC All-Freshman Team.
"Amber Zimmerman has been consistent the entire year," UT Director of Track & Field and Women's Cross Country Coach J.J. Clark said. "She's led the team almost every race we've run. Coming in and doing that as a freshman is great."
Junior Chanelle Price was UT's second finisher, crossing the line 72nd (64th) in 23:07.35, followed by sophomore Ally Colvin in 86th (72nd) at 23:38.20, junior Elizabeth Altizer in 87th (73rd) at 23:45.07, junior Elizabeth Tiller in 89th (75th) at 23:49.14, sophomore Andrea Ferri in 93rd (79th) at 24:12.06, sophomore Ramzee Fondren in 95th (80th) at 24:22.49 and sophomore Kelsey Kane in 96th at 24:28.20.
"We've definitely had a rebuilding year and struggled this season," Clark said. "We've had our bumps and bruises this year, but things happen. I look forward to getting through this year and next season having a better squad out there and getting things done.
"Amber and our team still have one race left, and we will continue to do our best."
The Lady Vols return to action in two weeks, when they compete in the NCAA South Regional in Hoover, Ala. Start time for the 6K race is 10 a.m. Central time.
WOMEN'S TEAM RESULTS: 1. Florida 60, 2. Arkansas 61, 3. Vanderbilt 76, 4. Georgia 130, 5. Mississippi State 156, 6. Alabama 177, 7. Auburn 190, 8. Kentucky 207, 9. Ole Miss 209, 10. South Carolina 251, 11. LSU 279, 12. Tennessee 326.
LADY VOL INDIVIDUAL RESULTS: 42. (41.) Amber Zimmerman 22:15.91, 72. (64.) Chanelle Price 23:07.35, 86. (72.) Ally Colvin 23:38.20, 87. (73.) Elizabeth Altizer 23:45.07, 89. (75.) Elizabeth Tiller 23:49.14, 93. (79.) Andrea Ferri 24:12.06, 95. (80.) Ramzee Fondren 24:22.49, 96. Kelsey Kane 24:28.20!
Amber Zimmerman SEC Post-Race Interview