On Saturday night, the Alabama men and women's cross country teams kicked off the 2021 season at the Memphis Twilight Classic. Both teams finished in the top 10 for a solid start to the season.

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The women's team came fourth place with 122 points behind Ole Miss, Middle  Tennessee State and Lee. The team had four members finish individually in the top 25 over the 5-kilometer course, including Megan Patton (9th), Leahrose Mami (12th), Kerri Walsh (17th) and Riley Schelp (25th).

Women's Team Results:

  1. Ole Miss - 38 pts
  2. Middle Tennessee State - 80 pts
  3. Lee - 82 pts
  4. Alabama - 122 pts
  5. Western Kentucky - 166 pts
  6. Mississippi State - 184 pts
  7. Memphis - 189 pts
  8. Central Arkansas - 195 pts
  9. Arkansas Tech - 214 pts
  10. UAB - 230 pts

Alabama Individual Results:

  •  9. Megan Patton - 18:04.33
  • 12. Leahrose Mami - 18:19.10
  • 17. Kerri Walsh - 18:27.03
  • 25. Riley Schelp - 18:36.29
  • 62. Lauren Turner - 19:43.45
  • 68. Keaton Morrison - 19:49.12
  • 70. Rebecca Billman - 19:51.46
  • 85. Savannah Noethlich - 20:11.17

The men's team came in seventh place after totaling 175 points. The Tide jumped into the top 10 with a top 20 individual finish from Rich Saenz. Alabama placed four individuals in the top 50 of the men's four-mile race, including Saenz (16th), Gavin Saacke (36th), Scott Platek (39th) and Collin Jones (48th).

Men's Team Results:

  1. Lee - 44 pts
  2. Alabama-Huntsville - 68 pts
  3. Ole Miss - 93 pts
  4. Middle Tennesse State - 107 pts
  5. Central Arkansas - 148 pts
  6. Memphis - 170 pts
  7. Alabama - 175 pts
  8. Montevallo - 249 pts
  9. Western Kentucky - 251 pts
  10. Christian Brothers - 310 pts

Alabama Individual Results:

  • 16. Rich Saenz - 20:09.51
  • 36. Gavin Saacke - 20:38.38
  • 39. Scott Platek - 20:40.49
  • 48. Collin Jones - 20:56.50
  • 54. Brady Barton - 21:02.54
  • 75. Alex Mielke - 21:29.84

Head coach Dan Waters said he was proud of how they competed and will continue to build towards the championship season.

"The whole point this weekend was to get out on the course, compete as a team and get the season started and we did that tonight. I'm proud Megan and Rich for leading the way for us and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone who competed here in Memphis using this race to make themselves better," Waters said. "From here, we'll start adding folks into our lineup over the next month as we continue building toward the championships season."

Alabama will return action on Sept. 17 at the North Alabama Showcase in Huntsville, Alabama. The Tide will travel to South Bend, Indiana, and Tallahassee, Florida, in October before the SEC Championship in Columbia, Missouri, on Oct. 29.

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