|2008 UGA Cross Country Honors
Natalie Picchetti, Kiah Vernon
Jennifer Barbi (redshirt freshman)
NCAA All-Region: Kiah Vernon
| Katie Weise (middle)
Schedule and Results | Roster | Staff |
UGA Shows Promise For The Future During 2008 Campaign
Picchetti finishes as four-time All-SEC competitor
* Natalie Picchetti wins fourth All-SEC honor in a row
* Kiah Vernon earned her fourth straight NCAA All-Region honor
ATHENS, Ga. --- Distance coach Jeff Pigg saw examples of seniors leading the way and freshmen growing accustomed to a collegiate cross country season during his first season coaching Georgia’s men and women.
The Lady Bulldogs followed the leadership of two seniors as the team finished in the top four at the SEC Championships and NCAA South Regionals for the third season in a row. Natalie Picchetti, who was an All-American in 2007 after taking 27th at the NCAA Championships, wrapped up her stellar career at Georgia by earning her fourth straight All-SEC honor. Picchetti led the Lady Bulldogs in five of six races in 2008, including a 13th-place finish (21:05.14) at the 6K SEC Championships in Starkville, Miss.
Kiah Vernon, the second of three Georgia seniors, left Maryville, Tenn., with the fourth All-Region honor of her career after topping her teammates at the NCAA South Regional Championships. Vernon finished 25th at the 6K meet after clocking a 21:51.88.
The Georgia women jumpstarted their season with a pair of wins at the Georgia-Georgia Tech Dual Meet at the UGA Intramural Fields and the Catamount Classic (Cullowhee, N.C.). Picchetti, who was also a two-time All-American on the track, cruised to victories at both of those races.
While the seniors were leading the charge, freshman Kristie Krueger was providing optimism for the future. Krueger was second at both the dual meet and Catamount Classic and was the second Lady Bulldog to register a time at the 5K Tiger Invitational in Auburn, Ala., (26th-17:17.06).
Following a fourth-place finish in Auburn, the Lady Bulldogs traveled to the NCAA Pre-Nationals where they tied for 16th against some of the nation’s top-ranked teams. With Picchetti leading the way (33rd-21:05.9), four other Georgia runners finished in the top 120 as Vernon took 101st and junior Bridget Lyons battled for a 108th-place finish.
The Georgia women were fourth at the SEC Championships as Picchetti and Vernon worked together to take 13th and 14th, respectively, for All-SEC honors. Also garnering accolades at the league event was redshirt freshman Jennifer Barbi, who took 31st (21:56.51) and returned to Athens with All-SEC Freshman honors.
| Caleb Vogt
Vernon and the Lady Bulldogs completed their season by placing
fourth at the NCAA South Regionals. In addition to Vernon’s 25th-place
finish, five other Georgia runners were in the top 50 finishers,
including sophomore Kylie Foley (26th-21:59.01).
On the men’s side, the Bulldogs had three freshmen emerge into regular scorers in 2008. Highlighted by J.P. Hackney’s team-best 191st-place finish (25:39.5) at the NCAA Pre-Nationals, some combination of Miles Svoboda, Matt Cleaver and Hackney scored in every meet for Georgia.
Junior Brian Potts began the season by taking second at the Georgia-Georgia Tech Dual meet for the Bulldogs. Georgia won both the dual meet and the Catamount Classic in the first month of the season.
Although slowed by a leg injury, senior Ross Ridgewell, who was a 2008 All-American in the 800-meter run, won the 8K Catamount Classic (25:24.76) and then led Georgia with a 22nd-place finish at the Tiger Invitational before being sidelined for the rest of the season.
The Bulldogs took 39th at the NCAA Pre-Nationals on Oct. 18 and were then able to finish eighth at the SEC Championships. In Starkville, junior Caleb Vogt finished 30th (25:01.16) while Svoboda managed a 51st-place finish (25:41.46) at the first SEC meet of his career.
Capping his career as a Bulldog, senior Dustin Tetley (60th-33:43.10) took charge at the NCAA South Regionals as all six of Georgia’s runners broke into the top 80. Hackney and Cleaver also scored for Georgia as the Bulldogs finished 12th.