Oct. 11, 2006
The Tennessee men's cross country team will compete Saturday in the 8K Brooks Pre Nationals meet, held at Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. This weekend will serve as an opportunity for the Vols to run on the same site as the 10K NCAA championship.
"The pre-national meet will be our first big time test of the season," head coach George Watts said. "Many of the top-30 teams in the country are entered.
Last year we had a solid performance which helped us towards an at-large bid (at the NCAA championship). This year's team is more experienced and mature. I expect us to be very competitive.
The Vols will arrive in Terre Haute with three of the five scorers from last year's race. Ben Lukowski finished third among the team to lead the group of Volunteers returning, while Tyler DeVault and Matt Piccarello crossed the line fourth and fifth, respectively, for Tennessee.
Seniors Jeff Day, who finished eighth overall and first on the team in the Vols' last race, Dusty Miller and Chris Platt will also be returning to the course from last year. Miller finished sixth on the team with Day behind him in seventh, while Platt finished 21st overall in the open section.
The 2006 version of the Brooks Pre Nationals is expected to be the largest ever. A record 192 teams, 89 men and 94 women, are entered, and more than 2,000 runners are expected. Indiana State University serves as host of the meet, and the race will take place on the LaVern Gibson Championship Course.
Two men's seeded races will be contested as well as an open-section race. The race assignments will not be announced until noon Friday, but Tennessee will compete in either the blue race at 12:10 p.m.or the white race at 12:50 p.m..
The open race is scheduled to start at 2:20 p.m. All start times are listed in Eastern Standard Time.
VOLS RANKED FOURTH IN SOUTH REGION
The Tennessee men's cross country team is ranked fourth in the south region in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Poll.
Alabama, ranked 17th in the nation, leads the region. The Crimson Tide are followed by Florida, ranked 25th nationally, and Florida State, ranked 27th in the nation. Georgia (seventh), Mississippi State (eighth), Ole Miss (11th) and Vanderbilt (14th) are also ranked in the south region, giving the SEC seven teams in the poll, which recognizes the top-15 teams in each of the nine regions.
Tennessee will host the South Region Championship Nov. 11 at Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville. The race is scheduled to start at 11:15 a.m. Admission is free.