Aug. 25, 2010
By Eric Trainer, Associate Director of Media Relations
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The Southeastern Conference released its 2010 Cross Country Coaches Preseason Polls Wednesday, and the University of Tennessee women's and men's teams are predicted to record top-five finishes at the league championship meet later this fall.
The Lady Vols, who placed second a year ago at the SEC Championships, tallied 52 poll points to card a three-way tie for fourth place with Alabama and Vanderbilt. Defending champ Florida received all 11 first-place votes to earn the nod as favorite, with 11 points. Arkansas, which accumulated 24 points, was picked for runner-up status, followed by Georgia in third with 35.
The Vols and Auburn share fifth-place preseason recognition on the men's side, tallying 49 points. Two-time defending SEC victor Alabama sits in the catbird's seat with 13 points, followed closely by Arkansas (16), Florida (34) and Georgia (41). The Crimson Tide collected seven first-place votes, while the Razorbacks pulled in four.
Points for the men's poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 basis while the women's poll was awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11 basis. The 2010 SEC Cross Country Championships, hosted by the University of South Carolina, will be held Nov. 1 in Columbia, S.C.
J.J. Clark's Lady Vols and George Watts' Vols open the 2010 campaign in Nashville on Sept. 3, as they take part in the Belmont-Vanderbilt University Invitational at Percy Warner Park. The UT women, who are expected to be paced this season by decorated senior Brittany Sheffey, will run a 4000-meter race on the Vaughn's Creek Course at 5:30 p.m. Central time. The Vols, who return a strong quartet of seniors in All-SEC performer Michael Spooner as well as Peter Sigilai, Steve Fassino and Chris Rapp, are slated to run a 5K layout at 6 p.m.
2010 SEC Women's Cross Country Coaches' Poll
1. Florida (11) 11, 2. Arkansas 24, 3. Georgia 35, T4. Tennessee 52, T4. Alabama 52, T4. Vanderbilt 52, 7. Auburn 67, 8. Kentucky 78, 9. Mississippi State 96, 10. South Carolina 97, 11. LSU 113, 12. Ole Miss 117
2010 SEC Men's Cross Country Coaches' Poll
1. Alabama (7) 13, 2. Arkansas (4) 16, 3. Florida 34, 4. Georgia 41, T5. Tennessee 49, T5. Auburn 49, 7. Kentucky 67, 8. Mississippi State 72, 9. Ole Miss 73, 10. LSU 95, 11. Vanderbilt 96