Tuesday, August 27, 2013
MACON, Ga. - The Atlantic Sun Men’s Cross Country season is prepped and ready to begin with nine teams competing this weekend on Friday and Saturday.
The A-Sun landed an impressive four squads in the USTFCCCA Preseason Regional Ranking in the South Region; the second most from a single conference only behind the SEC. ETSU ranks the highest among the A-Sun squads in the South Region at No. 9, while Lipscomb follows close behind in tenth. Kennesaw State and Mercer also made the regional poll with the Owls at No. 14 and the Bears at No. 15 in the South Region.
A-Sun Men's Cross Country Notes (#ASunXC):
The Bucs come into the season as the preseason favorite collecting six first-place votes from the league coaches.
Jacksonville and North Florida host home meets with the Dolphins bringing in teams for the JU Short Course Duals on Friday, August 30th and the Ospreys welcome squads for the North Florida XC Challenge on Saturday.
USC Upstate has won back-to-back A-Sun Championship, but the Spartans graduated their top-runner in Gilbert Kemboi who had claimed three straight individual titles.
The Bisons finished seventh in the 2012 championship but were predicted to finish second this season in the preseason poll with a strong returning class. Jared Wingerter leads the pack as the 2012 A-Sun Freshman of the Year and is joined by Daniel Gardner and Fidel Leon as members of the 2012 All-Freshmen Team.
The Owls finished third in the preseason poll with two first-place votes and 67 points. KSU won the A-Sun Championship in 2010 and 2011 and have finished top-three the past five years.
FGCU finished fourth in the 2012 championship, improving the Eagles finish four spots from their 2011 eighth-place finish.
Northern Kentucky is paced by J.J. Webber who finished sixth overall in the Norse’s first A-Sun Championship.
Three A-Sun squads are competing in the North Florida XC Challenge on August 31st.
Lipscomb is hosting the 2013 A-Sun Championship on November 2nd in Nashville, Tenn. This marks the fourth A-Sun Championship that has been held at Vaughn's Gap with the Spartans claiming the 2011 title on that course.
Follow the Atlantic Sun on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.