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Thursday August 25, 2011Gator Women's Cross Country Picked to Win Third Straight SEC Title; Men Selected to Finish Third

Birmingham, Ala.

Florida’s defending Southeastern Conference Champion women’s cross country team was picked by vote of the league’s head coaches to claim its third straight SEC title in the 2011 SEC preseason coaches poll, while Florida’s men were selected to finish third, announced by the conference Thursday. The UF women earned six first-place votes to edge out the women’s team from Arkansas (5), while Florida’s men were a preseason number three pick behind Alabama and Arkansas, as the Razorbacks are predicted to win the 2011 SEC men’s title.

 

Last year, the Florida women’s squad captured the program’s fifth all-time SEC title, its second in a row, after edging the team from Arkansas by one point at the league meet in Columbia, S.C. Florida assistant track and field and cross country coach Todd Morgan picked up his second consecutive SEC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year accolade in the process as eight Florida men and women picked up All-SEC honors. The women’s squad went on to secure and automatic bid to NCAAs with a second-place finish at the NCAA South Regional, while the men placed third and picked up an individual at-large bid for the first time since 2008.

 

At the 2010 conference meet, Florida’s men secured third place in the team race, the best team finish for the UF men since 2007. The squad finished in the top five at the conference meet for the 14th consecutive year and in the top three for the seventh season in the last nine years.

 

Arkansas is the defending SECChampion in men’s cross country and won 17 consecutive league crowns in the sport from 1991-2007. The Razorbacks snapped Alabama’s back-to-back title streak in 2010 after the Crimson Tide had won in 2008 and 2009. Alabama claimed three first-place votes on the men’s side, following in second place with 20 points. Florida was third with 29 points, Georgia fourth with 34 and Tennessee rounded out the top five with 52 points.

 

Florida has won back-to-back SECcross country titles on the women’s side and earned 17 total points for the top spot. The Gators have won five titles in the history of their program (1984, 1996, 1997, 2009 and 2010). Arkansas was a close second with 18 total points and five first-place tallies, while Vanderbilt was third with 30 total points. Georgia (41 points)and Mississippi State (58 points)rounded out the top-five of the women’s poll.

        

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 2011 SEC Cross Country Championships, hosted by the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tenn., will be held Oct. 31, while Florida kicks off its 2011 season Sept. 2 in Cullowhee, N.C., at the Western Carolina Invitational. The Gators will then participate in the South Florida Invitational Sept. 9 in Tampa before returning home to the Mark Bostick Golf Course for the 23rd Annual Mountain Dew Invitational Sept. 24. For all the latest on Gator cross country, follow Florida on Twitter @GatorZoneXCntry and UF athletics @GatorZoneNews.         

 

 

2011 SEC Cross Country Coaches' Poll

(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

 

SEC Champion

Men: Arkansas (8), Alabama (3)

Women: Florida (6), Arkansas (5), Vanderbilt (1)

 

MEN

1. Arkansas (8)                 12

2. Alabama (3)                 20

3. Florida                           29

4. Georgia                         34

5. Tennessee                   52

6. Mississippi State         60

7. Kentucky                       65

8. Ole Miss                        70

9. Auburn                          75

10. LSU                             91

11. Vanderbilt                   97

 

WOMEN

1. Florida (6)                     17

2. Arkansas (5)                 18

3. Vanderbilt (1)               30

4. Georgia                         41

5. Mississippi State         58

6. Alabama                       66

7. Kentucky                       76

8. Ole Miss                        87

9. Tennessee                   88

10. Auburn                        95

11. South Carolina          103

12. LSU                             113

 

 

 

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