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Thursday August 16, 2012Gator Men's Cross Country Predicted to Finish Second in SEC, Women Picked to Place Third

Birmingham, Ala.

Both Florida cross country squads garnered first-place votes in the 2012 SEC Preseason Coaches Poll, released by the conference office Thursday, as the UF menís team was predicted to finish second in the league, while the Gator womenís squad was predicted to finish third in the conference by vote of the leagueís head coaches.

 

Points for the men's poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 basis while the women's poll was awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13 basis. Coaches could not vote for their own teams. The 2012 season marks the first in SEC competition for both Missouri and Texas A&M.

 

On the menís side, Florida was predicted to finish second in the coaches poll, earning one first-place vote behind predicted winner Arkansas (9), while SEC newcomer Texas A&M was predicted to place third, grabbing three first-place votes.

 

In the womenís poll, the Gators checked in third with three first-place votes, as defending SEC Champion Vanderbilt (8) was predicted to lead the final standings, while Arkansas was predicted to finish second in the womenís coaches poll, also garnering three first-place votes.

 

The Orange and Blue boast eight SEC Championships combined, including five on the womenís side (1984, 1996, 1997, 2009, 2010) and three in menís cross country action (1955, 1986, 1987).

 

The Florida distance crew and cross country squads will be under the leadership of first-year assistant track and cross country coach Paul Spangler as the kickoff to the 2012 campaign begins August 31 at the Western Carolina Invitational in Cullowhee, N.C. The Gators will then play host to the 24th Annual Mountain Dew Invitational September 15 at UFís Mark Bostick Golf Course.

 

After finishing third at the 2011 SEC Championships on the womenís side, the Gators will look to add a sixth SEC title this season after most recently claiming both the 2009 and 2010 league championships. Floridaís men rallied for a second-place finish at the 2011 SEC Championship race in Maryville, Tenn., marking its highest finish since 2007.

The Orange and Blue will shoot for a fourth league title this fall for what would be the menís programís first in 25 years.

 

The 2011 menís team went on to secure an automatic qualifying bid for the NCAA Championship with a second-place finish at the NCAA South Region Championship in Tuscaloosa, Ala., while three womenís squad members picked up individual at-large bids to Nationals.

 

The 2012 SEC Cross Country Championships are slated to take place Friday, Oct. 26 at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn.

 

MENíS Predicted Order of Finish

1. ††††††††††† Arkansas (9) ††††††† 15

2. ††††††††††† Florida (1) ††††††††††† 28

3. ††††††††††† Texas A&M (3) ††† 31

4. ††††††††††† Georgia ††††††††††††††† 44

5. ††††††††††† Kentucky ††††††††††††† 65

6. ††††††††††† Missouri ††††††††††††††† 70

7. ††††††††††† Alabama ††††††††††††† 84

8. ††††††††††† Tennessee †††††††††† 87

9. ††††††††††† Ole Miss †††††††††††††† 100

10. †††††††† Auburn † ††††††††††††††† 103

11. †††††††† Mississippi State 112

12. †††††††† LSU †††††† ††††††††††††††† 131

13. †††††††† Vanderbilt ††††††††††† 144

 

WOMENíS Predicted Order of Finish

1.†††††††††††† Vanderbilt (8) †††† 21

2. ††††††††††† Arkansas (3) ††††††† 27

3. ††††††††††† Florida (3) ††††††††††† 33

4. ††††††††††† Texas A&M ††††††††† 54

5. ††††††††††† Georgia ††††††††††††††† 68

6.†††††††††††† Missouri ††††††††††††††† 71

7. ††††††††††† Ole Miss †††††††††††††† 93

8. ††††††††††† Alabama ††††††††††††† 97

9. ††††††††††† Tennessee †††††††††† 107

10. †††††††† Kentucky ††††††††††††† 123

11. †††††††† Mississippi State 126

12. †††††††† Auburn † ††††††††††††††† 132

13. †††††††† South Carolina ††† 158

14. †††††††† LSU †††††† ††††††††††††††† 164

 

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