Cross Country Championship Preview
SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The 2012 Southern Conference Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships, hosted by The Citadel, is set to begin at the Laurel Hill Plantation in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., on Saturday, Oct. 27. The event begins with the women’s 5K race at 10:00 a.m., followed by the men’s 8K at 10:45 a.m. The event will be concluded with an awards ceremony to honor top team and individual performances.
The UNCG men’s cross country team was tabbed the preseason favorite in the coaches’ poll and looks to defend its 2011 title. The Spartans are led by 2011 SoCon Runner of the Year, Paul Chelimo, who holds the conference’s fastest 8K time this season (22:59.62). The Spartans will also look for a strong performance from 2011 SoCon Freshman of the Year, Paul Katam, who holds the second-fastest 8K time in the conference this season (23:49.90).
In addition to Chelimo and Katam, the men’s race will also feature two-time SoCon Runner of the Week Nathan Wanuch (Chattanooga), as well as SoCon Runner of the Week selections Wilkerson Given (Furman) and Mitch McLeod (Appalachian State).
The UNCG women’s cross country team is also looking to defend their 2011 SoCon Championship. The Spartans were picked to finish second in the preseason coaches’ poll, and are anchored by senior Chelsea Sumney, who holds the second-fastest 5K time in the SoCon this season.
Elon, the preseason favorite on the women’s side, is currently ranked 12th in the Southeast Region in the latest USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Rankings. Two-time SoCon Champion Samford returns senior Lauren D’Alessio who holds the fastest 5K time in the conference this season (17:23.40).
The women’s race also features SoCon Runner of the Week selections Amanda Hamilton (Appalachian State), Hayley McMahon (College of Charleston), Sara Curry (Georgia Southern), Sinead Haughey (Furman), and Jocelyn Keen (Western Carolina).
For complete results and photos from the championship, log onto www.soconsports.com.