August 27, 2012
Men's Cross Country Ranked In Preseason Regional Poll
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG men's cross country program is ranked ninth in the 2012 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason Southeast Regional rankings for NCAA Division I. The Spartans are the highest ranked Southern Conference team in the preseason poll with Davidson ranked 12th in the Southeast Region and Chattanooga ranked 11th in the South Region.
"A preseason regional ranking is a nice recognition for our men and shows how they have improved over the last few years," head coach Linh Nguyen
said. "This is the first time we have ever come into the season ranked, so it shows the progress we have made. At the end of the day though, this is just the first ranking of many this season and what really matters is how we perform as opposed to how we are ranked. The guys worked hard over the summer and look very fit so far. We are going to focus on our preparation rather than ranking."
UNCG is coming off a dominating SoCon championship performance last fall and was picked to repeat as champions this year. The Spartans claimed five of the first 11 spots at the SoCon meet last year and tallied a team score of 26, the lowest (and therefore best) by any team in the event in 13 years. The Spartans' margin of victory of 47 points was the largest by any squad in 20 years.
UNCG is headlined by junior Paul Chelimo
(Chebiemet, Kenya/Chebiemet Boys School) who was named the SoCon Runner of the Year after winning the conference championships in 23:11 last fall. Chelimo went on to place second in the NCAA Southeast Regional and 13th
in the NCAA Cross Country National Championships.
Also back for the Spartans is reining SoCon Freshman of the Year Paul Katam
(Eldoret, Kenya/Sacho) who finished four in the SoCon meet last year. Junior Abraham Kemboi
(Eldoret, Kenya/Kipkabus) placed seventh in the league last year, finishing in a time of 24:27.
UNCG opens the 2012 season August 31 as it takes part in the Demon Deacon Quad in Winston-Salem, N.C. The 2012 Southern Conference championships will be run Oct. 27 in Charleston, S.C.
USTFCCCA Southeast Region Preseason Poll
1. NC State, ACC
2. Eastern Kentucky, Ohio Valley
3. William and Mary, Colonial
4. Virginia Tech, ACC
5. North Carolina, ACC
6. Louisville, Big East
7. Duke, AC
8. Virginia, ACC
9. UNCG, Southern
10. Western Kentucky, Sun Belt
11. Davidson, Southern
12. High Point, Big South
13. George Mason, Colonial
14. Clemson, ACC
15. Kentucky, SEC
- UNCG -