Men's Cross Country Picked Second In SEC

The University of Alabama men's cross country team was picked to finish second in the Southeastern Conference by league's head coaches in the annual preseason poll. The Alabama women's team was predicted to finish sixth.



Both the Alabama men's and women's teams are under new coach Dan Waters.

Arkansas was voted the preseason favorite on the men's side with 12 points and eight first-place votes. Alabama garnered the remaining three first-place votes and finished with 20 points. The Crimson Tide finished second at last season's SEC Championships after winning back-to-back titles. The 2011 edition of the team returns a pair of all-SEC runners in Carison Kemei and Joel Rop. Kemei and Rop also earned all-South region honors along with Moses Kiptoo to help UA win its fourth-straight NCAA South Region Championship en route to an 11th place showing at the NCAA Championships.

Two-time defending SEC Champion Florida was the narrow favorite on the women's side with six of the 12 first-place votes and 17 points. The Arkansas women followed closely with five first-place votes and 18 points. UA checked in at sixth with 66 points. Last season the Tide was sixth at the SEC Championships and returns a veteran-laden roster with seven upperclassmen including 2008 all-SEC honoree Kelsey Johnson.

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. The Tide opens its 2011 campaign Sept. 3 in Athens, Ga., at the Georgia Invitational.

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