Coaches Select Alabama To Win

The Southeastern Conference released its 2009 SEC Cross Country Coaches Preseason Poll on Monday and The University of Alabama took top honors for the men. In a vote by the league head coaches, the Crimson Tide captured nine first-place votes for a total of 11 points.



"Obviously its an honor when people select you as a favorite but like all preseason polls, it doesn't mean a lot right now," Alabama Cross Country Coach Joe Walker said. "Hopefully it will be a motivator to our guys that not only do we have high expectations for them, but that their peers do as well."

As the defending SEC Champions, the Crimson Tide has claimed two titles for the program's history. Their 2008 title snapped a 17-year reign for the Arkansas Razorbacks in cross country titles. Should the Tide repeat, it would mark the first time since the 1989 and 1990 seasons that a team other than Arkansas won back-to-back titles in the sport.

"I'm extremely pleased to see our guys be recognized as the early favorite to win the SEC title," head track and field coach Harvey Glance said. "Year in and year out, the coaching staff and I try to bring in the best student-athletes that we believe meet our goals in the classroom as well as on the course. We look forward to defending our SEC Championship."

The Auburn Tigers received two first-place votes and followed in second-place with 23 points, while Arkansas came in third with 26 points. Florida and Tennessee round out the top five on the men's side with 37 and 51 points, respectively.

Points for the men's poll were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 basis.

The 2009 SEC Cross Country Championships, hosted by Ole Miss in Oxford will be held October 31.

2009 SEC Cross Country Coaches' Poll

(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

MEN

1. Alabama (9) 11

2. Auburn (2) 23

3. Arkansas 26

4. Florida 37

5. Tennessee 51

6. Mississippi State 58

7. Kentucky 62

8. Georgia 64

9. LSU 86

10. Ole Miss 89

11. Vanderbilt 98

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