News from MSU Media Relations--August 29

The lastest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...

Cross Country (Women's)
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's Women's Cross Country squad was picked sixth in the Southeastern Conference according to a preseason vote by the league coaches released Monday by the conference office in Birmingham, Ala.

Arkansas was picked to win league titles on both the men's and women's side. If the preseason poll holds true, the Razorbacks would capture their 16th SEC Championship – 33rd straight titles, dating back to 1974 when UA won 17 Southwest Conference titles.

The State women are coming off a 2005 campaign in which the squad finished in the top-10 in all but one meet last year. They closed out the season with a top-10 finish at the NCAA South Regional. Head coach Al Schmidt returns nine athletes from a season ago.

On the men's side, the Maroon and White were picked 10th in the league coaches poll. Men's head coach Steve Dudley will have six seniors leading the way for the Bulldogs.

Both squads are in the final stages of preseason work as the 2006 slate will begin Saturday, Sept. 2 in Sewanee, Tenn. participating in the Sewanee Invitational.

Women's Tennis
STARKVILLE , Miss. - Mississippi State's women's tennis head coach Tracy Lane has announced the signing of Valeriya Makarycheva to the Lady Bulldog tennis program.

"We are really excited to have Valeriya join us this upcoming season," said Lane. "We are looking to her making an immediate impact in the line-up. She is young and comes in with plenty of junior tournament experience."

Makarycheva comes to MSU by way of Moscow, Russia , having just graduated this past June from High School No. 150. While posting a 3.5 GPA in school, she placed on the honor list at school for her excellence in studies and success in sports in 2002 and 2003.

During her junior tournament experience, she has garnered five championship titles. Her first title came in 2002 at the National Russian Tournament (U16) where she placed first in both singles and doubles.

"Coming here means that I will try to do my best in tournaments and play my best tennis during the regular season," Makarycheva said. "It's a very big honor for me to play and to study here."

She is the daughter of Seregey and Marina Makarycheva. Makarycheva's major is international business.

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