News from MSU Media Relations--November 4

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...Cross Country, Football and Men's Basketball.

Cross Country
STARKVILLE, Miss. - In sunshine and mid-70 degree temperatures, the Mississippi State men's and women's cross country teams took to their home course Monday, fighting for the 2008 SEC Championship title. The men finished in the top half of the conference, taking 6th place, while the women took 9th place overall.

Alabama knocked off 17-time defending champion Arkansas to take top honors on the men's side, while the Lady Razorbacks held off Florida to win the women's title.

For the MSU women, freshmen Renee Masterson and Lydia Chebii clocked in State's fastest times of 22:00.76 and 22:05.10 in the 6K race, respectively. Masterson and Chebii also finished among the top seven freshmen to earn Freshmen All-SEC honors.

"Our goal is always to be in the top half of the conference," MSU women's coach Al Schmidt said. "I actually ran five freshmen and two sophomores, and we had some physical problems which we didn't have enough depth to handle. But we had two All- freshmen, so I'm very happy about that, and the future looks good for us."

Arkansas' women totaled 46 total points, while Florida was a close second with 53 points. Tennessee took third with 107 points. Catherine White, an Arkansas sophomore, was the meet's overall top performer, clocking in at 20:07.26. Coming in second and third overall was sophomore Hollie Knight from Auburn and senior Sarah Bowman from Tennessee, running 20:18.52 and 20:27.26, respectively.

With two runners finishing in the overall top 20, the MSU men team stuck with their goal and finished in the top half of the conference. Senior Robert Scribner and sophomore Adam Lenz took 16th and 20th place overall in the 8K race. Scribner, Mississippi State's top overall performer, finished with a time of 24:22.27, while Lenz posted a run of 24:39.42.

"With the kids we have on this team, sixth was very good," said men's coach Steve Dudley. "I think we were pre-season ranked ninth or tenth, so we definitely finished higher than what we were ranked."

Alabama scored 32 total points, while Auburn finished second with 62 points. Arkansas, which had won this event every year since 1991, was third with 75 points. Girma Mesecho, an Auburn freshman, was the men's top performer, winning the 8K race with a time of 23:11.26. Second and third place went to junior Tyson David from Alabama and junior Elkanah Kibet from Auburn finishing in 26:16.26 and 23:20.35.

Next up for the MSU men's and women's teams are is the NCAA South Regional Championship in Knoxville, Tenn. on November 15.


Football
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State's November 15th football game at Alabama will be shown by one of three Southeastern Conference television partners, the conference office announced today. The game will be played at 11:30 a.m. on Raycom Sports, 2:30 p.m. on CBS Sports or at 6:45 p.m. on ESPN. (All times Central Standard Time.)

If the game is selected by Raycom or CBS, the MSU men's basketball team will begin its season-opener against Centenary at 7 p.m. If the game is chosen by ESPN, the men's basketball game will tipoff at 2 p.m.

The SEC will announce the television selections no later than the afternoon of Sunday, November 9.

Mississippi State has not played on any of the three main SEC television partners' stations yet this season, although five of its first nine games have been televised. State has played a trio of games on ESPN2, one on ESPNU and on the Atlantic Coast Conference Raycom Sports affiliates.


Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State junior forward Jarvis Varnado received first-team All-SEC honors on Monday, as voted on by the league coaches.

Thirty-two different players received votes for the teams, and LSU and Tennessee led all schools with three selections each. Kentucky's Patrick Patterson and Vanderbilt's A.J. Ogilvy were the only unanimous first-team selections.

The coaches preseason All-SEC first and second teams consist of a minimum of eight players on each squad. No ties were broken and no predicted order of finish was made.

Two weeks ago, the 6-foot-9, 210-pound Varnado was named second-team All-SEC by the media.

Last year as a sophomore, Varnado averaged 7.9 points and 7.8 rebounds and led the country with 157 blocked shots en route to being named the national defensive player of the year by both Rivals.com and CollegeInsider.com.

The Bulldogs, who opened exhibition play this past Saturday with an 88-59 victory against Montevallo, conclude preseason action at 2 p.m. Saturday against Oklahoma City at Humphrey Coliseum. The season opener is slated for Nov. 15 against Centenary at home.


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