Lady Vols ranked 14th in poll

The University of Tennessee women's cross country team, which has won three straight Southeastern Conference titles, claimed four consecutive NCAA South Region crowns and made four trips in a row to the NCAA Championships, was picked 14th in the initial United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Poll of the 2006 campaign.

The Lady Vols, who opened their season last weekend with a second-place finish at the Belmont Opener in Nashville despite running only one of their four returning all-conference performers, appeared in the USTFCCCA Poll along with SEC foe and preseason league coaches' favorite Arkansas, which is eighth. Georgia was listed in the receiving votes category.

Defending NCAA champion Stanford, which returns five All-Americans, is ranked number one. Colorado, the NCAA champion in 2004 and runner-up last season, came in second, followed by Michigan, Oklahoma State and BYU. Rounding out the top 10 were Illinois, Duke, Arkansas , Arizona State and Wisconsin.

Tennessee Head Coach J.J. Clark welcomes back seven letterwinners, including 2005 All-SEC honorees Felicia Guliford (Sr., Gallup, N.M. ), Katie Flaute (Sr., Dayton, Ohio ), Sarah Bowman (Soph., Warrenton, Va. ) and Leah Soro (Soph., Knoxville, Tenn. ), from a squad that posted a school-best 125-32 won-lost record a year ago.

He also signed his best recruiting class as UT skipper, including three freshmen who filled the two through four scoring positions in the 2006 season opener on Sept. 1.

The Lady Vols will put that ranking on the line Friday at 5:30 p.m. ET, as they play host to the Tennessee Invitational at the Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville, Tenn. Among the women's teams scheduled to attend are Austin Peay, Belmont, Bryan, Chattanooga, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Maryville, Tennessee State and VMI.

USTFCCCA Division I women's cross country poll

1. Stanford

2. Colorado

3. Michigan

4.Oklahoma State

5. BYU

6. Illinois

7. Duke

8. Arkansas

9. Arizona State

10. Wisconsin

11. Princeton

12. North Carolina State

13. Baylor

14. Tennessee

15. Iowa

16. Minnesota

17. Boston University

18. Marquette

19. Florida State

20. Providence

21. Washington

22. North Carolina

23. Michigan State

24. Georgetown

25. William & Mary

26. Virginia

27. Colorado State

28. Wake Forest

29. Indiana

30. Oregon

Other schools receiving votes: Boston College, Butler, Notre Dame, Georgia, LaSalle, Northern Arizona, Villanova, Rice, Columbia, Weber State, UCLA, Texas Tech, Washington State, Alabama-Birmingham, UC-Santa Barbara.

Inside Tennessee Top Stories