Prior to the beginning of the season, OVC cross country coaches made their predictions for the 2012 season. On the men’s side Eastern Kentucky was picked as the favorites (121 points, 11 first-place votes) and was followed by Eastern Illinois (103), Southeast Missouri (99), Belmont (93, 1 first-place vote), SIUE (73), Morehead State (72), Jacksonville State (57), UT Martin (51), Tennessee Tech (41), Austin Peay (39), Murray State (26) and Tennessee State (17). Eastern Illinois was picked as the women’s preseason favorite (116 points, 7 first-place votes) and was followed by Eastern Kentucky (110, 3 first-place votes), Belmont (96, 2 first-place votes), Southeast Missouri (89), Murray State (85), Morehead State (68), Jacksonville State (58), SIUE (57), Austin Peay (45), UT Martin (32), Tennessee Tech (25) and Tennessee State (11). This year marks the first time the OVC has had 12 schools competing in its cross country championship, as Belmont and SIUE will compete in the event for the first time.
In the latest set of U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings (Oct. 1-2), the Eastern Kentucky men are ranked 20th nationally, up five spots from last week’s poll after the team defeated five nationally-ranked opponents last week at the Notre Dame Invitational. In the regional rankings the Eastern Kentucky men are jumped up to No. 1 in the Southeast Region while the EKU women fell one spot to 11th. The Belmont men are No. 15 in the South Region while the Bruins women’s team is No. 12. The next set of USTFCCCA polls will be released on Oct. 15-16.
‘Around the OVC’
Austin Peay: Austin Peay was one of two OVC schools to run at the JSU Foothills Invitational last Friday. The meet served as a preview for the OVC Championship which will be run on the same course on Oct. 27. The women’s team finished fourth out of 12 teams while the men’s squad was sixth out of 10 teams. Junior Xiamar Richards, a Rossview High graduate, was named adidas® OVC Female Runner of the Week after winning the race that featured 87 total competitors. Richards covered the 5K course in 18:39.17, over three seconds ahead of second place. It marked the third victory of her career. The men’s squad was led by Konnor Kessler who finished 14th in an 8K time of 26:58.88. Austin Peay will have its final tune-up for the OVC Championship on Saturday when it competes at the Front Runner Invitational in Chattanooga.
Belmont: After not competing last weekend, Belmont will return to action on Friday when the Bruins compete at the Blue Ridge Open in Boone, N.C. The meet will be the final tune-up for the teams before competing at their first OVC Championship on Oct. 27.
Eastern Illinois: Eastern Illinois did not compete this past week but is back on the course on Friday at the Bradley Classic in Peoria, Ill.
Eastern Kentucky: Eastern Kentucky was off last week but is back in action this weekend. The men’s “A” team will travel to Madison, Wis. to compete in the Wisconsin adidas® Invitational against some of the nation’s best teams on Friday. On Saturday the men’s “B” team and the women’s squad will run at the NCAA Pre-National Meet in Louisville, Ky.; that meet is run on the same course the NCAA Championship will be held on in November.
Jacksonville State: Jacksonville State hosted the JSU Foothills Invitational last Friday, a preview meet for the OVC Championship which will be run on the same course on Oct. 27. The Gamecocks women’s team was second out of 12 teams while the men were third out of 10 squads. Senior Matt Brick was named adidas® OVC Male Runner of the Week after placing sixth out of 67 runners in the field. Brick covered the 8K course in 26:21.03 and led the Gamecocks for the fourth time this season. The women’s team was paced by Kailey Jensen who was third overall with a 5K time of 18:47.30. The Gamecocks will travel to the Alabama Crimson Classic on Saturday, its final tune-up before hosting the OVC Championship.
Morehead State: After a week off Morehead State returns to action this week when they compete at the Fast Cats Classic in Owensboro, Ky. The meet is the final for the team before competing at the OVC Championship on Oct. 27.
Murray State: Murray State was not in action last week but will have one final tune-up weekend of competition before running in the OVC Championship on Oct. 27. Some of the MSU runners will be at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Meet in Louisville on Saturday while the rest of the program’s competitors will run at the Fast Cats Classic in Owensboro, Ky.
Southeast Missouri: Southeast Missouri State returns to the course after a week off when they compete at the NCAA Pre-Nationals Meet in Louisville, Ky. this Saturday.
SIUE: SIUE was idle last week but is back on the course this Saturday when the program hosts the SIUE John Flamer Invitational in Edwardsville.
Tennessee State: Tennessee State was one of two OVC teams to compete at the Tennessee Tech Invitational in Cookeville last Friday. The women’s team was led by Oteia Prince who was 16th overall with a 5K time of 21:36.26. The men were paced by Jamill Jackson who was 41st overall with a time of 31:16.42. The TSU teams are back in action on Saturday at the Front Runner Invitational in Chattanooga.
Tennessee Tech: The Golden Eagles hosted the annual Tennessee Tech Invitational at the Southern Hills Golf Course last Friday. The women’s team finished second out of five teams while the men’s team was third out of six squads. Mike Mahan led the men’s squad with an eighth place finish, running the 8K course in 27:20.42. The women’s squad was paced by Beth Miller who was eighth overall with a 5K time of 20:30.64. TTU will have its final meet before the OVC Championship on Saturday when it travels to Rome, Ga. to compete in the Berry College Invitational.
UT Martin: UT Martin was not in action last week. The Skyhawks will be one of three OVC teams to compete at the Front Runner Invitational in Chattanooga on Saturday.
This Week’s Schedule
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12
Blue Ridge Open (Boone, N.C.)
Bradley Classic (Peoria, Ill.)
Wisconsin adidas® Invitational (Madison, Wis.)
Eastern Kentucky (men)
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13
Front Runner Invitational (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
NCAA Pre-National Meet (Louisville, Ky.)
Alabama Crimson Classic (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
Fast Cats Classic (Owensboro, Ky.)
SIUE John Flamer Invitational (Edwardsville, Ill.)
Berry Invitational (Rome, Ga.)
adidas® OVC Runners of the Week
MALE RUNNER OF THE WEEK
Matt Brick • Jacksonville State
Sr. • Pell City, Ala.
Brick was sixth out of 67 runners at the JSU Foothills Invitational on Friday in Oxford, Ala. The senior ran the 8K course in a time of 26:21.03, marking the fourth time this season he has been the Gamecocks top finisher. The meet served as a preview for the OVC Championship which will be run on the same course on Oct. 27. Brick’s performance helped the Jax State team to a third place finish out of 10 teams.
Others Nominated: Mike Mahan, Tennessee Tech.
FEMALE RUNNER OF THE WEEK
Xiamar Richards • Austin Peay
Jr. • Clarksville, Tenn.
Richards took first place out of 87 runners at the JSU Foothills Invitational in Oxford, Ala. on Friday. The junior covered the 5K course in a season-best time of 18:39.17, which gave her the victory by more than three seconds. The meet served as a preview for Richards and the Austin Peay team as it will be the site of the OVC Championship meet on Oct. 27. It was the third victory of her career and first since Oct. 2011. Her performance helped the Lady Govs to a fourth place finish out of 12 teams.
Others Nominated: Kailey Jensen, Jacksonville State; Oteia Prince, Tennessee State; Beth Miller, Tennessee Tech.
SectionsFeatured Story, NCAA, Ohio Valley Conference, Rossview, Sports, Track & Field
TopicsAPSU, Austin Peay, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, Clarksville Sports Network, Govs, Lady govs, Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, Tennessee
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