Mocs Picked Third in Preseason Poll; Lady Mocs Fifth


SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's cross country team was selected to finish third in the 2010 Southern Conference Preseason coaches' poll while the women were slated to finish fifth.

UTC received two first place votes and 78 points overall in the voting. The Mocs were runners-up last season and return two-time Southern Conference Runner of the Year Emmanuel Kirwa. Also returning for the Mocs are junior Chris Berry who redshirted last year and junior Joshue Vasquez, a top-20 finisher last season. Also filling out the roster with depth are sophomores Kyle McLarty and Mark Cole represented UTC on the all-freshman team in 2009.

On the women's side, seniors Anneli Uys and Tara Gietema will lead a senior-laden team. Uys was an all-conference finisher as was sophomore Heather Stuive who was also named to the all-freshman squad. Gietema redshirted the 2009 season but led the Lady Mocs in the 2008 year with a fifth place finish at the league championships. The Lady Mocs received 81 votes in the poll.

Appalachian State received five first-place votes and 92 points overall.  The Mountaineers return three runners that finished in the top-25 at the 2009 SoCon Championship, including 2009 first team all-conference junior Sean Soderman.  Also coming back for the Black and Gold are sophomores Burk Staub and Brian Graves, who were both members of the all-freshmen team a year ago.

Finishing close behind the Mountaineers in the voting was UNCG, who came in second with four first-place votes and 89 total points.  The Spartans return four runners that finished in the top-20 in last season's championship.  These runners are juniors Mike Koech and Joey Thompson, who both earned first team all-conference in 2009, and seniors Andy Clyne and AJ Savoia.  Clyne earned second team all-conference last year for the Spartans.  UNCG is looking to improve on its third-place finish from a season ago at this year's championship.

On the women's side, Samford received nine first-place votes and 116 points overall. The Bulldogs return two of the top runners from the 2009 championship in seniors Hillary Neal and Ina Ables, who finished fourth and fifth overall, respectively, and were both named first team all-conference.  Also returning for Samford is sophomore Lauren D'Alessio, who finished in the top-30 and helped the Bulldogs claim the SoCon title.

Elon, who finished second in the 2009 championship, received two first-place votes and gathered 110 total points to finish behind Samford in the voting.  The Phoenix return a strong team, which includes four runners who finished in the top-25 last season.  Coming back for Elon are senior Emily Fournier, a second team all-conference selection in 2009, and sophomores Morgan Denecke and Sullivan Parkes, who both earned all-freshman honors last season.  Junior Allyson Costa, who was a top-25 finisher in the 2009 SoCon championship, also returns for the Phoenix.

Appalachian State received the final first-place vote and took the third slot with 98 total points in the preseason balloting.  The Mountaineers return three runners with top-25 finishes in the 2009 championship.

The Running Mocs open the season at their own PowerAde Invitational on Friday, Sept. 10 at the Moccasin Bend race course. Admission is free.

2010 Cross Country Preseason Polls


Team (#1 votes)                        Points

1. Appalachian State (5)               92

2. UNCG (4)                                 89

3. Chattanooga (2)                        78

4. Davidson                                  75

5. Elon                                         65

6. Furman                                     64

7. Western Carolina                       43

8. College of Charleston                 36

9. Samford                                    30

10. The Citadel                              20

11. Wofford                                   13



Team (#1 votes)                        Points

1. Samford (9)                              116

2. Elon (2)                                    110

3. Appalachian State (1)                98

4. Davidson                                  90

5. Chattanooga                             81

6. Furman                                    79

T7. UNCG                                    56

T7. Western Carolina                    56

9. College of Charleston                42

10. Wofford                                  30

11. The Citadel                             18

12. Georgia Southern                    16

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