CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga men's and women's cross country teams found their way into the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason region poll released this week.
The men's team was selected 11th in the South Region ahead of Georgia Tech, USF and Lipscomb. Alabama was selected to repeat as region champs this year. The women were picked 14th ahead of Samford who is the league favorite to take home the SoCon title this year. Florida State is the favorite to win the region this season.
The Mocs return two-time Southern Conference Runner of the Year senior Emmanuel Kirwa and two-time All-Conference performer junior Chris Berry to the line-up along with senior David Moore, 2008 SoCon Freshman of the Year Joshue Vasquez. Sophomores Kyle McLarty and Mark Cole, members of the 2009 SoCon All-Freshman team return to add depth to a strong lineup.
The Mocs placed second at the league championship last season and are picked by the SoCon coaches to finish third this year.
The Lady Mocs return 2010 Outdoor Track Runner of the Year senior Anneli Uys. Fellow senior Tara Gietema returns to the course after a redshirt season. As a sophomore, she earned all-conference honors while leading the Lady Mocs to a third straight SoCon title in 2008. Senior Shelley Taylor, an all-conference performer, is joined by classmates Lauren Anderson, Monika Groppe and Meredith White. Sophomore Heather Stuive, an all-conference performer and all-freshman team member, highlights a veteran class along with classmates Kathryn Stuart and Mary Cumbee.
The Lady Mocs were selected to finish fifth at the 2010 SoCon Cross Country Championships this season behind the Bulldogs, Elon, Appalachian State and Davidson.
The Running Mocs open the season hosting the annual PowerAde Invitational to be run Friday, Sept. 10 at the Moccasin Bend Race Course. The race is slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.