FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arkansas’ men’s cross country team heads into its 2017 campaign tabbed as the preseason No. 1 selection in the South Central region for the fourth-consecutive year, announced on Monday afternoon by the USTFCCCA.
The Razorbacks have reigned supreme as unchallenged champions of the South Central region since 2013. In total, Arkansas has won 35 regional titles since 1976.
Arkansas returns five All-Region performers including Jack Bruce, Austen Dalquist, Alex George, Aidan Swain and Frankline Tonui.
The 2016 NCAA South Central Region Championship will be held on Friday, Nov. 11 in Fayetteville at Arkansas’ home course, Agri Park.
2016 Division I Preseason Regional Rankings (South Central)
3. Texas A&M
4. Stephen F. Austin
6. University of Texas at Arlington
8. McNeese State
9. North Texas
12. University of Texas at San Antonio
13. Texas A&M Corpus Christi
14. Arkansas State
15. Sam Houston State
Southeastern Conference Coaches Poll
In addition to topping the region in preseason standings, Arkansas men’s cross country has also been predicted to finish first as a team at the 2016 SEC Cross Country Championship, earning 11 out of a possible 12 first-place votes for a final total of 14 points.
Rankings are tabulated with a vote for first place equaling one point, second place equaling two points and so on, through 12th place (teams can’t vote for themselves). A team receiving all first-place finish votes would score 12 points.
Last season, the Razorbacks were predicted to finish second at the conference meet but ended up stealing the show on Oct. 30, 2015 in College Station, Texas, placing all of their scoring five inside the top 10. Arkansas’ score of 25 (2-3-5-6-9) to win its 23rd SEC cross country title was the program’s best since 2006 and tied its highest margin of victory (73 points) pitting the 2015 championship among the ranks of the 1991 and 1992 titles.
Arkansas will pursue its 49th conference title on its home course as the Razorbacks host the 2016 SEC Cross Country Championship on Friday, Oct. 28 at Agri Park.
2016 SEC Cross Country Coaches Preseason Poll (points)
1. Arkansas (14)
2. Ole Miss (21)
3. Texas A&M (36)
4. Kentucky (49)
T5. Florida (67)
T5. Missouri (67)
7. Alabama (79)
T8. Auburn (86)
T8. Georgia (86)
10. Mississippi State (115)
11. Tennessee (118)
12. LSU (134)
13. Vanderbilt (142)