BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - In one of the first sports Texas A&M will compete for a conference title within the SEC, the Aggie cross country men's team received three first-place votes as conference coaches predicted how teams would finish in the SEC Championships held in late October.
While the Arkansas men and Vanderbilt women have been predicted to win the 2012 SEC cross country titles, the A&M men were tabbed for third while the Aggie women were selected for fourth place. The other SEC newcomer, Missouri, has been predicted to finish sixth in each race at the SEC meet.
This season Texas A&M's cross country teams will feature NCAA 10,000m champion Natosha Rogers, who was also the Olympic Trials silver medalist, and Henry Lelei, who earned All-America honors in cross country, indoor and outdoor track last season, topped by a fourth-place finish in the NCAA steeplechase.
In the SEC coaches poll the Arkansas men received nine first-place votes with Florida claiming one. Arkansas achieved their 19th SEC cross country title in the last 21 years last fall, but finished third at the NCAA South Central region behind Texas and Texas A&M in Waco and didn't qualify for the NCAA Championship field. This season Arkansas will play host to the NCAA South Central meet on November 9.
Vanderbilt received eight first-place votes on the women's side with Arkansas and Florida each getting three votes apiece. The Vanderbilt women captured their first-ever SEC Championship in cross country last fall and went on to place sixth at the NCAA Championships.
The Commodores will host the conference championship at Percy Warner Park in Nashville, Tenn., on Friday, Oct. 26.
Texas A&M's season gets started on Aug. 31 with a trip to Waco for the Baylor Twilight followed by trip to Houston on Sept. 14 for the Rice Invitational.
Visits to Notre Dame, on Sept. 28, and Wisconsin, on Oct. 12, will have the Aggies facing fellow SEC schools amid nationally-ranked fields. Alabama and Mississippi State will join A&M in the Notre Dame meet while Arkansas men, Georgia, Missouri and Vanderbilt are part of the Wisconsin field.
2012 SEC Men's Predicted Order of Finish
Points awarded on 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 basis
|1. Arkansas (9)||15|
|2. Florida (1)||28|
|3. Texas A&M (3)||31|
|11. Mississippi State||112|
2012 SEC Women's Predicted Order of Finish
Points awarded on 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13 basis
|1. Vanderbilt (8)
|2. Arkansas (1)
|3. Florida (3)
|4. Texas A&M
|11. Mississippi State
|13. South Carolina
2012 Texas A&M Cross Country Schedule
|Friday, Aug. 31
|Friday, Sept. 14
|Friday, Sept. 28
||Notre Dame Invitational
||South Bend, IN
|Friday, Oct. 12
||Wisconsin adidas Invitational
|Houston Baptist Invitational
|Friday, Oct. 26
|Friday, Nov. 9
||NCAA South Central Region
|Saturday, Nov. 17