CCU

Cross Country Set For Big South Championship

Women's 5K to begin at 10:30 a.m. | Men's 8k to begin at 11:30 a.m.

       

Junior Emily Marchini

Junior Emily Marchini

Oct. 25, 2012

CONWAY - With their regular season schedule completed at the Blue Ridge Mountain Open on Oct. 13, the Coastal Carolina men's and women's cross country teams look to begin their championship run, starting with the Big South Championship this Saturday.

The 2012 Big South Championship, hosted by Winthrop University, will take place Saturday, Oct. 27 at Winthrop Lake in Rock Hill, S.C. The women's 5K will start the event at 10:30 a.m., with the men's 8K to follow at 11:30 a.m.

The women's team, led by senior Jessica Dennison and junior Emily Marchini, will be looking to add a 13th Big South Title to the team's history.

Marchini led the Chants in the team's first two events of the season, including the Big South Preview held at Winthrop Lake on Sept. 15; Marchini finished 22nd overall at the event in 18:50. Dennison then took over the top spot in the Chants' last two outings, setting personal bests in each event.

The women will have to contend with defending Big South Champion High Point, who was selected to finish first in this year's preseason coaches' poll. Also on the Chant's radar will be Liberty's Jennifer Klugh, who has claimed the conference individual title the past two seasons.

"Our women's team has been coming together well over the past few weeks and we are very excited to race at the Big South Championship meet," said head women's coach Alan Connie. "With 12 titles in the history of the conference, our ladies understand what a great tradition the Coastal women have and are looking forward to representing with excellence and tremendous effort."

On the men's side, sophomores Evan Niciphor and Joseph Keitt, along with senior Kyle Kling will look to improve upon the team's seventh place finish at last year's conference championship.

Niciphor, who finished 17th overall at last year's championship to lead the men, has paced the Chants in three of four events this season. His second place overall finish at the CCU Invitational on Sept. 1 was enough to earn Big South Runner of the Week honors for that week.  

Keitt has performed similarly well this season, finishing second for the Chants in three events, and leading the team with a personal best performance at the Big South Preview on Sept. 15.

The veteran Kling has finished in the top three for the team in every event this season except the Blue Ridge Open, in which he did not compete. He has also placed in the top 10 overall in his two Big South Championship appearances, finishing fifth in 2009 and seventh in 2010.

"The men's squad is as healthy as it has been all year," said head men's coach Jeff Jacobs. "All nine guys should be ready to go on Saturday. Team wise, the meet is very competitive this year, but I believe we are in a position now to make a big improvement on our seventh place finish from last year."

The men will look to knock off a very strong Liberty side that has claimed the last seven team championships.

Check back to GoCCUSports.com this weekend to view full results of the 2012 Big South Championship meet.