Aug. 20, 2012
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) - The Coastal Carolina men's cross country team has been picked to finish sixth in the Big South Conference's annual preseason poll of the league's head cross country coaches, as announced today by the conference office.
Defending champions Liberty, winner of the past seven Big South Cross Country titles, was a unanimous choice for the top spot gathering all 12 number one votes for a total of 144 points. High Point claimed the No. 2 spot in the poll with 132 points. In third was Campbell with 103 points and in fourth was VMI with 102 points. At the No. 5 position was Winthrop with 89 points, followed by Coastal Carolina with 84 points. Radford's 83 points were good for seventh and UNC Asheville's 65 points landed it at No. 8. Charleston Southern finished No. 9 with 49 points, ahead of Gardner-Webb with 43 points. Big South newcomer Longwood garnered 23 points to come in at No. 11 and Presbyterian College rounded out the men's poll with 18 points.
CCU's men's squad, which finished seventh at the Big South Championship in 2011, will feature an experienced roster this year with six runners returning from last season. Senior leaders Kyle Kling and Spencer Lange both return as does the experienced junior Cameron Wells. Also returning are Tyler Cummings, Joseph Keitt and Evan Niciphor, three sophomores who made significant contributions as freshmen in 2011.
Joining the team this year will be freshmen Steven Egnatoff and Graham Larson along with junior Ryan Beckley. Beckley, a transfer from Spartanburg Methodist, helped lead his former school to a seventh place finish at the 2011 Junior College Cross Country National Championship.
CCU's men's cross country team, led by head coach Jeff Jacobs, will open their 2012 season on home turf as they host the Coastal Carolina University Invitational on Friday, Aug. 31 at Hackler Golf Course. The men's 5K begins at 6:30 p.m. The men will be preceded by the women's race that begins at 6:00 p.m.
2012 Big South Conference Preseason Men's Cross Country Poll
1. Liberty (12 first place votes) - 144 total points
2. High Point - 132
3. Campbell - 103
4. VMI - 102
5. Winthrop - 89
6. Coastal Carolina - 84
7. Radford - 83
8. UNC Asheville - 65
9. Charleston Southern - 49
10. Gardner-Webb - 43
11. Longwood - 23
12. Presbyterian College - 18