Cats Host SEC Cross Country Championships Saturday

Oct. 26, 2007

Lexington, Ky. - The University of Kentucky cross country teams welcome their conference foes to the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend as hosts of the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championships. The men's 8K race will begin at 10 a.m. ET Saturday, followed by the women's 6K race at 11 a.m. ET at the Horse Park's Steeplechase facility. Admission and parking is free to all spectators.

The field for the SEC titles is strong again this year. Three nationally ranked teams are featured on the men's side in Arkansas (No. 8), Alabama (No. 12) and Florida (No. 30). On the women's side, there is a trio of teams ranked nationally including Arkansas (No. 13), Florida (No. 27) and Georgia (No. 29). The UK women also received votes in the poll this week for the first time since November 2005.

Both Wildcats squads are peaking at the right time, heading into the championships.

"The men and women are off to a pretty good start," said first-year Kentucky cross country/distance Coach John Mortimer. "Neither one of these teams have what you would consider an SEC champion as an individual. But, collectively, when you put five athletes together to score, we have pretty powerful teams.

"The goal of our women's program is to try to get in the top two because of the strength and depth of the team. On the men's side, we'd like to crack the top five for the first time in a number of years."

After winning the first three meets of the season, the Kentucky women placed third at the competitive Penn State National Invitational on October 12 to close out its regular season. The strong showing vaulted the Cats to their highest position of the season in the regional rankings, sitting third in the Southeast Region in the latest poll.

The Wildcat men finished out their regular season with a fourth-place finish, three points behind the host Nittany Lions, at the Penn State National Invite in State College, Pa. October 12. Senior André Silva paced the University of Kentucky men's cross country team by claiming the top medal honor. The UK men are ranked ninth in the latest Southeast Region poll (10/22), their highest position of the season.

Arkansas may be the team to beat this weekend. The Razorback men will be contending for Arkansas' 34th-consecutive conference title and its 17th-consecutive SEC title. The Lady `Backs are seeking their second consecutive SEC Championship this weekend and have won a league-leading 11 SEC titles since joining league in 1991.

Final results of the championships and a complete release on Saturday's meet will be available at