UK Picked Fifth, Eighth in SEC Preseason XC Poll

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ? The Kentucky women?s and men?s cross country squads were picked to finish fifth and eighth, respectively, in the Southeastern Conference standings according to the preseason coaches poll, the league office announced Monday.

?Our aspiration is to finish higher than predicted in the standings,? UK head coach Don Weber said. ?Where we are chosen in the preseason is not an issue, it is where we are at the end of the year that matters. We have added depth this year which should help us move towards those goals.?

Kentucky opens its 2007 schedule on Friday, Aug. 31, when it travels to nearby Richmond, Ky., to participate in the Eastern Kentucky Invitational.

The women?s squad is paced by junior Taylor Miller (Owensboro, Ky.), senior Lavera Morris (Orlando, Fla.) and junior Andrea Halasek (Georgetown, Ky.). The trio led the team to an eighth-place finish at last season?s NCAA Southeast Regional. Senior Andr? Silva (Centereach, N.Y.) carries the banner for the men?s team, which features increased depth for the upcoming campaign.

Arkansas was tabbed the favorite to claim both the men?s and women?s league titles this season. The Razorback men have won 16 consecutive titles and received all but two first-place votes. The Arkansas women received 11 first-place votes for a unanimous selection to claim the top spot after winning their 11th SEC title last fall.

Points for the men's poll were awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis while the women's poll was awarded on an 11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

The 2007 SEC Cross Country Championships, hosted by the Wildcats at the Kentucky Horse Park, will be held Saturday, Oct. 27.

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 Ranking SEC Women?s Preseason First-Place Votes Total Points 1 Arkansas 11 121 2 Tennessee 1 105 3 Florida 102 4 Georgia 95 5 Kentucky 72 6 Vanderbilt 67 7 Mississippi State 66 8 Alabama 47 9 Auburn 42 10 LSU 37 11 South Carolina 25 12 Ole Miss 13 Ranking SEC Men?s Preseason First-Place Votes Total Points 1 Arkansas 9 99 2 Alabama 2 86 3 Florida 82 4 Tennessee 76 5 Georgia 59 6 Mississippi State 44 7 Ole Miss 41 8 Kentucky 40 9 Auburn 36 10 LSU 30 11 Vanderbilt 12