UKXC Begins 2016 Postseason at SEC Championships

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Kentucky cross country teams will contest the Southeastern Conference Championships Friday at Arkansas’ Agri Park.

The women’s 6,000-meter race is scheduled for a 11 a.m. ET start, while the men’s 8K race will begin at noon. An awards ceremony will follow the race.

SEC Network will air a one-hour highlight show Sunday, Nov. 6, at 11 a.m. ET, with Tyler Denning & Larry Rawson on the call.

Admission to the 2016 SEC Cross Championships is free and open to the public, and spectator parking is available.

The Kentucky men’s team earned perhaps its best team finish of the season two weeks ago at Alabama’s Crimson Classic winning with 70 points.

The competition Friday will be ramped up as two SEC men’s cross country teams are ranked among the nation's top-25 in the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division I Cross Country National Coaches Poll. The Arkansas men are ranked fifth, while Ole Miss is No. 11. The Kentucky men are receiving votes.

Jacob Thomson has been the top Wildcat on UK’s men’s team the past two seasons and seems primed to put his hat in the ring Friday as he has run at the front in all his races this season after a breakout season on the track last spring.

Katy Kunc figures to lead the UK women’s team, as she has won three of her four races this season.

The Arkansas women are ranked 10th, while Ole Miss is No. 16.

The setting
Agri Park, which opened for the 1996 season, is carved out of a portion of the University of Arkansas’ on-campus agricultural area. The current course configuration has three distinct areas. The open area of the starting chute is separated from the pond and Razorback Meadow by a grove of trees. Razorback Meadow is open and relatively flat, and the pond section has more contour as the trail rises up along the rim of the course’s water feature.

The precedent

The Kentucky men’s cross country team finished fourth at SECs last season, earning its best finish since taking the same place in 2011.

Thomson led the way for the Wildcats with an 8k time of 23:34.40 to finish fourth overall.

The Kentucky women’s team placed 12th, led by Kunc who finished 25th in 20:41.00.

Friday will mark the third time Arkansas will serve as host to the SEC Cross Country Championships and first since 2004.

Arkansas is the defending SEC cross country champion on both the men’s and women’s sides. The Razorback men have won the last six SEC crowns. The Razorback women have won three consecutive SEC titles.

Alabama’s Antibahs Kosgei returns as the defending men’s champion. An Arkansas runner has won the women’s title in four of the last five years, including former Razorback Dominique Scott from 2013-2015. The lone exception was Kentucky’s Cally Macumber who claimed the SEC crown in 2012.

The Kentucky women’s team won the SEC Championships in 1985, 1988 and 1989. The Kentucky men’s team was crowned SEC Champion in 1958, 1959, 1970 and 1988.

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