STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) - Preseason Southeastern Conference polls predict the Mississippi State women’s cross country team to finish in sixth place for the 2014 season, while the men’s team is picked 10th.
Both teams placed seventh last season in the 2013 SEC Championships, after each were slated to end the year 11th.
“Being picked sixth and 10th is meaningless to us to be honest because polls don’t mean anything,” Mississippi State coach Houston Franks said. “We were nationally ranked on Flotrack on the women’s side (No. 31), which was nice, but again that doesn’t mean anything either. Our expectations are a lot higher than sixth and 10th.”
The Lady Bulldogs finished behind Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Texas A&M, Florida and Alabama. With nine veteran runners returning for the season, including Cornelia Griesche, Emma Neigel, Rhianwedd Price and Lisa Ziegler, the women’s team has strong leadership to succeed this season. The women also welcome three freshmen to the squad to aid in a successful campaign.
The men were voted to finish above Tennessee, LSU and Vanderbilt. They return seven experienced runners and welcome four newcomers. Key veterans to the season include Andrew Monaghan, Patrick Monaghan and Damian Roszko.
Both the Arkansas men and women’s teams are favorites to win the conference this season.
MSU begins the season on Saturday Aug. 30 at the Memphis Twilight. The SEC Championships will be held in Tuscaloosa on Oct. 31.