BRISTOL, Tenn. – On Tuesday, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the King men's and women's cross country programs were picked to finish second in the Southeast Region, based on the Coaches' Preseason Poll.
Head Coach Peter Dalton has set the bar high for the upcoming season, stating, "It is great to be recognized regionally so early in the season but we are all about business to make sure we get to represent King nationally this season. There are a lot of good teams competing for the top three regional positions and we are working incredibly hard to make sure we earn one of them."
The King men have three of their top runners returning for the 2012 season. Spencer Frantom set King's fastest personal best mark of all-time at the Clemson Open last year with a 25:01.00 clip. The junior backed up that meet with a fifth-place finish at the Conference Carolinas Championship and a 14th place showing at the Southeast Regional Championship.
Jordan Noe ran the second-best personal best time in King history (25:26.9) at last year's Conference Carolinas Championship and placed sixth overall. Noe finished 13th at the 2011 Southeast Regional Meet, held in Charlotte, N.C. Taylor Dix also provided a boost for the Tornado, placing 19th at last year's conference championship.
The Lady Tornado have several returners that will contribute to the team's success including Danielle Beauvais and Kendra Sokol, whose personal records are second and third-best in King history, respectively. Sokol, who set a personal best time of 19:20.15 at the Greater Louisville Classic last season, finished 12th at the Conference Carolinas Championship and 16th at the Southeast Regional Championship. Beauvais' time of 19:34.7 was good for a 16th place showing at the Conference Championship.
Mount Olive was selected as the Southeast Region preseason favorite on both the men's and women's side. The King men's team was picked as the preseason favorites in the Conference Carolinas preseason poll, released on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
The top three teams this season in the Southeast Region will advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship. Last season, the men finished third at the regional championship and the women placed fourth.
Both the King men and women will begin their seasons at the Berry Invitational in Rome, Ga. on September 1.