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Falcons set to host conference cross country championships

Published 9:39am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

FROM STAFF REPORTS

MONTEVALLO – The University of Montevallo will host its first ever Peach Belt Conference championship event Saturday, Oct. 20 when the Falcons’ men’s and women’s cross country teams welcome 12 fellow conference members to campus for the 2012 PBC Cross Country Championships.

“We are very excited to be hosting the Cross Country Championships,” said Montevallo men’s and women’s cross country coach Tommy Barksdale. “It gives our athletes a chance to sleep in their own beds and not have to worry about missing class or traveling.  Plus we will get more support from the student body, faculty, and teams.”

Barksdale expects a great showing from his teams due to the comfort factor.

“An added bonus is this is our course,” Barksdale said. “We know it very well as we use it for training.  Both teams are excited and ready for Saturday. We hope see and have a lot of support.”

The schedule of events kicks off with a course preview Friday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m., where student-athletes from Peach Belt Conference schools will have a chance to get familiar with the Falcons’ course. The course preview will be followed by a pre-race coaches meeting at 7 p.m.

The course will be open for a warm-up session between 7 a.m.-8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20. The check-in for the men’s 8K race is scheduled for 8:45 a.m., 15 minutes before the start of the race at 9 a.m.

Check-in for the women’s 6K race is set for 9:30 a.m., 15 minutes before the start of the race at 9:45 a.m.

The championship event will wrap up at 11 a.m. with an awards luncheon near the finish line.

The men’s 8K race will include host Montevallo, Armstrong Atlantic State University, Augusta State University, Clayton State University, Columbus State University, Flagler College, Francis Marion University, Georgia College, UNC Pembroke and Young Harris College.

The Montevallo men’s cross country team finished seventh in the Peach Belt Conference championship race last season in Aiken, S.C. Augusta State claimed its first conference title in school history a year ago.

The women’s 6K race will include host Montevallo, Augusta State University, Clayton State University, Columbus State University, Flagler College, Francis Marion University, Georgia College, Georgia Southwestern State University, UNC Pembroke, the University of North Georgia, USC Aiken and Young Harris College.

The Montevallo women’s cross country team enters the event as the defending Peach Belt Conference champions, with senior Haley Evans returning as the defending individual champion with her time of 23:16.66 in the women’s 6K championship race last season in Aiken, S.C.

The Falcons saw three runners collect first team All-Conference honors a year ago in Evans and fellow senior Kaley Glover, along with junior In-Mi Matsunaga. Sophomore Lauren Recchia was named second team All-Conference last season.

The Falcons were picked as the favorite among head coaches in the Peach Belt Conference in a preseason coaches’ poll, receiving nine first-place votes. The Falcons have also been ranked in each of the weekly United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division II Southeast Region polls this season, achieving a season-best No. 8 ranking in the Sept. 25 poll.

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