Men picked fifth, women seventh in MSC Poll
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Men picked fifth, women seventh in MSC Poll
Senior Garang Madut and the Cumberland men were picked fifth in the vote of league coaches announced this week. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland’s men were picked fifth and the women seventh in the Mid-South Conference Preseason Cross Country Coaches’ Poll released Tuesday by the league office.

Head coach Jim Seckel enters his second season with the Phoenix and returns seven men and four women from 2015. Sophomore Taylor Blankenship earned Second Team All-Mid-South honors for the women last year with a 12th-place showing at the conference championships, while sophomore Claudia Tepox finished 16th at the MSC meet.

Senior Garang Madut just missed all-conference honors last season, placing 14th at the conference championships, and junior Tanner Harp finished 20th. Madut and Harp paced the Cumberland men all season a year ago.

Seckel welcomes three newcomers for both the men and women for the 2016 campaign.

"We have improved both our men's and women's cross country teams and both squads expect to be more competitive this year in what is a very tough conference,” Seckel said. “Our men's team returns seven of last year's top nine runners, while the women's team returns three of last year's top five.

"We have several promising newcomers that are already able to run with and in some cases ahead of many of our returners. We expect to have a level of depth with our program this year that we have not enjoyed in previous years."

Shawnee State was picked to win the conference title on the men’s side with five first-place votes and 35 total points. The University of the Cumberlands and Campbellsville University each posted one first-place vote and were second and third, respectively, in the poll with 29 and 28 points.

Lindsey Wilson was fourth, followed by Cumberland, while Georgetown College and the University of Pikeville rounded out the selections.

Shawnee State was also picked first on the women’s side with seven first-place votes and 49 total points. The Cumberlands was second with one first-place vote and 36 points, followed closely by Lindsey Wilson with 34 points.

Life University was selected fourth by the coaches, with Campbellsville and Georgetown ahead of Cumberland and Pikeville in eighth.

Cumberland opens the 2016 cross country season September 3 at the BROOKS Memphis Twilight in Memphis, Tenn.

2016 Mid-South Conference
Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll

No. School (first-place votes) Points
1. Shawnee State (5) 35
2. Univ. of the Cumberlands (1) 29
3. Campbellsville Univ. (1) 28
4. Lindsey Wilson 20
5. Cumberland Univ. 15
6. Georgetown College 14
7. Univ. of Pikeville 6


2016 Mid-South Conference
Women's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll

No. School (first-place votes) Points
1. Shawnee State (7) 49
2. Univ. of the Cumberlands (1) 36
3. Lindsey Wilson 34
4. Life Univ. 31
5. Campbellsville Univ. 26
6. Georgetown College 24
7. Cumberland Univ. 15
8. Univ. of Pikeville 9