Men's cross country picked eighth in A-Sun preseason poll
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s cross country team, which finished eighth at the Atlantic Sun Championship last season, was voted to finish eighth by the league’s head coaches in the A-Sun preseason poll the conference office announced on Wednesday.

The Eagles return six runners who helped FGCU win the Flrunners.com Invitational and the inaugural FGCU Invitational, the first two wins in the history of the program in 2009. Last season, sophomore Jonathan Lanning placed 36th in 27:43 and senior Joshua Brooks finished 40th at the A-Sun Championship.

Kennesaw State was picked to finish atop the A-Sun and return five of their top six runners from last year’s Conference Championship led by sophomore Nabil Hamid, junior Jaakko Nieminen and senior Nathan Haskins – all of whom finished in the top eight at the league meet.

USC Upstate, who hosts the 2010 A-Sun Championships in October, took second to the Owls in the preseason balloting. Last year, the Spartans placed third featuring a team than utilized four freshmen and no seniors. Gilbert Kemboi took second and won the Freshman of the Year award.

ETSU and Belmont placed third and fourth, respectively, in the poll. ETSU must replace the individual champion from each of the last two A-Sun Championships, Kenneth Rotich, and Belmont seeks to regain the throne it held from 2002 through 2007.

UNF, third at the 2009 A-Sun Championship with all underclassmen competing, was picked to finish fifth followed by Lipscomb, Mercer, FGCU, Campbell, Jacksonville and Stetson.

USC Upstate Milliken Research Park serves as the site for this year’s A-Sun Championships. The course hosted the 1995 NCAA Division II National Championships and NCAA South Region Championships in 2004 and 2005.

Atlantic Sun Preseason Men’s Poll

 School (First Place Votes)   Points
 Kennesaw State (7)
2.  USC Upstate (1)
 ETSU (2)  96
 Belmont (1)
 UNF  84
 Lipscomb  71
 Mercer  53
 FGCU  43
 Campbell  40
 Jacksonville  19
 Stetson  14