Brentwood, TN – Austin Peay State University men’s cross country team was picked to finish 10th in the Ohio Valley Conference’s preseason cross country coaches poll, released Tuesday.
The Govs received 39 points in the poll, ahead of Murray State (26) and Tennessee State (17). Defending champion Eastern Kentucky (121 points, 11 first-place votes) was unanimously selected the preseason favorite, while Eastern Illinois (103 points) was picked second.
Southeast Missouri (99 points) and OVC newcomer Belmont (93 points, one first-place vote) were third and fourth, respectively, ahead of SIUE (73 points), Morehead State (72 points), Jackonsville State (57 points), UT Martin (51 points) and Tennessee Tech (41 points).
The Govs return five of the six athletes who participated in last season’s OVC Cross Country Championships. Junior Geofrey Kosgei will be relied on heavily to establish pace at the head of the pack.
“The rankings are just an opinion early in the year,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “We return a lot of kids, who put in big summers. We’re not real deep, but I think we’ve got some solid competitors.”
The Govs kick off the 2012 campaign Saturday, September 1st at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic. Austin Peay is scheduled to compete in six meets this season, leading up to the OVC Championships, October 27th, hosted by Jacksonville State in Oxford, AL.