MARS HILL, N.C.-- The Mars Hill men's cross country team is ranked fifth in the Southeast Region of the latest U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Poll, which was released Tuesday.
The Lions are coming off a first-place finish at the Bulldog Stampede in Wingate, N.C. this past weekend. In that event, Mars Hill had five runners place among the top ten finishers. The Lions have placed first among Division II teams at three other events- the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational, Hyder-McMahill Invitational and the Eye Opener in Spartanburg, S.C. The USTFCCCA Poll is the official poll of NCAA Cross Country.
Individually, Mars Hill's Alex Griggs has been named South Atlantic Conference runner of the week twice. Freshman Cesar Reyes has a trio of third-place finished to his credit this season.
Lenoir-Rhyne is the only other South Atlantic Conference member ranked in the Southeast Region, coming in at ninth in the poll. National rankings will be released tomorrow.
USTFCCCA rankings are determined subjectively by a single-member coach in each respective region. The regional representative is tasked with weighing returning team strength with current-season results in determining predicted team finish in the NCAA Regional Championships. The top three teams at Regionals receive automatic-qualifying bids to the NCAA National Championship.
The Lions placed fourth in last season's Southeast Regional championship. This year's Southeast Regional meet will be held in Charlotte, N.C. on Nov. 3. The National Championships will be held Nov. 17 in Joplin, Mo.
The Mars Hill men's cross country team will compete in the Louisville Classic in Louisville, Ky. this Saturday, Sept. 29 at 9 a.m.