Oct. 29, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. --- Georgia's cross country teams officially start the postseason as they travel to Columbia, S.C., to compete at the Southeastern Conference Championships on Monday starting at 10 a.m.
The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to run in the 6k race at 10 a.m. while the Georgia men will take their 8k course at 11 a.m. With South Carolina hosting, the league meet will be at Hilton Field at Fort Jackson.
"This is a very fun time of year for us," said Bulldog distance coach Jeff Pigg. "Our teams have worked hard and now it's time to relax, line up and compete. I am anticipating strong performances by both our men and women."
Pigg will be taking senior Taylor Adams, sophomore Leslie Boozer, freshman Stella Christoforou, senior Kylie Foley, sophomore Allyson McGinty, junior Kristie Krueger, freshman Sarah Marshall, freshman Kiara McCue-Woods, sophomore Ashley Shiver and junior Morgan VanGorder from the women's squad.
From the men's team, freshman Luke Baker, sophomore Brian Detweiler, junior Daniel Grass, junior J.P. Hackney, freshman Brandon Lord, sophomore Danny Neff, freshman Fraser Reade, junior Brett Richardson, freshman Charlie Sparks and senior Caleb Vogt will be crossing the state border for Monday's race.
Georgia's top returner from last year's SEC Championships is Krueger. Kruger took fourth in 2009, which is the best finish for a Lady Bulldog since Sarah Madebach won a conference title in 2007.
"It's a nice thing to have someone as talented as Kristie running for your team," Pigg said. "It'll be fun to see what she can do against this field. I am expecting her to be at the top when the race ends just like last year. But anything can happen in a cross country race with new runners coming into the conference."
The Lady Bulldogs also finished fourth overall last season behind Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida, in that order. The Lady Gators ran away with the conference title after topping Tennessee by more than 50 points.
In the latest USTFCCCA regional poll, Georgia is now third after knocking Florida to fourth following the NCAA Pre-Nationals. Vanderbilt (2nd) leads the conference's teams in the poll. Alabama (9th), Auburn (10th), Mississippi State (12th) and Ole Miss (13th) all trail the Lady Bulldogs in the polls.
Although the team lost 11th-place finisher Bridget Lyons, Foley, Adams, McGinty and Shiver all finished in the top 50 at last season's meet and either scored or were within two spots of scoring.
On the men's side, Georgia took fifth overall behind Florida, Auburn, Arkansas and Alabama, in that order. Alabama (56) edged Arkansas (61) for the team crown.
The Georgia men are ranked fourth in the South Region behind Alabama (2nd) and Florida (3rd) and are leading Tennessee (5th), Auburn (6th), Ole Miss (8th) and Mississippi State (12th) from the conference.
The Bulldogs' top four finishers from 2009 either graduated or are redshirting this season. Richardson, who took 32nd overall last year, is Georgia's top returner while Detweiler and Hackney also broke into the top 50 finishers.
Full results and a recap of the SEC Cross Country Championships will be found at georgiadogs.com.