JONESBORO, Ark. (AStateRedWolves.com) – A new mark in the annals of the Arkansas State University women's cross country program has been set as the Red Wolves have now earned their highest ranking ever in the NCAA Division I ranks at eighth place in this week's (Oct. 7) United States Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) South Central Region Rankings.
The Red Wolves, who are coached by Jim Patchell and Kyle Chandler, moved up four places from 12th place a week ago (Sept. 30) into the eighth-place slot in the rankings, which were released this Monday (Oct. 7) in the USTFCCCA's fourth rankings poll this season. Arkansas State turned in its third consecutive top 10-place effort as the Red Wolves placed eighth in the 12th annual Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic's 20-team NCAA-I Gold Division race this past Saturday (Oct. 5). Prior to last Saturday's performance, A-State recorded back-to-back meet team champion titles at the Saint Louis (Mo.) Big River Forest Park Festival (Sept. 13) and the 23rd annual Rhodes College Invitational (Sept. 28).
A-State's current ranking this week shatters last season's previous school-record ninth-place listing in what was the regional ranking's sixth installment (Oct. 29) for the 2012 campaign.
"The women's team had a solid outing this past weekend at the Greater Louisville CC Classic," said Chandler. "It's nice to see their performance was noticed by virtue of their improved ranking within the South Central Region."
The USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country 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 indetermining predicted team finishes at the NCAA Regional Championships.
A-State was tabbed 10th in the USTFCCCA's 2013 Preseason South Central Region Rankings.
The Red Wolves will now prepare for a pair of meets to be held Saturday, Oct. 19, dividing into split squads. Selected runners head for the Indiana State Pre-Nationals Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., while the rest of the team travels to Little Rock, Ark., for the UALR Invitational.