A-State Men's Cross Country Places Seventh at SBC Championships
MOBILE, Ala. (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State University men's cross country team finished seventh at this Sunday's (Nov. 2) 2014 Sun Belt Conference (SBC) Men's Cross Country Championships, which were conducted at the USS Alabama Memorial Park course in Mobile, Ala. A-State, coached by Jim Patchell and Kyle Chandler, totaled 157 points in the nine-team 8k race to earn seventh place which represented the program's third-highest placing in the last 12 seasons. Host South Alabama was crowned the 2014 conference champions after scoring a first-place 53 points as the Red Wolves finished five points behind sixth-place Texas State (152 points).
“As we expected the men's race was highly competitive and there were several upsets between teams,” said Chandler. “Lance Beckman did a nice job sticking his nose in the mix and competed well. The rest of our men did a nice job of working with each other, but we let too large a gap form early between us and other teams. We moved well the second part of the race and significantly narrowed the gap, but it was not enough to catch a few teams finishing just ahead of us. Overall, the men had their third highest finish in the last 12 years and are looking forward to competing at the regionals."
Junior Lance Beckman was the Red Wolves' top finisher in the conference meet following a 20th-place 25:44.5 time. Junior Wil Norris took home 26th place by posting a 26:03.6 time and junior Drew Mueller ran 26:38.8 to pick up 37th-place honors.
The Red Wolves accounted for places 39 through 41 with junior Jesse Duvall crossing the finishing line two places behind Mueller with a time of 26:45.7. Freshman Josh Wojciechowski ran a 26:49.0 to capture 40th place and sophomore Zach VanGundy was 41st after tallying a 26:49.5 time. Sophomore Mark Talarico turned in a 27:12.3 time to place 46th and sophomore Rhett Raibley claimed 56th place by clocking a 28:33.9 time.
A-State was picked to finish sixth in the 2014 SBC Coaches Preseason Poll as the Red Wolves received 37 points in voting conducted by the conference's head coaches. Last season, A-State produced a program-record tying fourth-place showing at the 2013 SBC Championships in Troy, Ala., by scoring 142 points. The men's team will now get set for competition at the 2014 NCAA Division I South Central Regional Championship to be held Friday, Nov. 14 in Fayetteville, Ark. Fans can access the latest information on A-State Cross Country by following @ASTATETRACK<https://twitter.com/ASTATETRACK?&&&&SPSID=35098&SPID=2750&DB_OEM_ID=7200> on Twitter. 2014 Sun Belt Conference Championships Men's Team Results 1. South Alabama – 53 pts. 2. Appalachian State – 55 pts. 3. UT Arlington – 61 pts. 4. Louisiana-Lafayette – 90 pts. 5. UALR – 130 pts. 6. Texas State – 152 pts. 7. Arkansas State – 157 pts. 8. ULM – 201 pts. 9. Troy – 249 pts. A-State Men's Individual Results 20. Lance Beckman – 25:44.5 26. Wil Norris – 26:03.6 37. Drew Mueller – 26:38.8 39. Jesse Duvall – 26:45.7 40. Josh Wojciechowski – 26:49.0 41. Zach VanGundy – 26:49.5 46. Mark Talarico – 27:12.3 56. Rhett Raibley – 28:33.9