Franklin Springs, GA—The newest Southern States Athletic Conference cross country polls have been released and Emmanuel College sits at the top of both the men's and women's rankings. This is the second week in a row that both teams have owned the top spot for cross country in 2013.
"We are thrilled at the early season success of our cross country teams," praised Athletic Director and former coach, Jose Larios. "Coach Hall is doing a remarkable job with this team. With the recent announcement of Emmanuel College entering the NCAA DII membership, it seems like these teams are excited to make their final year in the NAIA a memorable one."
"It's been such a joy to coach this group of runners," shared first year head cross country coach Ben Hall. "They have really embraced the challenge of 1 Corinthians 10:31, 'So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.' To have a group of college students who want to exude that mission is a privilege for me as a coach to be around."
Both teams have two more prestigious and competitive, regular season meets before they gear up for the Southern States Athletic Conference Championships. The championship race will once again be held at Choctaw Trails in Jackson, Mississippi on November 9th, 2013.
The men's team will be hoping to defend their 2012 title with a more competitive and deeper conference field. While the women will be looking to improve on a narrow 3rd place finish at last year's SSAC race. The women narrowly missed going to the NAIA National Cross Country Championships last fall as only the top two spots are national automatic qualifiers. The 2013 winners will once again earn a trip to the NAIA Nationals which will be held this year on the historic University of Kansas' Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, KS.
Based on this year's early season polls, the girls have plenty to be excited about.
"All the girls have really stepped up their game from last year," shared one of the Lion's most consistent runners, Lindsey Toole. "All our hard work is paying off and we can't wait to see how we continue to compete in our next races."
Number one runner and senior Andrea Langley also praised her team's effort: "We have already experienced many lifetime personal records this season. We've been training really tough. I know each girl is striving to do her absolute best. We are focused as a team and are working to keep the number one spot while glorifying God through our efforts!"
Both teams are off from competition until they travel to Louisville, KY for the Greater Louisville Classic on October 5th.
|Women's SSAC Rankings (Sept. 24th)||Men's SSAC Rankings (Sept. 24th)|
|1. Emmanuel (Ga.)||1. Emmanuel (Ga.)|
|2. Brenau (Ga.)||2. Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)|
|3. Blue Mountain (Miss.)||3. William Carey (Miss.)|
|4. Loyola (La.)||4. Bethel (Tenn.)|
|5. Southern Wesleyan (S.C.)||5. Loyola (La.)|
|6. William Carey (Miss.)||6. Spring Hill (Ala.)|
|7. Bethel (Tenn.)||7.Belhaven (Miss.)|
|8. Mobile (Ala.)||8. Blue Mountain (Miss.)|
|9. Spring Hill (Ala.)||9. Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)|
|10.Belhaven (Miss.)||10. Mobile (Ala.)|
|11. Auburn Montgomery (Ala.)||11. Brewton-Parker (Ga.)|
|12. Brewton-Parker (Ga.)|