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Cross Country Travels to NCAA South Central Regional

Mariah Kelly

Nov. 7, 2012


WACO, Texas - For only the second time in the last 10 seasons, the Baylor cross country team will not be hosting the NCAA South Central Regional. BU will travel to Agri Park in Fayetteville, Ark. to compete in the event on Friday.

The women's 6,000-meter race will be the first event of the day at 11 a.m., followed by the men's 10,000-meter race at 12:15 p.m.

Regional teams will put their top seven runners out in an effort to be one of the top two teams in the regional and in turn earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. As in other races this fall, only the top five times from those seven runners will count towards the team score.

Along with the top two teams, the top four individuals not on an advancing team receive an automatic berth into the national meet. Additional teams and individuals are chosen through an at-large selection process for the 2012 NCAA Championship, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.

Baylor's men's team will be competing against runners from three states - Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, including Arkansas, Arkansas-Little Rock, Arkansas State, Central Arkansas, Houston, Houston Baptist, Lamar, LSU, McNeese State, North Texas, Rice, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, UT Arlington, Texas-Pan American, Tulane, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe and UTSA. There will 172 men's runners in the race.

The BU men are currently listed as the 12th-best team in the USTFCCCA South Central Regional rankings. The Bears are coming off a seventh-place finish at the Big 12 Championship meet on Oct. 27. That mark was Baylor's highest placing at the event since 2004.

Baylor's seven runners for the event are Ben Allen, JR Hardy, Taylor Jackson, Brad Miles, Blake Niccum, Kyle Scanlan, and Jonathan Tijerina. Miles has paced the group most of the season by being the top runner for the Bears in four of five races this fall.

Last season, BU finished 12th, while hosting the NCAA South Central Regional. The Bears have competed on the Agri Park course this season by taking 13th out of 34 teams on Oct. 13 at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival.

The women will face the same challengers as the men, plus SMU and TCU. A total of 188 runners will be competing on the women's side. Going into the meet the Lady Bears are ranked eighth in the region, following an eighth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship.

Baylor's seven runners include Courtney Cox, Leah Frazier, Lauren Hierholzer, Rachel Johnson, Mariah Kelly, Kim Kirby and Bree Schrader. Johnson earned All-Big 12 honors for her eighth-place finish at the Big 12 Championship meet. She has been the top finisher for the Lady Bears in all five races this season.

Last year, Johnson finished 19th in the NCAA South Central Regional to earn All-Region accolades, while the team finished sixth.

Complete results and a recap of the meet will be available on following the event.



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