New place for Tornado Cross Country in USTFCCAA Southeast rankings

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The King College men's cross country team dropped a spot to No. 4 in the last regular season United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings, announced by the national organization Tuesday.

The Tornado had the No. 3 ranking the previous three weeks, but Mount Olive (N.C.) College jumped the Tornado from No. 4 a week ago.

The top two teams remained again with Queens (N.C.) University of Charlotte at No. 1 followed by Columbus State (Ga.) University. The two teams have maintained the top two spots in all nine rankings this season.

Mars Hill (N.C.) College held the No. 5 spot for a fourth straight week.

UNC Pembroke started the next five. Both Lees-McRae (N.C.) College and Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) College both climbed a spot to No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Anderson (S.C.) University went from outside the Top-10 to No. 9 while Clayton State (Ga.) University fell from No. 7 to No. 10.

King will compete at the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional on Nov. 20 in Charlotte, N.C. The Tornado squad was able to see the course that the region will be contested on at the Royal Cross Country Challenge on Oct. 15. King was ninth in the team standings as the team had five runners break the 27-minute mark on that day. The Tornado's average time for the Top-5 runners was 26 minutes and 12.6 seconds.

The region rankings does not have any effect on the automatic qualifiers to the NCAA Division II National Championship, but the Top-3 team finishers from the NCAA Southeast Region on Nov. 20 earns tickets to the NCAA Division II National Championship on Dec. 4.

Conference Carolinas, the Peach Belt and South Atlantic Conferences all put three teams apiece in the ranking. Queens, Mount Olive and Lees-McRae were from Conference Carolinas. Columbus State, UNC Pembroke and Clayton State represented the Peach Belt. The South Atlantic placed Anderson, Lenoir-Rhyne and Mars Hill among the Top-10. King was the only independent team in any of the eight regions once again.

King competed at the Cavalier Open at the University of Virginia on Friday. Team results were not calculated, but King had two runners in the Top-12 at the event. The only college with runners ahead of the Tornado's Spencer Frantom (Morristown, Tenn.) in 10th came from Virginia. Naseem Haje (Hagerstown, Md.) was 12th. The Tornado lined up against teams not only from host school Virginia, but four more NCAA Division I foes, Liberty, Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason.