STARKVILLE, Miss. - After exceeding preseason expectations at the 2013 Southeastern Conference Championships in Gainesville, Fla., Mississippi State looks to capitalize on an even greater opportunity this Friday at the NCAA South Regional in Tuscaloosa.
The Tide-hosted event will include nearly 50 schools from the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee, including seven other Southeastern Conference squads.
MSU notched a pair of Top 10 scores at the SEC Championships, with the Lady Bulldogs finishing 10th and the men completing the day in ninth place.
Both squads recorded higher finishes than numerous SEC teams they will compete against in Tuscaloosa. At the conference championship, the MSU men placed ahead of foes Alabama, LSU, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. The Lady Bulldogs’ execution of strong pack running landed them above rivals Auburn, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina. Of those opponents MSU out-scored in Gainesville, Alabama, Georgia, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt will be seen again on Friday.
John Valentine and Emma Neigel have remained constant fixtures atop the Bulldog leaderboard this season. They both entered the SEC Championships claiming the top times for the Maroon and White in their respective events, and continued that theme as they led the way for their squads on Nov 1.
“We have to focus on running as a unit on Friday,” MSU coach Houston Franks said. “If we can do that, I expect great finishes from both teams.”
Action at the Harry Pritchett Running Park will begin on Friday at 10 a.m. with the men’s 10K, followed by the women’s 6K at 11:15 a.m.