NEW ORLEANS – Florida Southern had been steadily in the No. 2 spot in the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) since pre-season rankings were released August 28. However, after pack running at the Saint Leo Invitational and coming in fifth place the Moccasin cross country squad fell to third in the South Region.
FSC, who won the Tampa Early Bird Classic to open the season and finished second at the Jim Ryun Invitational, is the second highest of four ranked Sunshine State Conference members in the top-ten of the poll. Florida Tech who was ranked eighth last week jumped the majority of the poll and took over the No. 2 spot. Nova falls one spot with the Mocs and slides into the fourth spot while Tampa gained one spot to be ranked eighth.
The USTFCCCA NCAA Division II region poll will be released every week during the regular season. The poll ranks the Top 10 men’s and women’s cross country teams in each of the eight NCAA regions. Eight regional representatives coordinate the voting in their own region with input from the coaches
Alabama-Huntsville, who was the region preseason favorite, stays at No. 1 in the USTFCCCA South Region poll, while Morehouse, West Alabama and West Florida stay rooted in the fifth through seventh spots respectively. West Georgia who had climbed all the way to the No. 4 spot fell back down the poll five spots to No. 9. Valdosta State who was ranked No. 10 in the preseason rankings climbed back up to where they started and come in at the tenth spot for the week three poll.
The Mocs have run in four events this season, most recently in the Saint Leo Invitational.
Florida Southern has been lead by junior runners Chris Yanichko (Grove City, Ohio) and David Tomchinsky (Englewood, Fla.). Yanichko opened the season with a second place finish at the UT Early Bird after running the four mile event in 20:27 and a 31st place finish at the UF Invitational with a time of 26:15.97 on the 8k course. Tomchinsky has almost matched his teammate step for step as he finished third at the UT Early Bird with a time of 20:46 and running a 26:35.48 for a 43rd place overall finish at the UF Invitational.
The Mocs will continue their 2012 season this weekend as they travel to Tallahassee to compete at the Florida State Invitational on Friday, October 5 at 6 p.m.