2013 SSC Cross Country Championship Set for Saturday at Abbey Golf Course

SAINT LEO, Fla. (October 22, 2013) - The 2013 Sunshine State Conference Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Abbey Golf Course in Saint Leo, Fla. Saint Leo University is serving as host for this year's event.

The championship event will begin with the men's 8K race at 7:45 a.m. The women's 6K race will follow at 8:30 a.m.

The men's event will see six institutions in competition, including Florida Southern, Florida Tech, Nova Southeastern, Rollins, Saint Leo and Tampa. Those same schools will also compete on the women's side with the addition of Lynn, who is in its second year of competition.

Tampa's women's team and Florida Southern's men's team enter the 2013 Championships as favorites. The Spartans currently rank No. 23 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association women's top-25 poll and also rank No. 1 in the South Region, where they have been for five of six weeks.

The Moccasins enter the USTFCCCA men's top-25 poll for the first time in week five and currently sit at No. 25. Florida Southern took over as the South Region No. 1 a week ago after sitting top-3 for the first five weeks.

On the women's side, Tampa has won the previous six SSC titles and 10 of the last 11. Nova Southeastern, who is ranked No. 3 in the South Region, is looking to dethrone the Spartans for its first championship crown. Also ranking in the South Region top-10 are Saint Leo (No. 5), Florida Tech (No. 8) and Florida Southern (No. 10).

On the men's side, Nova Southeastern captured its first-ever SSC Cross Country Championship in 2012. Tampa won it's first in 2011 to end Florida Southern's streak of 14-straight cross country conference titles. Moving up six spots in the latest USTFCCCA South Region poll to rank No. 3 is Saint Leo. The Lions look to challenge the Moccasins for their first cross country crown. Also ranking in the South Region top-10 are Nova Southeastern (No. 5), Tampa (No. 6) and Florida Tech (No. 7).

Admission to the SSC Cross Country Championships is free. The Abbey Golf Course is located across State Road 52 from Saint Leo University. A campus map, directions and parking available here.

Following the completion of both races on Saturday, fans are invited to attend the awards ceremony. In addition to the team championship trophies, the All-Tournament Team, which will consist of the top-10 finishers in each race, will be recognized. Each top finisher will also receive an individual award.