Men's cross country tabbed second, women tied for seventh in preseason coaches poll

Thursday, August 21, 2008

MERCER, Ga. (Aug. 21, 2008) - The Atlantic Sun Conference released its preseason cross country polls Wednesday afternoon, and after all the coaches votes were tallied the ETSU men's squad were picked to finish second; while the women tied Mercer for seventh.

 

After coming so close to ending Belmont's reign of conference champions a year ago in Nashville, the ETSU men's squad has the making of a team that can snap the Bruins' six-year run as A-Sun champs. The Buccaneers return four runners from last year's team that placed second at the conference championship. Three of ETSU's returnees are all-conference athletes as junior Kenneth Rotich (Nairobi, Kenya), and seniors Jeff Crane (Taylors, S.C.) and Michael Deren (Blasdell, N.Y.) look to claim the A-Sun trophy for the first time since joining the league in 2005-06.

 

The task of knocking Belmont from the top will not be easy as the Bruins received seven first-place selections and beat out the Bucs with 116 votes. Head coach David Walker's group claimed the remaining four first-place votes and edged out Kennesaw State for second with 113 nods. The Owls, who battled with ETSU for second in 2007, beat out Campbell for third by receiving 90 total votes. Despite finishing third at the 2007 A-Sun championship, the Camels were picked fourth (85 votes) and Lipscomb rounded out the top five with 78 selections.

 

Like the men, Belmont's women were also picked first after tallying six first-place votes to edge out Kennesaw State. The Bruins received 116 total votes and the Owls claimed 110 votes after taking home four first-place selections. North Florida (94 votes), Jacksonville (91 votes) and Lipscomb (76 votes) rounded out the top five. The Jacksonville Dolphins swam away with the final first-place vote.

 

The ETSU women's squad tied Mercer for a respectable seventh after each team claimed 41 votes. The Bucs finished a disappointing 10th at the 2007 conference championships, but with a young core of runners returning and the addition of three newcomers, ETSU looks to move into the middle of the pack amongst its league foes in 2008. Both Terra and Tesha Haggard (Morristown, Tenn.) hope to build off their rookie seasons and freshman Tori Jones (Marshall, N.C.) enjoyed a stellar cross country career at Madison High School.

 

The Buccaneer cross country teams open the season on Friday, Sept. 5, when they travel to Blacksburg, Va. to compete in the Virginia Tech Cross Country Relay.

 

For more information of ETSU cross country, visit www.ETSUBucs.com.

 

2008 Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll

Rank

School (First Place Votes)

Votes

1.

Belmont (7)

116

2.

ETSU (4)

113

3.

Kennesaw State

90

4.

Campbell

85

5.

Lipscomb

78

6.

UNF

75

T7.

Florida Gulf Coast

49

T7.

Mercer

49

9.

USC Upstate

36

10.

Stetson

24

11.

Jacksonville

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008 Women's Cross Country Preseason Poll

Rank

School (First Place Votes)

Votes

1.

Belmont (6)

116

2.

Kennesaw State (4)

110

3.

UNF

94

4.

Jacksonville (1)

91

5.

Lipscomb

76

6.

Campbell

72

T7.

Mercer

41

T7.

ETSU

41

9.

Florida Gulf Coast

38

10.

USC Upstate

30

11.

Stetson

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dec 13 ETSU 64
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Dec 15 Morehead State University 77
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