Men voted first, women fourth, in A-Sun preseason poll

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Jalovy also picked as Men’s Preseason Runner of the Year

MACON, Ga. (Aug. 22, 2013) – Both the ETSU men’s and women’s cross country teams were selected among the preseason top-five in the Atlantic Sun conference with the men projected to finish first while the women were tabbed fourth, the league office announced Thursday.

After taking second place in the conference last season, the men were picked to one-up themselves and capture the league crown in 2013 with six first-place votes. Returning for the Buccaneers are seven members of the 2012 squad, including four of their top-five runners.

“We are flattered to be recognized by the conference as the men's preseason number one ranked team,” said ETSU Director of Track & Field/Cross Country George Watts. “More importantly though, our team needs to remember that the champion is determined on Nov. 2. I foresee a very hard-fought race on that day and it will take a great effort to come out on top.”

Highlighted among the men is Filip Jalovy (Modrice, Czech Republic) who was also voted by the league’s coaches as the Men’s Preseason Runner of the Year. Jalovy earned first-team all-conference honors last season with a third-place and personal-best time of 24:48.2 at the 2012 A-Sun Championships and was joined on the all-league teams by returnee Adam Chase (Kingsport, Tenn.) who garnered second-team accolades.

“Filip is the top returning finisher from last year and normally that individual is recognized as the preseason favorite,” said Watts. “I am sure there are many worthy contenders for the top spot and Filip has earned consideration based on his past performances.”

Following a fifth-place finish last season at the A-Sun Championships, the women have been pegged to finish fourth in the league for the 2013 campaign. The Bucs will return four runners including four of their top-five from last season.

“I believe our women's team is as good, if not better, than last year, said Watts, “and I hope for improvement at our championship meet”

The women will be led by seniors Chelsea Clark (Fairmont, W. Va.) and Jessica Palmer (Oak Ridge, Tenn.), but will lean heavily on the progression of sophomore Katie Hirko (Oley, Pa.) who took home A-Sun Women’s Freshman of the Year honors last season. Hirko also enjoyed first-team all-conference recognition after running a personal-best 17:36.8 at the league championships in 2012.

The Buccaneers are set to begin the 2013 season on Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Vanderbilt Invitational in Nashville.

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