SPARTANBURG, S.C. (September 1, 2016) – On the eve of the beginning of the 2016 campaign the Southern Conference announced its preseason coaches’ poll with the men selected to finish second while the women were predicted to finish fourth.
ETSU will begin its season on Friday when they Bucs head to Boone, N.C. to take part in the Covered Bridge Open, hosted by Appalachian State. It’s the first time since 2014, ETSU has competed in the meet.
“I look forward to opening up our cross country season this Friday as we prepare to take on a quality field at the Covered Bridge Cross Country Meet,” said Director of XC/TF George Watts. “Although you never quite know what you’ll get at the first meet, my expectation is that both teams will be improved from last year.”
Selected to finish second in the SoCon with 61 votes, the ETSU men’s team returns 11 athletes from a season ago along with seven newcomers. Highlighted returnees include two-time All-SoCon honoree Simeon Roberts (Greeneville, Tenn.) and SoCon Freshman of the Year James Garst (Jonesborough, Tenn.). In the preseason USTFCCCA southeast regional rankings, the men were ranked 15th for the second consecutive year.
On the women’s side the Bucs were selected to finish fourth in the SoCon with 52 votes. The women’s team is led by senior Victoria Hutchens (Stuart, Va.) who led the squad in four of the six meets a year ago. Hutchens is one of eight returnees along with three newcomers to the Buccaneer squad.
“Both teams have experienced juniors and seniors to help lead the team,” said Watts. “It will take a couple of meets to determine a pecking order, but in order to get better we need to stay healthy and have everybody vying for a top five scoring spot throughout the season.”
For the third straight year, the Furman men and women received nine of the possible 10 first-place votes to win the league.
The ETSU cross country program opens up its season tomorrow at the Covered Bridge Open taking on competitive regional opponents such as Florida, Florida State, East Carolina, West Florida and fellow SoCon foe, VMI. The women begin at 5:30 p.m. with the men following shortly after at 6:00 p.m.
Men’s XC SoCon Coaches’ Poll
Women’s XC SoCon Coaches’ Poll
For more information on Buccaneer Cross Country, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the cross country pages. Follow ETSU cross country on Twitter @ETSU_TF_XC