HIGH POINT, N.C. - Mount Olive earns the top ranking in the conference women’s cross country preseason poll for the first time in school history. The Trojans return three All-Southeast Region performers, including a participant in last year’s NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country National Championship. Pfeiffer University comes in 7th in the coaches annual poll.
Chelsea Long, who has rewritten the Trojan women’s cross country record book, placed fifth at last year’s NCAA II Southeast Regional to earn a spot in the National Championship in Spokane, Wash. Long finished among the top half of the field. Amber Thompson finished 12th at the regional and Terri Lynn Bluebird earned a 20th-place finish.
Mount Olive recorded its best-ever team finishes in the conference and regional championships last year. The Trojans finished second at the 2011 Conference Carolinas Championship and placed third at the 2011 NCAA II Southeast Regional, coming within five points of advancing to the national championship.
King College's starting five for 2012 will include three runners that currently sit in the school’s top-10 all-time list and look to build off of a third place Conference Carolinas Championship finish from a season ago. Danielle Beauvais, Evan Ferrell, and returning All-Region selection Kendra Sokol will lead the team that finished their season with a fourth place finish at the 2011 Southeast Regional Championship and topped out ranked second in the region as the season progressed.
Queens University of Charlotte is coming off of a 2011 season where they won the Conference Carolinas Cross Country Championship for the third year in a row. This season Queens will be tested after losing four of their top six runners. Andrea Guerra and Mathilde Timboni, Queens’ top two returners, will be looked upon to lead the group on their mission to defend their title.
Lee-McRae College finished fourth in the poll with Belmont Abbey fifth followed by Barton, Pfeiffer, Erskine, Converse, Limestone, Coker, North Greenville, and respectively rounding-out the poll standings.
Conference Carolinas Women's Cross Country Pre-Season Poll (# of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. Mount Olive - (3) 112
2. King - (2) 107
3. Queens - (6) 103
4. Lees-McRae - 88
5. Belmont Abbey - 78
6. Barton - 63
7. Pfeiffer - 56
8. Erskine - 48
9. Converse - 47
10. Limestone - 43
11. Coker - 27
12. North Greenville - 20