Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Rock Hill, S.C. – Dr. Jack Daniels and the Brevard College men’s cross country team was picked seventh in the 2010 SAC Coaches’ Preseason Poll, as announced by the SAC office last week.

Mars Hill College, which has won 13 consecutive South Atlantic Conference men’s cross country championships, is the unanimous choice to capture the 2010 title, in a vote of the league’s head coaches.

The Lions received all 10 first place votes and 100 total points. The Lions are traditionally deep with running talent, and this year should be no exception. Mars Hill returns five runners named to the preseason All-Conference team. Kit Powell, Justin Gragg, Trey McCain and Aaron Thomas, who finished second, third, fourth and seventh in last year’s conference championship race, were named to the first team. Eric Blackburn, was named to the second team.

Lenoir-Rhyne University, which finished second last year, is picked to finish second in 2010. The Bears received 83 total points. The Bears placed four on the preseason All-Conference team. Tyler Mooney, who finished fifth last year, was named to the first team, while Jakob Maidens, Patrick Ryan and Zack Queen were named to the second team.

First-year conference member Anderson University received 71 points and is picked to finish third. The Trojans finished third last year in the Conference Carolinas championship.

Wingate University was close behind with 70 total points. The Bulldogs will host the 2010 Food Lion SAC Cross Country Championship.

Catawba College is fifth in the poll with 65 points. The Catawba Indians placed a pair of runners on the preseason All-Conference team. Christian Crifasi, the 2009 SAC Freshman Runner of the Year, was named to the first team, while Justin Smith was named to the second team.

Carson-Newman College is sixth in the poll with 48 points. Jonathan Madden was named to the preseason All-Conference second team.

Brevard College received 45 points for seventh place.

Lincoln Memorial University is eighth with 29 points, followed by Newberry College with 24 points.

Tusculum College rounds out the poll with 15 points. The Pioneers do return the 2009 SAC Runner of the Year in Simon Holzapfel.

The 2010 season begins Thursday, September 2 with Mars Hill participating in the Montreat Invitational. Tusculum runs Friday, September 3 in the Stampede at the Shoals meet in Elizabethton, Tenn. Most of the other teams will participate in the Eye Opener Meet in Spartanburg, S.C. on Saturday, September 4.

The 2010 Food Lion SAC Cross Country Championship will be November 6 at Wingate University.

2010 SAC Men’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll
Pl School Pts.

1. Mars Hill (10) 100
2. Lenoir-Rhyne 83
3. Anderson 71
4. Wingate 70
5. Catawba 65
6. Carson-Newman 48
7. Brevard 45
8. Lincoln Memorial 29
9. Newberry 24
10. Tusculum 15
(First place votes in parenthesis)

2010 SAC Men’s Cross Country Preseason All-Conference Team
First Team
Christian Crifasi, Catawba
Tyler Mooney, Lenoir-Rhyne
Kit Powell, Mars Hill
Justin Gragg, Mars Hill
Trey McCain, Mars Hill
Aaron Thomas, Mars Hill
Simon Holzapfel, Tusculum

Second Team
Jonathan Madden, Carson-Newman
Justin Smith, Catawba
Jakob Maidens, Lenoir-Rhyne
Patrick Ryan, Lenoir-Rhyne
Zack Queen, Lenoir-Rhyne
Derrick Lindsay, Lincoln Memorial
Eric Blackburn, Mars Hill