Rock Hill, S.C. – Both the Brevard College men’s and women’s cross country teams were picked to finish ninth in the pre-season South Atlantic Conference polls released on Friday afternoon. The Mars Hill College men and Wingate University women’s cross country teams are the favorites to defend their conference titles in 2008, in a vote of the league’s head coaches.
The Mars Hill men’s team, who has won 11 consecutive conference championships, received eight first-place votes and 80 total points.
The Lions placed a league-high eight on the preseason All-Conference team, which was also announced. Kit Powell, who finished second in the 2007 conference championship race and was named SAC Freshman of the Year, is joined on the first team by Winston Curry and Justin Baker, Mars Hill. Will Mikolajczak, Ben Crenshaw, Trey McCain, Aaron Wells, and Aaron Thomas were all named to the second team.
Wingate University received one first-place vote and 67 total points in the poll. The Bulldogs have two preseason All-Conference runners in Jayce Watson, the 2007 SAC Runner of the Year on the first team and David Sanctis on the second team.
Lenoir-Rhyne University is third with 64 points. Brad Popple and Eugene Cochran, who finished fifth and sixth in last year’s conference race, were both named to the preseason All-Conference first team.
Lincoln Memorial University is fourth with 55 points. Mark Paulson was named preseason All-Conference first team.
Tusculum College is picked to finish fifth with 40 points. The Pioneers are followed by Newberry College with 32 points.
Carson-Newman College is picked to finish seventh with 27 points. The Eagles placed Jonathan Madden on the preseason All-Conference second team.
Catawba is eighth with 23 points, with Brevard rounding out the men’s poll.
The Wingate University women picked up seven first-place votes and received 78 total points. The Bulldogs placed four on the preseason All-Conference team. Amber Hines, the 2006 Women’s Runner of the Year was named to the first team, while Ashley Hubbard, Alicia Harbold and Lindsey Roycraft were named to the second team.
Mars Hill College is picked to finish second. The Lions received one first-place vote and 71 total points. Hannah Moore was named to the preseason All-Conference first team, while Anita Casey was named to the second team.
Carson-Newman College is picked to finish third. The Lady Eagles received one first-place vote and 61 total points. Aubrey Morris, the defending SAC Women’s Runner of the Year, was named to the preseason All-Conference first team, while Tiffany Winchell was named to the second team.
Lenoir-Rhyne University is the preseason pick to finish fourth in the women’s poll with 56 points. Genna Eisemann, who finished third in last year’s conference meet, and Miranda Annas, who was sixth, were named to the preseason All-Conference first team, while Alyssa Lowe was named to the second team.
Tusculum College is fifth with 38 points.
Lincoln Memorial University garnered 34 points for sixth place.
Catawba College is seventh with 29 points. Maleah Cole was named to the preseason All-Conference first team.
Newberry College (25 points) and Brevard College (13 points) round out the women’s poll.
Brevard senior runner Alycia Andrade was named to the pre-season All-SAC second team, as Andrade finished 16th overall at the 2007 SAC Championship meet.
The 2008 cross country season opens August 28 with four schools participating in three different meets.
The 2008 Food Lion SAC Championship will be October 25 at Crooked Creek Park in Chapin, S.C. Newberry College is the host school for the event.
2008 SAC PRESEASON MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY POLL
1. Mars Hill (8) 80
2. Wingate (1) 67
3. Lenoir-Rhyne 64
4. Lincoln Memorial 55
5. Tusculum 40
6. Newberry 32
7. Carson-Newman 27
8. Catawba 23
9. Brevard 17
2008 SAC PRESEASON WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY POLL
1. Wingate (7) 78
2. Mars Hill (1) 71
3. Carson-Newman (1) 61
4. Lenoir-Rhyne 56
5. Tusculum 38
6. Lincoln Memorial 34
7. Catawba 29
8. Newberry 25
9. Brevard 13
(First place votes in parenthesis)
2008 SAC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
Men's First Team
Brad Popple, Lenoir-Rhyne
Eugene Cochran, Lenoir-Rhyne
Mark Paulson, Lincoln Memorial
Kit Powell, Mars Hill
Winston Curry, Mars Hill
Justin Baker, Mars Hill
Jayce Watson, Wingate
Men’s Second Team
Jonathan Madden, Carson-Newman
Will Mikolajczak, Mars Hill
Ben Crenshaw, Mars Hill
Trey McCain, Mars Hill
Aaron Wells, Mars Hill
Aaron Thomas, Mars Hill
David Sanctis, Wingate
Women’s First Team
Aubrey Morris, Carson-Newman
Maleah Cole, Catawba
Genna Eisemann, Lenoir-Rhyne
Miranda Annas, Lenoir-Rhyne
Hannah Moore, Mars Hill
Alicja Dembna, Tusculum
Amber Hines, Wingate
Women’s Second Team
Alycia Andrade, Brevard
Tiffany Winchell, Carson-Newman
Alyssa Lowe, Lenoir-Rhyne
Anita Casey, Mars Hill
Ashley Hubbard, Wingate
Alicia Harbold, Wingate
Lindsey Roycraft, Wingate