ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Carson-Newman women's cross country team is picked to finish second in the South Atlantic Conference in 2010 in a vote of the league's head coaches, conference officials announced Friday.
The Lady Eagles received 80 points. The preseason All-SAC teams were also released, and three Lady Eagles received honors. Sophomore Meredith Nix (Walhalla, S.C.), the 2009 SAC Freshman of the Year, and sophomore Brooke Earhart (Dickson, Tenn.) were named to the first team, while senior Melissa Ford (Richmond, Va.) was named to the second team. Nix finished third in last year's conference championship.
Lenoir-Rhyne, which has won the last two SAC championships, is the unanimous choice to capture the 2010 title.
The Bears received all 10 first place votes and 100 total points. Lenoir-Rhyne also placed four on the preseason All-Conference team.
Leading the way for the Bears is returning SAC Runner of the Year Kate Griewisch. She also was the Southeast Region runner of the year and earned All-American honors after finishing 19th in the NCAA Championship.
Joining Griewisch on the first team is Tiffany Payne, who finished fifth in last year's conference championship. Liz Chaffee and Amanda Barnes were named to the second team.
First-year conference member Anderson is picked to finish third. The Trojans received 76 points and will be led by preseason All-Conference selection Whitney Bishoff. She was the Conference Carolinas cross country champion last season and earned All-American status by finishing 25th in the NCAA Championship.
Wingate is picked to finish fourth with 74 points. The Bulldogs placed Alicia Harbold, who finished ninth in last year's conference championship, on the preseason All-Conference first team.
Lincoln Memorial received 59 points for fifth place. Sofia Lopez Mimendi, who finished second in last year's conference championship, was named to the preseason All-Conference first team, while Fiona Reinecke and Ashley Robbins were named to the second team.
Sixth place went to Catawba with 52 points. Hannah Thomas, who placed 17th last year, was named to the preseason All-Conference second team.
Mars Hill received 45 points for seventh place. Hannah Moore was named to the preseason All-Conference second team.
Brevard College (33 points), Newberry College (20 points) and Tusculum College (11 points) round out the poll.
The Lady Eagles open the season on Sept. 4 in the Eye Opener Invitational in Spartanburg, S.C.
The 2010 Food Lion SAC Cross Country Championship will be Nov. 6 at Wingate University.
Women's Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll
Lenoir-Rhyne (10) 100
Lincoln Memorial 59
Mars Hill 45
(First place votes in parenthesis)
Women's Cross Country Preseason All-Conference
Whitney Bishoff, Anderson
Brooke Earhart, Carson-Newman
Meredith Nix, Carson-Newman
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
Tiffany Payne, Lenoir-Rhyne
Sofia Lopez Mimendi, Lincoln Memorial
Alicia Harbold, Wingate
Melissa Ford, Carson-Newman
Hannah Thomas, Catawba
Liz Chaffee, Lenoir-Rhyne
Amanda Barnes, Lenoir-Rhyne
Fiona Reinecke, Lincoln Memorial
Ashley Robbins, Lincoln Memorial
Hannah Moore, Mars Hill