Eagles picked eighth in SAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
ROCK HILL, S.C. – The Carson-Newman Eagle shave been picked to finish eighth in the 2011 South Atlantic Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league announced Wednesday.
Carson-Newman received 26 points in the poll. The Eagles will host the 2011 SAC Championships Oct. 22 at panther Creek State Park in Morristown, Tenn.
C-N opens its season Sept. 2 at the Eye Opener in Spartanburg, S.C.
Mars Hill College, which has won 14-consecutive Food Lion South Atlantic Conference men's cross country championships, was chosen by league coaches as the 2011 favorite.
The Lions received seven first-place votes, followed by No. 2 Anderson, which received the other three.
Meanwhile, Anderson – which finished third in last year's SAC Championship – leads the league with four student-athletes on the preseason All-Conference team, also released on Wednesday. Mars Hill had one student-athlete on both the first and second teams.
Lenoir-Rhyne and Wingate tied for third in the coaches' poll. The Bears feature one first-team and two second-team selections on the preseason All-SAC team, while WU placed three on the first-team.
No. 5 in the preseason poll is Catawba, followed by Brevard, Lincoln Memorial and Carson-Newman. Catawba and Lincoln-Memorial each feature one student-athlete on the preseason All-SAC first team.
The poll is rounded out by Tusculum (No. 9) and Newberry (No. 10).
In total, nine of the preseason All-SAC selections – and the entire first team -- were named all-conference in 2010 as well,. The list includes Mars Hill's Justin Gragg, whose second-place individual finish in the 2010 SAC Championship is the highest of any returning student-athlete.
Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll
Team - Points (1st-Place)
1. Mars Hill - 93 (7)
2. Anderson - 89 (3)
3. Lenoir-Rhyne - 77
3. Wingate - 77
5. Catawba - 55
6. Brevard - 49
7. Lincoln Memorial - 47
8. Carson-Newman - 26
9. Tusculum - 25
10. Newberry - 12
Men's Cross Country Preseason All-SAC Team
Christian Crifasi, Catawba
Jakob Maidens, Lenoir-Rhyne
Derrick Lindsay, Lincoln Memorial
Justin Gragg, Mars Hill
Binyam Belachew, Wingate
Steve Hammond, Wingate
Andrew Smith, Wingate
Parks Edwards, Anderson
Deniz Hay, Anderson
Kyle Koby, Anderson
Alex Pena, Anderson
Zack Queen, Lenoir-Rhyne
Mike Ryan, Lenoir-Rhyne
Eric Blackburn, Mars Hill