Lady Eagles Picked to Finish Fourth, Eagles Fifth in SAC Preseason Poll

ROCK HILL, SC - The Carson-Newman women's and men's cross country teams are picked to finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the South Atlantic Conference, in a vote of the league's head coaches.

The Lady Eagles, which finished third in the SAC Championships last season, received 56 points. C-N senior Cara Hawkins (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) and junior Catelyn Dake (Knoxville, Tenn.) are preseason second team All-SAC selections.

Lenoir-Rhyne, the defending women's SAC champion, is the favorite to repeat heading into the 2009 season. The Bears received eight first-place votes and 80 points.

Lenoir-Rhyne placed four on the preseason All-SAC first team, including the top three returning finishers from last year's conference championship in 2008 Freshman of the Year Kate Griewish, sophomore Tiffany Payne and senior Alyssa Lowe, as well as Miranda Annas.

Wingate received the other first-place vote and had 63 total points. The Bulldogs, which won the 2007 championship, placed Mary-Kathryn Preble on the preseason All-Conference first team, while Lindsey Lippencott, Alicia Harbold and Jen Bossi were all named to the second team.

Eight-time conference champion Mars Hill was picked to finish third with 57 points. The Lions had one preseason All-Conference selection in second-team pick Laurel Sitze.

Catawba is fifth with 46 points. The Indians return preseason first team All-SAC pick MaLeah Cole.

Lincoln Memorial received 32 points for sixth place. The Lady Railsplitters are led by preseason first team All-Conference selection Sofia Lopez Mimendi.

Newberry is seventh with 25 points. Jennifer Johnson was named to the preseason All-Conference second team.

Brevard and Tusculum are tied for eighth place with 23 points each.

The Eagles received 38 points in the men's preseason poll. Junior Jonathan Madden (Franklin, Tenn.) garnered preseason first team All-SAC honors.

Mars Hill, which has won 12 consecutive men's championships, is the favorite to win again in 2009, receiving eight first-place votes and 80 of a possible 81 total points.

The Lions also had three named to the preseason All-Conference team. Trey McCain, who was fifth in last year's Food Lion SAC Championship meet, is joined on the preseason All-Conference first team by Aaron Thomas and Josh Corbin.

Lenoir-Rhyne was the pick to finish second. The Bears received one first-place vote and 71 total points.

Lenoir-Rhyne returns 2008 SAC Freshman of the Year Jake Maidens, who was named to the preseason All-Conference first team, while Ty Dannenbring, Jake Stuckey and Tyler Mooney were all named to the second team.

Wingate is picked to finish third with 61 points. The Bulldogs bring back four preseason All-Conference selections, with David Sanctis and Doug Coats named to the first team and Tesfom Mehari and RJ Voetsch named to the second team.

Lincoln Memorial received 47 points for fourth place in the preseason poll. Derrick Lindsay was named to the preseason All-Conference second team.

Tusculum is sixth with 35 points in the preseason poll. The Pioneers have the top returning runner from last year's conference championship meet in junior Simon Holzapfel, who was second in last year's race and was named to the preseason All-Conference first team.

Catawba College (30 points), Brevard College (23 points) and Newberry College (20 points) round out the men's poll.

The C-N cross country teams begin their 2009 season on Wednesday at the Eye Opener meet in Spartanburg, S.C. The 2009 Food Lion SAC Championship will be Oct. 24 at Southside Park in Newton, N.C., which will be hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne.

1. Lenoir-Rhyne (8) 80
2. Wingate (1) 63
3. Mars Hill 57
4. Carson-Newman 56
5. Catawba 46
6. Lincoln Memorial 32
7. Newberry 25
8. Brevard 23
Tusculum 23
(First place votes in parenthesis)

1. Mars Hill (8) 80
2. Lenoir-Rhyne (1) 71
3. Wingate 61
4. Lincoln Memorial 47
5. Carson-Newman 38
6. Tusculum 35
7. Catawba 30
8. Brevard 23
9. Newberry 20
(First place votes in parenthesis)

Women's First Team
MaLeah Cole, Catawba
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
Tiffany Payne, Lenoir-Rhyne
Alyssa Lowe, Lenoir-Rhyne
Miranda Annas, Lenoir-Rhyne
Sofia Lopez Mimendi, Lincoln Memorial
Mary-Kathryn Preble, Wingate

Women's Second Team
Cara Hawkins, Carson-Newman
Catelyn Dake, Carson-Newman
Laurel Sitze, Mars Hill
Jennifer Johnson, Newberry
Lindsey Lippencott, Wingate
Alicia Harbold, Wingate
Jen Bossi, Wingate

Men's First Team
Jake Maidens, Lenoir-Rhyne
Trey McCain, Mars Hill
Aaron Thomas, Mars Hill
Josh Corbin, Mars Hill
Simon Holzapfel, Tusculum
David Sanctis, Wingate
Doug Coats, Wingate

Men's Second Team
Jonathan Madden, Carson-Newman
Ty Dannenbring, Lenoir-Rhyne
Jake Stuckey, Lenoir-Rhyne
Tyler Mooney, Lenoir-Rhyne
Derrick Lindsay, Lincoln Memorial
Tesfom Mehari, Wingate
RJ Voetsch, Wingate