Cross country slated sixth, eighth in preseason poll

Cross country slated sixth, eighth in preseason poll

The Carson-Newman cross country team was picked to finish sixth on the women's side and the men were placed eighth overall in the South Atlantic Conference preseason coaches poll.

These rankings come after the women finished fourth and the men placed eighth at the SAC Conference Championships last season.

"I can understand why [the women] were placed there. This year we have a lot of good girls and I wouldn't be surprised if we surpass that ranking," acting coach Luke Greer said.

In regard to the men, he felt just as confident.

"It's fair coming from the fact that we graduated a lot of seniors and the conference has no idea what to expect from us this year... I'm hoping and expecting that we will surprise a lot of the conference and that we will definitely outdo that ranking."

Queens was ranked number one overall on both preseason polls with 11 first place votes while Anderson was tagged second in the conference for both sides as well. The third place teams in either poll were Wingate for the women and Lenoir-Rhyne for the men.

"They have great programs," Greer said. "Queens has dominated the conference for a couple of years now and obviously we expect them to be at the top again and that is the type of program we aspire to be. The goal is always to knock off Anderson at number two and then knock off Queens as number one and I think if we're not trying to do that, we're not doing it right."

The acting coach outlined some of what his expectations are for the program for the coming season.

"Going in Rachel Strayer for the women is looking really strong," Greer said. She had a couple of injuries her freshman year which was tough but this year she looks really strong and Bree [Cole] is a great leader for us. On the men's side, I don't expect there to be one person who is the number one runner for us, I think there will be multiple runners who come out first for us which will be great for our program."

The team's first event will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 3 p.m. at Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory, North Carolina.