HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Lees-McRae College men's track & field has been voted the preseason top team in Conference Carolinas by league head coaches. The Bobcats' team is excited about the 2010 season following their Conference Carolinas Championship in the conference's inaugural season in 2009. "It is a great honor for our team to be voted number one in the conference by my coaching peers," head track and field coach Ley Fletcher said. "This ranking speaks highly of the great tradition of Track and Field and Cross-Country that has been established throughout the years at Lees-McRae."
The Lees-McRae men will be lead by Chris Glenn, who earned the Most Valuable Track Athlete at the conference meet last year, Brad Tanis, who is the defending champion in the 400 hurdles, Jessie Hoots, who is the defending champion in the 400 meter run, Jon Aurthur, who is the defending pole vault champion and national qualifier, and Joe Daher, who is defending champion in the discus. The Bobcats have a host of freshman that includes Bradley King, Brandon Williams and Robby Bennett in the sprints and hurdles along with Allen Kelly and Kevin Dever in the pole vault.
"We have a very good group returning, but adding these five quality freshman that can make an impact, not only in our conference but on the national level, will make us a very strong team," Fletcher said.
The Limestone College men's track & field team was ranked second in the preseason poll. The Saints are prepared to have another solid season after finishing second at the Conference Carolinas Championships in 2009. All-Conference honorees Richard Gore (hurdles/jumps) and D'Juan Thurmond (sprints) are back, and Limestone has some strong new recruits. Limestone's top newcomers include Scott DiCrescenzo (javelin), Justus Kirwa (distance), Travis Tolliver (hurdles), and sprinters Byran Washington and Marquis Greene.
Queens University of Charlotte has been picked third in this year's poll and returns defending individual NCAA national champions in sophomore Tanya Zeferjahn (10k) and junior Michael Crouch (1500). They will look to lead the Royals not only at the conference championships but also head Queens' largest contingent of qualifiers at the NCAA National Championships to be held in Charlotte in May. Expected to strengthen the Royals are Simon Stuetzel, Alex Schilling, Danny Lyon and cross-country All-American Oscar Ogwaro, who was the conference Freshmen of the Year this fall.
Rounding out the men's track & field preseason poll 4-7 is: Mount Olive, Anderson & St. Andrews (tied), and Belmont Abbey respectively.
Conference Carolinas Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(1st place votes in parenthesis)
1. Lees-McRae College (4) 34
2. Limestone College (3) 33
3. Queens University of Charlotte 21
4. Mount Olive College 18
T-5.Anderson University 16
T-5.St. Andrews Presbyterian College 16
7. Belmont Abbey College 9