HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Limestone College women's track & field has been voted the preseason top team in Conference Carolinas by league head coaches. The Limestone women's track and field team will look to defend its conference title in 2010, and the Saints will be strong contenders for the championship again.
Limestone returns the 2009 Track Athlete of the Year, Anisha "Bri" Barbee, who also garnered First-Team honors in the 100-, 200-, and 400-meter dash events. Three more All-Conference honorees are back in Jenny Altieri (hurdles), Sam McGowan (jumps), and Jalisa Samuels (sprints). The team has added several talented recruits that will add depth to the roster, including sprinters Shamaka Adams, Maya Stewart, and Jasmine Wilkes, as well as Ashton Sellars (hurdles), Stephanie Wilson (jumps), and Quanika Blackmon (distance).
The Lees-McRae College women's track & field team was ranked second in the preseason poll. The Lady Bobcats will be lead by senior Erin Tyler and Junior Shantra McCoy who both compete in sprints, hurdles and jump events. Senior April Harris, who is defending champion in the steeple chase, and Hanna Trimble, who is the defending champion in the pole vault will also be major contributors.
Lees-McRae has added great depth to the team this year along with a good group of returning student-athletes. Some of those additions include transfer Hannah Henderson for the middle distances, as well as the steeple chase, and Kira Shomaker should add depth in the 5000 and the steeple chase events.
"We have filled a lot of holes on our women's team which should make us a much stronger team this year," Head Coach Ley Fletcher stated.
Anderson University has been picked third in this year's poll. After finishing a close second just behind Limestone in last season's conference championships, Anderson hopes to continue its success in 2010. The Trojans will look to sophomore Lauren Sloan, who earned Freshman of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year in the league last season, to help lead the way.
Also returning are long-distance standout Whitney Bishoff, who capped a stellar cross country season with a top-25 finish at nationals last fall, along with Katelyn Rodgers and freshman Emily Eckroth. Rodgers won the javelin toss at the 2009 conference championships with a distance of 27.29m, while Coach Randy Greer will also be looking for newcomer Emily Eckroth to carry over her success as well.
Rounding out the women's track & field preseason poll 4-7 is: Queens, Mount Olive, St. Andrews, and Belmont Abbey respectively.
Conference Carolinas Pre-Season Coaches Poll
(1st place votes in parenthesis)
1. Limestone College (5) 35
2. Lees-McRae College 28
3. Anderson University (2) 24
4. Queens University of Charlotte 21
5. Mount Olive College 18
6. St. Andrews Presbyterian College 11
7. Belmont Abbey College 10