Thomasville, NC--Anderson University women's cross country team has been labeled the favorite in this year's preseason coaches' poll. After an injury-riddled season in 2006, Anderson Head Coach Randy Greer is hoping he can keep his women's cross country team healthy this season. The Lady Trojans battled through injuries last fall to win two meets, including the conference championship, before finishing fourth in the NCAA regional meet. "I think our women have been dominant the last couple of years," Greer said. "It's just a matter of getting them all healthy. I don't think we've got anything locked up, but if we run like we're supposed to run, we've got an extremely good shot of winning the conference, and we should contend for the region title and a trip to the national meet."
Senior Jennifer Hitt will try and make conference history by winning her fourth individual league title at the Conference Carolinas meet Oct. 20 in Spartanburg. Because of injuries, Hitt ran in just four meets last fall, but won the individual league title and Runner of the Year award.
Lees-McRae has high expectations for the upcoming 2007 cross country season as well. With a pair of All-Conference returnees and a talented incoming class, the Lady Bobcats will look to best their second place finish a year ago at the league meet. After earning league Freshman of the Year honors and qualifying for the NCAA meet a year ago, Dana Lindholm will lead the Lady Bobcats as she looks to best her runner-up finish in last year's conference championships. All-Conference performers Ashley May and Demarea Colson will help shoulder the load while Gina Valenti and Carla Stewart return prepared for strong sophomore campaigns. A pair of freshman, Anna Gray and April Harris, will be key assets and provide excellent depth as the Lady Bobcats take aim at their seventh conference title in ten years.
"This group is special. As I have watched their growth over the last year, I am pleased with where we are heading and the goals we have set," commented Head Coach Craig McPhail, (pictured top left). "We are still young, but we are talented and our hard work should set us up for some really great things later in the year. Our top seven has really improved, giving us more of a pack mentality and helping us grow everyday in training."
The St. Andrews women's cross country team surprised the entire conference last season by finishing third in the conference championships after being picked ninth in the 2006 preseason coaches' poll. The Lady Knights will look to build on last year's most successful season by climbing another rung on the newly renamed Conference Carolinas ladder and get one step closer to contending for a league title. SAPC posted a trio of top-3 finishes in '06 and also had their best finish ever in the Southeast Regional with a seventh place finish. Reigning 1st Team All-Conference junior Alyson Trovato and 2nd Team All-Conference senior Veronica Gobeyn will lead the deep St. Andrews roster. Sixth year Head Coach Gary Aycock returns six other harriers while adding four new endurance athletes. "We are excited about our freshmen class, and our team chemistry is the best it has ever been. We are optimistic that combination will lead to a positive training atmosphere, which will produce successful race results in 2007," said Aycock.
Conference Carolinas Women's Cross Country Pre-Season Poll (#
of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. Anderson (10) 119
2. Lees-McRae (1) 111
3. St. Andrews (1) 100
4. Queens 88
5. Barton 69
6. Pfeiffer 68
7. Coker 63
8. Converse 50
9. Limestone 45
T-10. Belmont Abbey 29
T-10. Mount Olive 29
12. Erskine 21