Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Elms College women's cross country team has been picked to finish fifth in the annual New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women's Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Poll, released by the conference office Tuesday.
The Blazers earned 44 total points in the poll. Elms will look to build upon a fifth place finish at the 2015 NECC Championships behind returning junior Sarah Tatgenhorst (Winterport, Maine), who claimed 2014 NECC Rookie of the Year and 2015 All-NECC Second Team honors.
Lesley receives top honors in the NECC Women's Cross Country poll with 68 points, as voted on by the league head coaches.
Lesley finished in a close second place at the 2015 NECC Championship and look to improve as they return a core groups of talented runners. The Lynx will rely on sophomore Nicole Footer who finished tenth to lead them in the 2016 season.
Finishing second in the polls was Regis with 62 points including one first place nod. The Pride finished third a season ago, but have a hopeful outlook with a strong recruiting class and four veterans returning to the team.
Defending NECC Champions, Wheelock College finish in a close third in the polls as they collected five of the nine first place votes. The Wildcats will be without the the 2015 Rookie/Runner of the Year and will look to their young roster to bring them back atop the NECC.
Landing fourth in the NECC Polls was Southern Vermont College, finishing with 57 points. The Mountaineers have a great deal of experience on their side, returning three All-NECC members from the 2015 season. The team will be highlighted by junior Annika Kristiansen, and seniors Shelby Whitman and Schyler McGuire.
The polls closed out with Mitchell in sixth place (36 points), Newbury College in seventh (32 points), Bay Path University in eighth (28 points), and Daniel Webster in ninth (13 points).
Most NECC teams will begin their meets on Saturday, September 3rd. The NECC Championship will be held at Stanley Park on Saturday, October 29th.
2016 NECC Women's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll
Lesley – 68 (2)
Regis – 65 (1)
Wheelock – 62 (5)
Southern Vermont - 57
Elms - 44
Mitchell – 36
Newbury – 32
Bay Path – 28 (1)
Daniel Webster – 13