Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Elms College women's cross country has been selected to finish in a tie for second in the 2017 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women's Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Poll, released by the league office Friday. The Blazers and Lesley University received 52 points apiece, while the Lynx collected three first-place votes and Elms claimed one first-place vote.
The Blazers are bring back four runners from the 2016 team, who finish fourth overall at the 2016 NECC Championship. Senior Sarah Tatgenhorst (Winterport, Maine) has been a three-time All-Conference selection, earning her second First Team honor with a sixth-place finish at the 2016 NECC Championship, setting a new school record with a time of 20:14. Veteran senior Sarah Kaczenski (Northfield, Mass.) and sophomores Emma Morton (Southwick, Mass.) and Ariah Willemain (Belchertown, Mass.) round out the returning corps.
The Blazers open the 2017 season at the SUNY-Poly Invitational in Utica, New York on Saturday, September 2nd.
Southern Vermont College selected to win the NECC Women's Cross Country Title in the Preseason Coaches' Poll, voted on by the league head coaches.
The Mountaineers finished with 55 total points and three first place nods. SVC returns three of their runners from a season ago who finished second overall at the NECC Championship.
Lesley University tied for second in the polls with Elms College, as both collected 52 total points. The Lynx earned three first place votes, while the Blazers collected one first place nod.
Lesley will look to their experienced squad to elevate themselves after a third place finish in the 2016 conference meet. The Lynx return their top runner from a season ago, Amy Bouchard, who finished seventh overall.
The final first place vote went to Wheelock College who tallied 34 points. The Wildcats will rely on junior Emma Wilson to lead the team after her eighth place finish in the 2016 NECC Championship.
Mitchell College landed in fifth with 30 points as they return six runners from 2016. The Mariners will look to first-year head coach Jan Merrill-Morinto improve on their finish.
In close behind with 29 points was Newbury College; the Nighthawks have a strong returning class that will look to challenge in the conference.
Closing out the polls in seventh place is Dean College with 19 points, while Bay Path University landed in eighth with 17 points. The Dean College Bulldogs look to make a splash as new members of the NECC.
NECC teams will begin their seasons with meets starting on Saturday, September 2nd. The NECC Championship will be held at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass. on October 28th, 2017
2017 NECC Women's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Southern Vermont - 55 (3)
2. Lesley - 52 (3)
2. Elms - 52 - (1)
4. Wheelock - 34 (1)
5. Mitchell - 30
6. Newbury - 29
7. Dean - 19
8. Bay Path - 17
Source: (NECC Athletics)
ELMS CROSS COUNTRY