Men's Cross Country Edged by Mars Hill for Top Spot in Preseason PollAugust 16, 2012
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Mars Hill, which has won 15-straight Food Lion SAC Men’s Cross Country Championships, has been voted as the 2012 preseason favorite by the league’s coaches, it was announced on Thursday.
The Lions edged Anderson, the 2012 preseason poll’s second-ranked team, by just two points at last season’s SAC Championship. MHC also had three runners, led by senior Eric Blackburn, named to the 2012 preseason All-SAC Team, which is based on results from last year’s conference championship.
Wingate finished third at last year’s SAC Championship and was voted third in the 2012 preseason poll. Two Bulldogs earned spots on the preseason All-Conference Team, including junior Steve Hammond, who had the fifth-best time at the 2011 SAC Championship.
WU was followed in the poll by No. 4 Lenoir-Rhyne, No. 5 Brevard and No. 6 Lincoln Memorial. Lenoir-Rhyne’s two preseason All-SAC picks included 2011 SAC Championship third-place finisher Mike York, while Brevard was represented on the team by junior Josh Mower, who finished 11th at the event.
Rounding out the poll was Newberry at No. 7, Catawba at No. 8, Carson-Newman at No. 9 and Tusculum at No. 10.
Catawba senior Christian Crifasi, the individual runner up at the 2011 SAC Championship, is a preseason All-SAC First Team pick, while Tusculum sophomore David Cooper, who placed 21st, is on the Second Team.
Anderson opens its 2012 campaign at USC Upstate’s Eye Opener on Aug. 31.
Team Points (1st-place votes)
1. Mars Hill 77 (5)
2. Anderson 76 (4)
3. Wingate 62 (1)
4. Lenoir-Rhyne 58
5. Brevard 49
6. Lincoln Memorial 39
7. Newberry 29
8. Catawba 28
9. Carson-Newman 21
10. Tusculum 11
PRESEASON ALL-SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE TEAM
Blackburn, Eric Mars Hill College
Crifasi, Christian Catawba College
Edwards, Parks Anderson University
Hammond, Steve Wingate University
Mower, Josh Brevard College
Pena, Alex Anderson University
York, Mike Lenoir-Rhyne
Adcock, Joshua Mars Hill College
Belachew, Biniam Ateka Wingate University
Cooper, David Tusculum College
Greenfield-Tuttle, Josh Mars Hill College
Koby, Kyle Anderson University
Nelson, Aaron Lenoir-Rhyne
Shaffer, Matthew Anderson University