ROCK HILL, S.C. — Queens landed the No. 1 spot when the 2019 South Atlantic Conference men’s cross country preseason poll was announced on Thursday, as voted on by the league’s head men’s cross country coaches.
The Royals claimed 11 of the first-place votes and 132 points overall. After taking the conference title in 2018, they went on to capture the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championship. This sent them to the NCAA Championships where they ranked in the top 10.
Anderson, No. 2 in the poll, pulled together 115 points. At last season's SAC championship, the Trojans finished second, earning a bid to the NCAA Southeast Regionals where they placed fifth overall. This year, Anderson returns two second-team all-conference runners, Ben Clark and Weston Hutton.
Wingate took the No. 3 spot and the remaining first-place vote, accumulating 110 points. The Bulldogs finished in third place at the 2018 SAC championship and took sixth in the NCAA regionals, with rising junior and second-team all-conference runner Micah Kipchumba earning All-Southeast Region honors.
Holding onto the No. 4 spot, Lincoln Memorial put together 98 total points. The Railsplitters had three All-SAC performers lead them to a fourth-place spot in the 2018 SAC championship and place 11th in the NCAA Southeast Regional meet.
Catawba ranked No. 5 with 94 points to their name, while Lenior-Rhyne was sixth with 81 points overall. Tusculum trailed close behind with 73 points at No. 7.
The No. 8 spot was filled by Carson-Newman with 68 points and Mars Hill with 54 points was ranked at No. 9, followed by Newberry at No. 10 with 38 points overall.
Coker and UVa-Wise took spots No. 11 and No. 12, with Coker earning 36 points and UVa-Wise picking up 25 total points.
The 2019 season looks to be another exciting one in the SAC, as 11 all-conference runners from the 2018 SAC championship will return, including Queens senior All-American Anthony Raftis.
The 2019 men’s cross country season will begin on Sept. 6, with five SAC teams kicking off their seasons and the remaining seven starting soon after.
2019 MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
Rank/School (First-Place Votes)/Points
1. Queens (11) / 132
2. Anderson / 115
3. Wingate (1) / 110
4. Lincoln Memorial / 98
5. Catawba / 94
6. Lenoir-Rhyne / 81
7. Tusculum / 73
8. Carson-Newman / 68
9. Mars Hill / 54
10. Newberry/ 38
11. Coker / 36
12. UVa-Wise / 25