ROCK HILL, S.C. — Queens has been selected as the favorite to win the 2019 South Atlantic Conference women’s cross country title, according to the league’s head coaches. The Royals gathered 11 of the first-place votes and 132 points overall.
In taking the 2018 SAC title, the Royals won their third consecutive cross country championship. The winning streak continued when they dominated the NCAA Division II Southeast Region Championships, earning a spot in the NCAA Division II National Championship meet. Ranked No. 24 heading into the meet, the Royals were able to clinch their third top-10 finish.
Anderson grabbed the No. 2 spot on this year’s poll, collecting a total of 113 points. The Trojans finished second in last year’s SAC championship and finished third in the NCAA Southeast Regional. Their finish at the regionals secured their second consecutive bid to the NCAA National Championship, where they placed 33rd overall.
Lenoir-Rhyne took the No. 3 spot, totaling 107 points. The Bears found themselves ranked No. 10 in the Southeast Regional poll for the first time in school history in 2018. Following behind them at No. 4 was Wingate, which claimed the last first-place vote and 97 total points.
Catawba claimed the No. 5 spot with 94 total points, with Carson-Newman right behind them in spot No. 6 at 93 points overall.
Tusculum held onto the No. 7 spot with 77 points, with No. 8 Lincoln-Memorial tallying 63 points. Mars Hill was charted at No. 9 after totaling 48 points.
Newberry earned 40 points at the No. 10 spot, while Coker and newly added UVa-Wise were No. 11 and 12, respectively, with Coker landing 33 points and UVa-Wise picking up 27.
The 2019 season looks to be another exciting one as 12 all-conference runners from the 2018 SAC championship will return for their respected teams. One of them is Tusculum’s Nicole McMillen, who placed 59thin the 2018 NCAA National Division II National Championship.
The 2019 SAC women’s cross country season will kick off Sept. 6, with three SAC teams beginning the season that day and the remaining nine starting shortly after.
2019 WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
Rank / School (First-Place Votes) / Points
1. Queens (11) / 132
2. Anderson / 113
3. Lenoir-Rhyne / 1 07
4. Wingate (1) / 97
5. Catawba / 94
6. Carson-Newman / 93
7. Tusculum / 77
8. Lincoln Memorial / 63
9. Mars Hill / 48
10. Newberry / 40
11. Coker / 33
12. UVa-Wise / 27