ROCK HILL – After winning the last two Food Lion SAC Women's Cross Country Championships, Anderson has been voted No. 1 in the 2012 preseason coaches' poll, the league office released on Thursday.
Despite losing last year's SAC Championship individual runner-up Whitney Bishoff to graduation, Anderson received five first-place votes in the poll and had three student-athletes named to the 2012 preseason All-SAC Team, led by first-team pick Hannah Robles.
The preseason All-SAC Team is determined by results from the 2011 SAC Championship.
Just behind the Trojans in the preseason poll was Wingate, which earned the other five first-place votes. The Bulldogs finished third at the 2011 SAC Championship, and placed three runners on the preseason All-Conference Team, led by first-teamers Brianna Stevens and Keeley Wood.
Wood finished third in the individual standings at the 2011 SAC Championship, while Stevens placed 10th.
No. 3 in the poll is 2011 SAC Championship runner-up Lenoir-Rhyne. The Bears face a tall task in 2012 in replacing All-American and two-time individual conference champion Kate Griewisch, but do return two members of the preseason All-SAC Team, including Ashley Kale, who placed sixth at last season's SAC Championship.
Carson-Newman is No. 4 in the poll, followed by No. 5 Mars Hill, No. 6 Lincoln Memorial and No. 7 Brevard.
Included on the preseason All-SAC Team were two runners apiece from Carson-Newman and LMU, and one from both Brevard and Mars Hill.
LMU's Sofia Lopez Mimendi, C-N's Hanna Reese and MHC's Jessica Viscusi -- who finished fifth, seventh and eighth respectively, at the 2011 SAC Championship -- were all named to the preseason First Team.
Catawba and Newberry tied for eighth in the preseason poll, while Tusculum was voted No. 10.
|Team||Points (1st-place votes)|
|1. Anderson||76 (5)|
|5. Mars Hill||48|
|6. Lincoln Memorial||39|