Women's cross country picked to finish seventh in A-Sun preseason poll
Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s cross country team, who placed seventh at the 2009 Atlantic Sun Championship, was voted to finish seventh by the league coaches in the A-Sun preseason poll the conference office announced on Wednesday.

The Eagles return senior Megan Thies who shattered the school’s 5k record, finishing in 23rd place at the 2009 A-Sun Championship with a time of 18:55. The previous record, also held by Thies, was 19:10.1, set in 2008. Sophomores Shannon Compher, Leigh Mumford and Barrie Cohen all posted top-40 finishes at the championship and return to the squad. FGCU returns a total of seven runners that helped the Blue and Green to the Miami Greentree Invitational title, their first win since September 2007.

Jacksonville ended Belmont’s three-year reign atop the conference last year in DeLand, Fla., to cap a six-year ascent up the conference standings. The Dolphins received nine of the 11 first-place votes and return four All-Atlantic Sun performers from a season ago in Anastasia Fokina, Joane Pierre, Susanne Klungtveit and Kelli Midden.

The Dolphins “River City” rival, UNF, took second place in the preseason poll. The Ospreys return last season’s Freshman of the Year, Shelby Kittrell. She took fourth at last year’s A-Sun Championships and paced three Ospreys on the All-Freshmen team.

USC Upstate and Kennesaw State shared the third position in the poll. Both return an All-Conference first team performer in Mackenzie Howe for the Owls and Jemeli Sang for the Spartans.

Lipscomb, who returns all five runners who competed at the league meet, took fifth in the poll, following by Belmont. Last season’s fifth-place finish represent the Bruins’ first year outside the top two since joining the conference in 2001. Campbell and Mercer tied for eighth while ETSU and Stetson fill out the poll.

USC Upstate Milliken Research Park serves as the site for this year’s A-Sun Championship. The course hosted the 1995 NCAA Division II National Championships and NCAA South Region Championships in 2004 and 2005.

Atlantic Sun Preseason Women’s Poll 

Place   School (First Place Votes)
 1.  Jacksonville (9)  116
 2.  UNF  98
 T3.  USC Upstate
 T3.  Kennesaw State
 5.  Lipscomb (2)
 6.  Belmont  78
 7.  FGCU  50
 T8.  Campbell  43
 T8.  Mercer  43
 11.  Stetson  12