HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University men's cross country team was picked to finish first in the 2009 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll with nine first-place votes. This is the fourth year in a row that the Bobcats have been picked to finish first in the NEC, with the team winning the conference championship in each of the last three seasons. Quinnipiac will serve as the host school for the 2009 NEC Championships on Oct. 31.
Quinnipiac will have a mixture of veteran leadership and experience in its pursuit of a fourth straight league crown in 2009. Sophomore Rich Klauber (Thomaston, Conn.) became just the second athlete in conference history to claim both Freshman and Outstanding Performer of the Year accolades in the same season as he placed first overall at the 2008 NEC Championships.
The Bobcats will also have the help of three more All-NEC runners from last season returning in 2009. Junior John Greenlaw (Hampstead, N.H.) was the second Quinnipiac runner to cross the line at last season's conference championship meet, finishing ninth overall. Sophomore Dan Roark (Dracut, Mass.) and senior Tyler Dinnan (Juneau, Alaska) will also be back after placing 11th and 12th, respectively, at the 2008 NEC Championships.
"It is a great honor to selected first in the NEC this season," said coach Carolyn Martin. "We have perhaps the most talented men's cross country team in program history this year and we hope that that potential will translate to a successful season."
Sacred Heart earned two first-place votes, while Mount St. Mary's received one to place second and third in the poll. Monmouth and Saint Francis (Pa.) make up the final two teams in the top five with Wagner, Central Connecticut State, Robert Morris, Bryant, Long Island, Fairleigh Dickinson and St. Francis (NY) rounding out the selections.
Quinnipiac will begin its 2009 season at the Stony Brook Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 5, The meet is set for a 10:30 a.m. start.
1. Quinnipiac (9)
2. Sacred Heart (2)
3. Mount St. Mary's (1)
5. Saint Francis (PA)
7. Central Connecticut State
8. Robert Morris
12.St. Francis (NY)
First place votes in parentheses