HAMDEN, Conn. – Quinnipiac University's 2012 men's cross country team was chosen to finish seventh in the Northeast Conference Pre-Season Coaches' poll released by the league office on Tues. Aug. 21. The Bobcats finished the 2011 campaign sixth at the NEC Cross Country Championships and were paced by standout sophomore Spencer Mannion (Brookfield, Conn.), who finished in 27th place.
The three-time defending NEC cross country champion, Central Connecticut State, was ranked first in the poll with eight first-place votes. Saint Francis (Pa.), last season's runner-up, received two first-place votes and the second ranking while Monmouth earned one first-place vote and the third spot in the poll. Mount St. Mary's garnered the fourth spot, followed by Sacred Heart and Robert Morris in the fifth and sixth ranking. Wagner was chosen behind Quinnipiac in the eighth slot while Bryant, host of the 2012 NEC Championship meet, was tabbed ninth. St. Francis (N.Y.) and Fairleigh Dickinson rounded out the poll.
The 2012 Bobcats are led by fourth year head coach Carolyn Martin. The 2012 squad will feature one of the most impressive rookies from the 2011 NEC season in Mannion. The three-time NEC Rookie of the Week paced the Bobcats in five of the team's eight races, finishing no worse than second on the team in any race last season. He was also named Quinnipiac's Athlete of the Month in September after having reeled off a pair of top-10 finishes in the Stony Brook Invitational and Monmouth Invitational. Quinnipiac will also bring back senior Mike Levine (Redding, Conn.) who came on strong at the end of the season, leading the Bobcats in the 2011 NCAA Northeast Regionals and finishing two places behind Mannion in the 2011 NEC Championship. Junior Rich Stoliker (Shelton, Conn.) returns after placing 40th in the 2011 NEC Championship and finishing as the second fastest Bobcat at the 2011 New England Championships. Quinnipiac seniors Edgar Carrasco (Durham, Conn.), Jacob Cetera (Chicago, Ill.), and Ryan Wolff (Mount Holly, N.J.) will look to lead the Bobcats this fall. Other returners include sophomores Thomas Dextradeur (Branford, Conn.) and Josh Wells (Shelton, Conn.), while freshmen Brendan Copley (Colchester, Vt.), Matt Mensher (Tolland, Conn.), and Daniel Fox (Johnsburg, Ill.) will look to make an impact in their first season.
Quinnipiac will look to build upon last season's second-place finish at the season-opening Stony Brook Invitational on Sep. 3. The Bobcats will then get a preview of the host site for the 2012 NEC Championships as they participate in the Bryant Invitational at Smithfield, R.I on Sep. 10. The Bobcat's will next host the Quinnipiac Invitational on Sep. 15, followed by the Lehigh Paul Short Invitational on Sep. 28.
The Bobcats begin October at the New England Championship on Oct. 7 at Stanley Park in Westfield, Mass. before traveling to the Princeton Invitational on Oct. 13. Quinnipiac will look to regain their first NEC Championship since 2008 on Oct. 27. The 2012 NCAA Northeast Regionals and NCAA Championships will take place on Nov. 10 and Nov. 19, respectively.
2012 Northeast Conference Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll
- Central Connecticut State (8)
- St. Francis (Pa.) (2)
- Monmouth (1)
- Mount St. Mary's
- Sacred Heart
- Robert Morris
- St. Francis (N.Y.)
- Fairleigh Dickinson
First place votes in parenthesis ( ).
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