HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University women's cross country was picked as the favorite in the 2010 Northeast Conference Preseason Poll. The Bobcats, winners of a NEC-record five straight conference titles, will go for their sixth consecutive NEC Championship on Saturday, Oct. 30 at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, Conn.
"We are looking forward to another great season," Quinnipiac Women's Cross Country Head Coach Carolyn Martin said. "We have a great team with a lot of potential."
Martin was named the Northeast Conference Coach of the Year in her first season as the head coach of the Bobcats. Quinnipiac captured its fifth straight title last season on its home course, placing four runners in the top 10 in the race.
The Bobcats received 10 of the 12 first-place votes in the coaches' preseason poll, with the remaining first-place tallies going to 2009 runner-up Sacred Heart, who was picked to finish second. Monmouth, Saint Francis (Pa.) and Mount St. Mary's rounded out the top five. Central Connecticut State was picked sixth, followed by Bryant, Robert Morris, Long Island, Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner and St. Francis (N.Y.).
Junior Morgan Roche (Clifton Park, N.Y.) will once-again lead the Bobcats after back-to-back All-Northeast Conference finishes in the championship race. Roche, who also grabbed the 2008 NEC Rookie of the Year honor, finished third last year with a time of 18:15. She also finished in the top three in three different regular-season races and finished 52nd at the NCAA Northeast Regional.
Senior Kristen Stevens (Succasuna, N.J.) was the NEC Most Outstanding Performer in 2006 and 2007 and bounced back from injury to finish sixth overall in the 2009 NEC Champoinship. Sophomore Becca White (Natick, Mass.) crossed last year's finish line with a time of 18;18 for fourth place. White was named the Road Runner Sports NEC Rookie of the Week five times last season. Junior Julie Lanning (Victor, N.Y.) also garned All-NEC honors last season after finishing 11th with a time of 18:56.
The Bobcats open their season on Sept. 4 at the Seawolves Invitational, hosted by Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. On the following weekend, they head to Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, Conn. for the Blue Devil Invitational hosted by Central Connecticut. On Sept. 18, the Bobcats host the annual Quinnipiac Invitational, run on the QU Cross Country Course, which runs through the Mount Carmel campus in Hamden, Conn.
October will bring the Bobcats to the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa., hosted by Lehigh on Oct. 1 in preparation for the New England Regionals on Oct. 9. Quinnipiac will then run at the CCSU Mini-Meet on Oct. 22 at Stanley Quarter Park, before returning on Oct. 30 for the Northeast Conference Championships.