HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University women's cross country team was unanimously picked to finish first in the 2011 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll as announced by the league office on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The Bobcats won their sixth consecutive NEC women's cross country championship last season, led by the 2010 NEC Outstanding Performer, Becca White (Natick, Mass.), who won the championship meet with a record-breaking time of 17:17.
Monmouth, who will also host this year's NEC championship meet, was chosen to finish second, while Sacred Heart was voted third, followed by Central Connecticut State in fourth. Saint Francis (Pa.) was selected fifth, while Robert Morris and Mount St. Mary's were picked in sixth and seventh, respectively. Bryant came in eighth place with Wagner in the ninth position. Fairleigh Dickinson, St. Francis (N.Y.) and Long Island rounded out the poll.
Quinnipiac Head Coach Carolyn Martin will lead a veteran Quinnipiac team in its quest for its seventh-consecutive NEC title. Last year, the Bobcats placed fifth at the New England Championships, where White was named Top 25 All-New England. The team also placed first at the Quinnipiac Invitational and Seawolves Invitational, while finishing in second at the CCSU Blue Devils Invitational.
Quinnipiac junior, White, received All-NEC honors, for the second year in a row, and three NEC Athlete of the Week titles, last season. Quinnipiac returns sophomore Amanda Faust (Macungie, Pa.), who had a successful rookie season with the Bobcats. Faust was named NEC Rookie of the Week four times and selected All-Conference. The freshman standout placed seventh overall at the NEC championships with a time of 18:02. The Bobcats also return junior Katie Beam (South Windsor, Conn.) and freshman Brianna Faust (Macungie, Pa.), who each placed in the top-15 at the NEC Championships last year.
Quinnipiac begins the 2011 season at the Stony Brook Invitational on Sept. 3, followed by the Fordham Fiasco on Sept. 9 and the Monmouth Invitational on Sept. 17. The team closes out September at the Paul Short Invitational on Sept. 30. Quinnipiac will then run at the New England Championships on Oct. 8, prior to hosting the Quinnipiac Invitational on Sept. 21 and participating at the Northeast Conference Championships on Oct. 29. The NEC meet will be hosted by Monmouth in Holmdel, N.J. NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championships will take place on Nov. 12 and Nov. 21, respectively.
2011 Northeast Conference Women's Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Quinnipiac (11)
2. Monmouth (1)
3. Sacred Heart
4. Central Connecticut State
5. Saint Francis (PA)
6. Robert Morris
7. Mount St. Mary's
10. Fairleigh Dickinson
11. St. Francis (NY)
12. Long Island
First place votes in parentheses ( ).