HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac women's cross country team was chosen to repeat as champs in the Northeast Conference Pre-season Coaches' Poll. The Bobcats, winners of an NEC-record seven straight conference titles, will go for their eighth consecutive NEC Championship on Saturday, Oct. 27 in Smithfield, R.I.
Head coach Carolyn Martin and her assistant Chris Dickerson enter their fourth season after being named the Women's Coaching Staffs of the Year by the NEC in 2011, their third such honor in three years leading the Bobcats.
The Bobcats finished the 2011 season with a stellar performance in the NEC Championship, placing four runners on the All-Conference team led by returning senior Morgan Roche (Clifton Park, N.Y.). Her 5th place finish with 19:02.7 in the NEC Championship set the tone for the day as the Bobcats placed all 10 runners within the first 38 finishers. Roche leads an impressive core that will be returning for another season including the other three 2011 All-Conference performers in senior Andrea Szarkowicz (Watertown, Conn.) and juniors Brianna and Amanda Faust (Macungie, Pa.). Also returning is 2010 NEC Outstanding Performer senior Becca White (Natick, Mass.) who still holds the league record with a finishing time of 17:17.1 at the 2010 NEC Championship in New Britain, Conn.
The 2012 squad will seek leadership from returning seniors Hannah Donadio (Killingworth, Conn.), Kaitlynn Hammerton (Campbell Hall, N.Y.), Jill Humphreys (Burlington, Mass.), and Rachel Morelli (Philadelphia, Pa.). Several other key contributors returning for another season include juniors Jessica Soja (Simsbury, Conn.), who placed 15th in the NEC Championship, Christina Faust (Macungie, Pa.), Valerie Zielinski (Hackettstown, N.J.), Kelly Malloy (Sewell, N.J.), and Courtney Armstrong (Fair Haven, N.J.). In addition, the Bobcats bring in seven freshmen Rebecca Morse, Medinah Nabadduka, Kristina Kethchum, Chelsea Savage, Ashley Carle, Abby Waight, and Tracy Campbell.
The 2012 season will kick off at the Stony Brook Invitational on Sep. 1, followed by Bryant Invitational on Sep. 8 in Smithfield, R.I., the host site for the 2012 NEC Championship. The Bobcats then host the Quinnipiac Invitational on Sep. 15 and close out September with the Lehigh Paul Short Invitational on the 28th. The team will next travel to the New England Championships on Oct. 7, followed by the Princeton University Invitational on Oct. 13 before the NEC Championship at Bryant on Oct. 27. The NCAA Northeast Regionals and NCAA Championships will take place on Nov. 10 and Nov. 19 repectively.
2012 Northeast Conference Women's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll
- Quinnipiac (10)
- Sacred Heart (1)
- Central Connecticut State
- St. Francis (Pa.)
- Robert Morris
- Mount St. Mary's
- St. Francis (N.Y.)
- Fairleigh Dickinson
First place votes in parenthensis ( ).
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