Furman men, women tabbed cross country favorites
Courtesy: Southern Conference
Release: 08/27/2019
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Furman women's cross country team
Courtesy: Southern Conference

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – For the sixth straight year, the Furman men’s and women’s cross country teams were selected as the preseason favorites to take the Southern Conference titles, as voted by all 10 of the league’s coaches.

The Paladins are the six-time reigning SoCon champions on both and men’s and the women’s sides and earned the maximum possible first-place votes in both polls. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

Returning for the Paladins on the men’s side are six of their top seven performers from last season and all seven top competitors from last year’s women’s squad. The women enter the season ranked seventh nationally in the FloTrack preseason poll, while coming in at 10th in the Stride Report preseason poll.

Also returning this year is Wofford junior Hannah Steelman, who became the first runner in school history to win the league’s individual championship last season. Steelman earned All-Southern Conference and Runner of the Year honors after posting a time of 17:05.17 in the 5K race, which was 15 seconds faster than the second-place finisher. Steelman went on to qualify for the NCAA National Championships after posting a school-record time of 19:56.5 in the 6k race, finishing in fourth-place at regionals and adding All-Southeast Region honors to her list of accolades.

In the men’s poll, ETSU received 73 points to place second and earned the remaining first-place vote. Checking in at third is Samford with 62 points, followed by UNCG with 55 points, VMI with 53 points and Western Carolina with 40. Rounding out the remaining spots are Mercer (27), Chattanooga (26), Wofford (20) and The Citadel (13), respectively.

On the women’s side, Chattanooga took second with 71 points and the remaining first-place vote. Samford was not far behind in third with 65 points, followed by ETSU with 57 points and Wofford with 51. UNCG and Western Carolina each received 37 points to grab a share of sixth, and VMI (25), Mercer (20) and The Citadel (10) rounded out slots 8-10, respectively.

Seven of the 10 teams will kick off their seasons on Friday, Aug. 30, while the remaining three teams will open the season on Saturday, Aug. 31, and Saturday, Sept. 7.

The 2019 SoCon Cross Country Championships will be hosted by ETSU and are slated for Saturday, Nov. 2, in Johnson City, Tennessee.

2019 Men’s Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Furman (9) 81
2. ETSU (1) 73
3. Samford 62
4. UNCG 55
5. VMI 53
6. Western Carolina 40
7. Mercer 27
8. Chattanooga 26
9. Wofford 20
10. The Citadel 13

() denotes first-place votes

2019 Women’s Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Furman (9) 81
2. Chattanooga (1) 71
3. Samford 64
4. ETSU 57
5. Wofford 51
6. UNCG 37
7. Western Carolina 37
8. VMI 24
9. Mercer 19
10. The Citadel 9

() denotes first-place votes

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