HIGH POINT, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College men's cross country team is picked to finish third in the race for the 2011 Conference Carolinas championship, announced league officials Wednesday with the release of the Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Queens University of Charlotte tops the poll with 10 first-place votes and 100 points, followed by Mount Olive College (81) and Lees-McRae (73). King College is fourth with 71 points, while Belmont Abbey College rounds out the top five with 62 points and one first-place vote. Limestone College is sixth with 58 points, followed by Erskine College (50), Barton College (36), Coker College (30), Pfeiffer University (23), and North Greenville University (21).
Lees-McRae will look to build on the success of last season after finishing third at the Conference Carolinas Championships, and eighth at the Southeast Regional Championships. The Bobcats are third in the poll and face a demanding schedule this fall, but hope to rely on a strong returning core to carry them through the season and mentor a gifted group of newcomers.
"We are looking forward to a great cross country season," said head coach Thomas Cason. "Our conference gets stronger every year, so we continue to work even harder in order to compete against such strong distance programs."
Senior Craig Simpkins (Boiling Springs, S.C.) who finished sixth at the conference championships last season with a school-record time, is joined by fellow seniors Luke Anton (Brevard, N.C.) and Connor Gray (Christiansburg, Va.) to lead the veteran core for the Bobcats. Lees-McRae also returns juniors Jared Lupton (Nampa, Idaho) and Sondre Thorbergsen (Tranoy, Norway), while welcoming four talented newcomers into the fold.
Lees-McRae opens the season on Friday when the Bobcats travel to Spartanburg, S.C. to participate in the Eye Opener Invitational, which is being held at the Roger Milliken Center.
- LMC -
Conference Carolinas Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Rk.||School (First-place votes)||Points|
|5||Belmont Abbey (1)||62|