Photo Courtesy of Chris Colangelo
GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Lees-McRae College men's cross country program was picked to finish fourth in the 2019 Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll the league office announced Tuesday. In addition to the poll, the conference also announced that the trio of Tristin Bertie, Joshua Hall and Anton Ledell were named runners to watch for the Bobcats this fall.
Defending conference champion Mount Olive was picked to win the league once again in 2019 after collecting 100 points and all 10 first-place votes. The trio of North Greenville (80 points), Emmanuel (78 points) and the Bobcats (77 points) were separated by just three points for second, third and fourth place, respectively. Not too far behind was Southern Wesleyan with 67 points to round out the top five in the poll.
The bottom half of the conference according the league coaches will go as follows: Barton (51 points), Belmont Abbey (45 points), Limestone (42 points), King (36 points) and Chowan (18 points). Furthermore, Erskine will also be competing in the league this fall for the first time since the 2016 season.
Bertie had an impressive sophomore campaign as he logged two times in 2018 that rank within the program's top 20 all-time marks. One of those top 20 times came at the Conference Carolinas Championships where Bertie ran the 8k course in 26:43.8. With that time, Bertie was named to the All-Conference Carolinas Third Team.
Hall will look to continue to build upon his solid junior campaign in his final season as a Bobcat. His best performance of the 2018 season came at the Royals Challenge in mid-October where he ran his fastest collegiate time (26:24.0). That mark was the eighth-fastest time in the history of LMC men's cross country.
Ledell, who enters his second season in Banner Elk, ran his top time last fall at the Lenoir-Rhyne Open where he logged a time of 26:42.8, which was good for 12th place for the meet. Not only was that mark 12th in the meet, it was also the 15th-fastest time in the history of LMC men's cross country...The Stockholm, Sweden native finished 23rd in his first Conference Carolinas meet in early November.
The Bobcats will begin the 2019 campaign on September 6 where they will travel to Newton, North Carolina for the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational.