Photo Courtesy of Chris Colangelo
GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Lees-McRae College women's cross country team was picked to finish eighth in the 2019 Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll the league office announced on Monday. Additionally, Sarah Bowman, Brianne Heard and Maegan Prettyman were selected as runners to watch for the team this fall.
Defending league champion Mount Olive was selected to win the conference once again collecting 118 points and nine of the 12 first-place votes. North Greenville was tabbed for a second place finish with 107 points and two first-place nods with King not far behind with 102 points and one first-place vote.
The next four teams in the poll collected 50 or more points. Southern Wesleyan checks in at the number four spot according to the coaches with 94 points followed by Belmont Abbey (83 points), Limestone (57 points) and Emmanuel (56 points).
Following Lees-McRae in the eighth spot, the final four teams in the poll were Converse (43 points), Barton (43 points), Erskine (27 points) and Chowan (15 points).
Bowman enters her final season as a Bobcat off a solid junior season. Bowman's top finish came at the Lenoir-Rhyne Open where she finished 20th with a time of 27:39.5. Her best 5k time came at the Royals Challenge on October 12, while her top 6k time came at the Conference Carolinas Championships.
Heard posted a trio of top 15 finishes as a freshman, including a 13th place nod at the Conference Carolinas Championships. With that finish, Heard became the first All-Conference Carolinas runner for LMC since 2012. Thanks to that finish, Heard was invited to compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships in mid-November. Heard placed 90th at that event with a time of 25:48.4.
Prettyman competed in six races as a freshman in 2018. Prettyman's top time in a 5k race came on October 12 at the Royals Challenge with a time 24:22.0. The Morganton, N.C. native put together her best time in a 6k race at the Conference Carolinas Championships with a time of 29:33.3.
The Bobcats will begin their 2019 campaign on September 6 when they compete at the Lenoir-Rhyne Invitational in Newton, North Carolina.