Spartanburg, SC — The Converse College cross country is picked to finish fourth in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Pre-season Coaches’ Poll. Each of the conference’s twelve coaches vote where they predict each team to finish excluding their own team. Last year’s team finished fourth at the CVAC Championship, with three team members finishing in the top 12 spots. Each of those runners will be returning for the All-Stars. Mary Cloonan, Betsy Ruppert, and Sarah Powell finished 5th, 7th, and 12th respectively at last year’s championship.
In the poll, last season’s champion, Anderson University, took the top spot. The Trojans received 9 of the 12 top votes. Queens College took the second spot followed closely by Barton in the third spot. Converse, who missed the third spot by point, was selected to finish in fourth place. Only three points separated Queens and Converse. Each of the top four teams received a first place vote with Queens, Barton, and Converse all receiving one each. Lees-McRae College rounded out the top 5.
The Cross Country will return four of their top six performers from last year’s championships. Besides Cloonan, Ruppert, and Powell, the All-Stars will also return Julie Seils whose score helped secure the team’s fourth place finish a year ago. Converse will also add the talent of Jennifer Brown, a freshman from Greenville, SC. The team is optimistic that serving as the host for this year’s CVAC Championship will be all they need to surpass last year’s benchmark. Converse will be hosting the championship at Milliken Corporate Park on October 21st. Milliken will also be the site of the team’s first meet, the Eye-Opener Invitational, which will be held on September 9th at 8:00 am.
Both Cloonan and Ruppert were named to the 2006 CVAC Women’s ‘Pre-season Runners to Watch’ list. Cloonan was selected for the CVAC 1st team last year, while Ruppert was named to the CVAC 2nd team. Cloonan, Ruppert, and the rest of the team will compete in six meets before running for the championship on October 21st.
CVAC Women’s Cross Country Pre-Season Poll
(# of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. Anderson (9) 117
2. Queens (1) 100
3. Barton (1) 98
4. Converse (1) 97
5. Lees-McRae 85
6. Erskine 58
7. Belmont Abbey 52
8. Pfeiffer 51
9. St. Andrews 49
T-10. Coker 31
T-10. Mount Olive 31
12. Limestone 23