August 17, 2011
Men's Cross Country Picked 5th, Women 6th in SAC Preseason Polls
Crifasi, Myers and Thompson named to preseason All-SAC teams
ROCK HILL, SC -- The Catawba men were picked fifth and the women sixth in the 2011 South Atlantic Conference men’s and women’s cross country polls which was announced by the league office on Wednesday. Junior Christian Crifasi (Ramseur, NC/E. Randolph HS) was a first team preseason All-SAC selection on the men’s side while sophomores Olivia Myers (Lexington, NC/W. Davidson HS) and Peyton Thompson (Winston-Salem, NC/N. Davidson HS) were second team picks on the women’s side.
Crifasi was the top Division II runner in four of seven meets last season and had six top 10s. He placed 10th at the SAC Championships. Myers led the Lady Indians in six of seven races with five top 10s. Thompson, who was second to Myers in the first six events, took team-best honors at the NCAA II Regional.
Defending SAC champion Anderson was picked No. 1 in the women’s poll. The Trojans, led by 2010 SAC Runner of the Year Whitney Bishoff, tallied six first-place votes. Mars Hill, which has won 14 consecutive Food Lion SAC men’s cross country championships, tops the men’s poll. The Lions received seven first-place votes, followed by No. 2 Anderson, which received the other three.
Continuing down the women’s poll sees Lenoir-Rhyne, which received the other four first-place votes from the coaches, as the No. 2 pick. The Bears will once again be paced by 2010 NCAA Southeast Region champion and USTFCCCA Southeast Region Women’s Athlete of the Year Kate Griewisch, who also recorded an 18th-place finish at the NCAA National Championship a year ago.
Wingate is third in the women’s poll, followed by Mars Hill at No. 4, Carson-Newman at No. 5 and Catawba. Brevard is next at No. 7, followed by Lincoln Memorial, Tusculum and Newberry.
The preseason All-SAC team was also announced on Wednesday. Leading the way was Lenoir-Rhyne, which placed two student-athletes on the first team – including Griewisch -- and two on the second team. Led by Bishoff, Anderson had two first-team and one second-team selection, while Brevard, Wingate and Mars Hill each placed one student-athlete on the first-team.
Catawba landed two second-team preseason selections, and Carson-Newman and Lincoln Memorial each had one student-athlete earn second-team distinctions.
The runner-up spot in the men’s poll went to Anderson, which finished third in last year’s SAC Championship. The Trojans lead the league with four student-athletes on the preseason All-Conference team. Mars Hill had one student-athlete on both the first and second teams.
Lenoir-Rhyne and Wingate tied for third in the coaches’ poll. The Bears feature one first-team and two second-team selections on the preseason All-SAC team, while WU placed three on the first-team.
No. 5 in the preseason poll is Catawba, followed by Brevard, Lincoln Memorial and Carson-Newman. Catawba and Lincoln-Memorial each feature one student-athlete on the preseason All-SAC first team. The poll is rounded out by Tusculum (No. 9) and Newberry (No. 10).
In total, nine of the preseason All-SAC selections – and the entire first team -- were named all-conference in 2010 as well. The list includes Mars Hill’s Justin Gragg, whose second-place individual finish in the 2010 SAC Championship is the highest of any returning student-athlete.
South Atlantic Conference cross country officially gets underway on Sept. 1 when Lincoln Memorial competes in the Asbury-Jessamine Invitational. The 2011 Food Lion SAC Championship will be hosted by Carson-Newman on Oct. 22 in Morristown, Tenn.
Women’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Anderson, 96 (6)
2. Lenoir-Rhyne, 93 (4)
3. Wingate, 79
4. Mars Hill, 67
5. Carson-Newman, 56
6. Catawba, 48
7. Brevard, 43
8. Lincoln Memorial, 36
9. Tusculum, 22
10. Newberry, 10
Women’s Cross Country Preseason All-SAC Team
Whitney Bishoff, Anderson
Lydia Davis, Anderson
Angela Canale, Brevard
Amanda Barnes, Lenoir-Rhyne
Kate Griewisch, Lenoir-Rhyne
Cassie Adamson, Mars Hill
Keeley Wood, Wingate
Emily Eckroth, Anderson
Brooke Earhart, Carson-Newman
Olivia Myers, CATAWBA
Peyton Thompson, CATAWBA
Tiffany Payne, Lenoir-Rhyne
Laura Rhyne, Lenoir-Rhyne
Fiona Reinecke, Lincoln Memorial
Men’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Mars Hill, 93 (7)
2. Anderson, 89 (3)
3. Lenoir-Rhyne, 77
3. Wingate, 77
5. Catawba, 55
6. Brevard, 49
7. Lincoln Memorial, 47
8. Carson-Newman, 26
9. Tusculum, 25
10. Newberry, 12
Men’s Cross Country Preseason All-SAC Team
Christian Crifasi, CATAWBA
Jakob Maidens, Lenoir-Rhyne
Derrick Lindsay, Lincoln Memorial
Justin Gragg, Mars Hill
Binyam Belachew, Wingate
Steve Hammond, Wingate
Andrew Smith, Wingate
Parks Edwards, Anderson
Deniz Hay, Anderson
Kyle Koby, Anderson
Alex Pena, Anderson
Zack Queen, Lenoir-Rhyne
Mike Ryan, Lenoir-Rhyne
Eric Blackburn, Mars Hill
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