Cross Country

Cross Country Teams Picked 8th in SAC Poll, Crifasi an All-SAC Selection


ROCK HILL – The Mars Hill men and the Anderson women are slight favorites in the South Atlantic Conference men’s and women’s preseason coaches’ poll.  The Mars Hill men have won 15-straight Food Lion SAC Cross Country Championships, while the Anderson women have claimed the last two SAC women’s titles. 

Mars Hill edged Anderson in the men’s poll by just a single point.  MHC also had three runners – led by senior Eric Blackburn -- named to the 2012 preseason All-SAC Team, which is based on results from last year’s conference championship.  Anderson had three student-athletes named to the preseason All-SAC Team as well, including first-teamers Parks Edwards and Alex Pena.  Both finished in the top 10 at the 2011 SAC Championship. 

Catawba was picked eighth in the poll with senior Christian Crifasi -- the individual runner up at the 2011 SAC Championship -- a preseason All-SAC First Team pick.

Anderson’s women split the first place votes with Wingate, but nipped the Bulldogs by three total points in the preseason poll.  Anderson had three student-athletes named to the 2012 preseason All-SAC Team, led by first-team pick Hannah Robles. 

Wingate finished third at the 2011 SAC Championship, and placed three runners on the preseason All-Conference Team, led by first-teamers Brianna Stevens and Keeley Wood.  Wood finished third in the individual standings at the 2011 SAC Championship, while Stevens placed 10th.

Catawba was tabbed in a tie with Newberry for the eighth spot in the poll.

The preseason All-SAC Team is determined by results from the 2011 SAC Championship.

2012 SAC Men’s Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Mars Hill, 77 (5)
2. Anderson, 76 (4)
3. Wingate, 62 (1)
4. Lenoir-Rhyne, 58
5. Brevard, 49
6. Lincoln Memorial, 39
7. Newberry, 29
8. Catawba, 28
9. Carson-Newman, 21
10. Tusculum, 11

2012 SAC Men's Cross Country Preseason All-Conference
First Team
Eric Blackburn, Mars Hill
Christian Chrifasi, Catawba
Parks Edwards, Anderson
Steve Hammond, Wingate
Josh Moser, Brevard
Alex Pena, Anderson
Mike York, Lenoir-Rhyne

Second Team
Brady Adcock, Mars Hill
Biniam Ateka Belachew, Wingate
David Cooper, Tusculum
Josh Greenfield-Tuttle, Mars Hill
Kyle Koby, Anderson
Aaron Nelson, Lenoir-Rhyne
Matthew Shaffer, Anderson

2012 SAC Women’s Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Anderson, 76 (5)
2. Wingate, 73 (5)
3. Lenoir-Rhyne, 66
4. Carson-Newman, 55
5. Mars Hill, 48
6. Lincoln Memorial, 39
7. Brevard, 35
8t. Catawba, 24
8t. Newberry, 24
10. Tusculum, 10

2012 SAC Preseason All-Conference Team
First Team
Ashley Kale, Lenoir-Rhyne
Sofia Lopez Mimendi, Lincoln Memorial
Hannah Reese, Carson-Newman
Hannah Robles, Anderson
Brianna Stevens, Wingate
Jessica Viscusi, Mars Hill
Keeley Wood, Wingate

Second Team
Angela Canale, Brevard
Sydney Hazel, Anderson
Amanda Johnson, Anderson
Meredith Nix, Carson-Newman
Laura Rhyne, Lenoir-Rhyne
Amber Stoerp, Lincoln Memorial
Taylor Varnadoe, Wingate

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Cross Country Team Photo