Defending Champions Picked First in Patriot League Cross Country Preseason Polls

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Rosa Moriello won the individual title at the 2013 Patriot League Women's Cross Country Championship.
Rosa Moriello won the individual title at the 2013 Patriot League Women's Cross Country Championship.

Aug. 20, 2014

Patriot League Cross Country Central

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - After winning the title at last year's Patriot League Cross Country Championships, the Navy men and Boston University women have been selected to do it again as the favorites in the sport's preseason polls announced on Wednesday.

Navy picked up 158 points and 14 first-place votes to garner the top spot in the men's poll, followed by Lehigh with 145 points and five first-place nods. The Mids edged the Mountain Hawks by two points in last year's Patriot League Championship race after Lehigh beat Navy by the same margin in 2012. Navy had won the previous four titles and has now won in five of the last six seasons overall. The rest of the men's poll featured American (126/one first-place vote), Army (112), Boston University (104), Bucknell (87), Holy Cross (61), Colgate (49), Lafayette (30) and Loyola (28).

Boston University had an impressive performance to win the title in its inaugural Patriot League Women's Cross Country Championship last season, and now the Terriers are the unanimous favorite of opposing coaches and sports information directors after picking up 162 points on 18 first-place votes. Lehigh was next with 142 points and the remaining two first-place votes, followed by Navy (125), Bucknell (123), Army (95), American (77), Holy Cross (70), Lafayette (52), Loyola (31) and Colgate (23).

Voting was conducted by Patriot League cross country head coaches and sports information directors, who could not select their own school. The 2014 Patriot League Cross Country Championships will be hosted by Lehigh University at Goodman Cross Country Course in Bethlehem, Pa. on Nov. 1 beginning at 11 a.m.

The Navy men won last year's race without any of its runners finishing in the top seven, but four earned second-team All-Patriot League honors by placing in the top 14. Three of those runners are back, as Sam Peckham (9th), Zach Hebda (12th) and Kyle Davis (13th) all return in 2014. The only other school with multiple All-League returnees is American, who brings back both Nick Regan (7th) and Brendan Johnson (11th), who earned the Patriot League Rookie of the Year award. The highest returning finisher from last year's race is Lehigh's Ryan Mahalsky (3rd), who has finished in the top five and earned first-team All-Patriot League honors each of the last two seasons. Bucknell's Michael McGowan (5th) joined Mahalsky and Regan as first-team All-Patriot League honorees last year.



The women's race will feature most of last year's top competitors, with six of the top seven finishers and eight of the top 10 returning in 2014. That group includes Boston University's Rosa Moriello, who won the individual title in a time of 21:09.93 to lead the Terriers to the team crown last year. She is joined by two teammates who earned first-team All-Patriot League status a year ago in Monica Adler (3rd) and Shelby Stableford (6th), while Lehigh's Jen Markham (4th) and Navy's Kelley Robinson (5th) and Annie-Norah Beveridge (7th) also return after garnering first-team selections. Beveridge and Robinson have earned first-team status each of the past two seasons, with the former winning the individual title in 2012.

Second-team All-Patriot League selections from 2013 who return to the women's race are Lehigh's Ingrid Simon (9th) and Elizabeth Weiler (10th), Army's Madison Hill (12th) and Boston University's Michelle Sumner (13th). Simon has qualified for the second-team in each of the past two seasons.

The Patriot League cross country schedule opens up on Aug. 29, with more than half of the League's 10 schools competing on the opening weekend. The majority of Patriot League teams will participate in the Paul Short Run at Lehigh on Oct. 4, which serves as a preview of the Patriot League Championships at Goodman Cross Country Course four weeks later.

For more content including a composite schedule, record book, championship page and team information, visit Patriot League Cross Country Central

Patriot League Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Navy, 158 points (14 first-place votes)
2. Lehigh, 145 (5)
3. American, 126 (1)
4. Army, 112
5. Boston University, 104
6. Bucknell, 87
7. Holy Cross, 61
8. Colgate, 49
9. Lafayette, 30
10. Loyola, 28

Patriot League Women's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Boston University, 162 points (18 first-place votes)
2. Lehigh, 142 (2)
3. Navy, 125
4. Bucknell, 123
5. Army, 95
6. American, 77
7. Holy Cross, 70
8. Lafayette, 52
9. Loyola, 31
10. Colgate, 23