Navy's Annie-Norah Beveridge
Aug. 22, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - The Navy women were unanimously projected to win the 2013 Patriot League Cross Country Championship by their peers, while the Mids edged defending champion Lehigh on the men's side to take first place in both of the sport's preseason polls announced on Thursday.
Navy has won the past two and four of the last six Patriot League Women's Cross Country Championships, and its peers recognized that dominance by giving all of their 18 first-place votes to the Mids for a total of 162 points. Bucknell came in second place with 144 points and two first-place votes, as coaches and sports information directors were not permitted to vote for their own school. Rounding out the women's poll were Army (117), Boston University (116), Lehigh (101), Loyola University Maryland (76), Colgate (70), Lafayette (44), Holy Cross (42) and American (28).
The men's poll was much closer, a reflection of last year's Patriot League Championship where Lehigh edged Navy by two points to win its first title and end the Mids' four-year run at the top. The Mids took first place in the preseason poll by a two-point margin over the Mountain Hawks, 153-151, even though Lehigh had 10 first-place votes to nine for Navy. The rest of the poll went in order of American (121), Boston University (115/one first-place vote), Army (100), Bucknell (90), Colgate (59), Holy Cross (46), Loyola (Md.) (36) and Lafayette (29).
The 2013 Patriot League Cross Country Championships will be hosted by Lafayette College at Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex in Easton, Pa. on Nov. 2 beginning at 11 a.m.
A big reason for Navy's unanimous first-place selection in the women's poll is the presence of junior Annie-Norah Beveridge, who won the individual title at the 2012 Patriot League Cross Country Championship with a time of 21:45.4 and went on to race at the NCAA Cross Country Championship. She is one of two first-team returnees for the Mids, who also bring back sophomore Kelley Robinson after a sixth-place finish at last year's Patriot League Championship.
Beveridge will face stiff competition, however, with a host of All-League returnees in this year's field. Army junior Lisa Junta finished third at last year's championship, while Colgate sophomore Olivia Brackett placed fifth and was named Patriot League Rookie of the Year. Second-team All-Patriot League honorees who return in 2013 include Rose Willey (Lafayette), Deanna Godby (Bucknell), Ingrid Simon (Lehigh), Rachel King (Army) and Katie Jessee (Bucknell).
The returnees will also face a challenge from the two new members, with senior Monica Adler coming off a great season for Boston University and Loyola senior Keira Harrison placing in the top 10 at last year's Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship.
The top two finishers from last year's men's race depart, but after that nearly all of the other All-Patriot League honorees return. Lehigh has a stacked group with all four of its All-Patriot Leaguers back, including first-team selections Jimmy Miller (4th place), Ryan Mahalsky (5th) and Tyler Mueller (7th). Bucknell junior John Dugan is the highest returning finisher after placing third at last year's championship, while Navy's John Sweeney rounds out the first-team returnees after a sixth-place finish in 2012.
Second-team All-Patriot League selections who return for the men's race include Ricardo Galindo (Army), Robert Patterson (Navy), Nick Regan (American), Sam Bernitt (Lehigh) and Kendall Ward (Army).
Even with the high number of All-League selections back, a favorite for the Patriot League title also comes from outside the group. Boston University senior Rich Peters qualified for the NCAA Championship last season, and is the only returnee on the men's side who ran in the NCAA race.
The Patriot League cross country schedule opens up on Aug. 30, with more than half of the League's 10 schools competing on the opening weekend. Highlights of the schedule include the majority of Patriot League teams participating in the Paul Short Run at Lehigh on Oct. 5 and the Leopard Invitational at Lafayette on Oct. 19, which serves as a preview of the Patriot League Championships at Metzgar Fields Athletic Complex two weeks later.
Patriot League Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Navy (9 first-place votes) 153 points
2. Lehigh (10) 151
3. American 121
4. Boston U. (1) 115
5. Army 100
6. Bucknell 90
7. Colgate 59
8. Holy Cross 46
9. Loyola (Md.) 36
10. Lafayette 29
Patriot League Women's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Navy (18 first-place votes) 162 points
2. Bucknell (2) 144
3. Army 117
4. Boston U. 116
5. Lehigh 101
6. Loyola (Md.) 76
7. Colgate 70
8. Lafayette 44
9. Holy Cross 42
10. American 28