Elon Women’s Cross Country Opens Ninth in Preseason Regional Rankings

NEW ORLEANS – Coming off a top-10 finish at last year’s NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, the Elon University women’s cross country team was placed ninth in the 2014 Southeast preseason regional team rankings as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

The Phoenix women, who finished ninth at the Southeast regional championships in 2013, opens the year in the top-10 of the preseason regional poll for the first time in school history. Elon was also the second-highest ranked Colonial Athletic Association team in the Southeast Region behind two-time defending league champion William & Mary, who was fourth overall.

According to the USTFCCCA, the rankings are determined subjectively by a single member coach in each respective region.

Elon returns six of its top seven runners of a year ago and finished as the runner-up in its final season in the Southern Conference. The Phoenix returns four athletes who earned All-SoCon accolades last season in seniors Haylee Dawe and Tereza Novotna, junior Elyse Bierut and sophomore Kimberly Johansen.

The Elon men’s and women’s programs open the 2014 season on Saturday, Aug. 30, with a dual meet versus local rival and former conference foe UNCG. The meet is slated to begin at 9 a.m. on the Elon Cross Country Course.