Thomasville, NC- The Queens University of Charlotte men's cross country team is excited to continue the success of the historic 2007 season. After capturing the conference title, all three major conference awards (Runner, Coach, & Freshman of the Year) and then moving on to claim the top spot at the regional competition, Queens advanced to its first ever NCAA Championship. The Royals finished 15th, respectively, and earned two All-American awards.
Despite losing top-runners Daniel Kanyaruhuru and Philipe Araujo to graduation, Queens brought in ten new sets of legs to build on the new found success and has been ranked No. 1 in the Southeast region by the USTFCCCA preseason poll. In those 10 new runners Queens has four true freshmen and six transfers. Second-year head coach Scott Simmons said, "Last year was a significant step forward for both Queens and the conference, but we have a lot of work to do to become nationally competitive. We are hoping to continue progressing and to get closer to being one of the best teams in the nation."
Anderson University tied with Lees-McRae in the second spot in the preseason poll. Anderson’s men won two meets, finished third in the Conference Carolinas championship meet, and finished in the top three five times last fall. Trojans head coach Randy Greer is looking forward to the upcoming season, “We’ve been strong one through seven the last couple of years,” Greer said. “We’re still going to be strong though we may not be as deep as we have been.
Coach Greer considers Nate Parsons, Jeremy Hunsaker, and Alex Jordan as the nucleus of the team. Last season, both Parsons and Hunsaker had two top-10 finishes and Jordan had one top-10. “I think we will be a good team,” Greer said. “I think we can be as good as we were last year. We will be younger than we have been in a while.”
Lees-McRae College was picked tied for second in this year’s poll. There are a lot of new faces in Banner Elk, NC this fall as the Bobcats have eight freshmen and a transfer, to go along with four returnees to give Head Coach Craig McPhail his largest squad in 10 years. “We have some talented young men who have worked really hard over the summer. The development over the next two and a half months will determine a lot,” McPhail said. “There is great team chemistry and a desire to be amongst the best teams in the Southeast.”
Coach McPhail will look to freshmen Michael Davis, Luke Anton, Craig Simpkins and Cody Hodgins to help with University of Houston transfer Nate Trimble and returnees Chris Holstein, Jon Bernal and Matt Barrett.
St. Andrews finished fourth in the poll with Pfeiffer fifth followed by Erskine, Limestone, Coker, Belmont Abbey, Mount Olive and Barton respectively rounding-out the poll standings.
Conference Carolinas Men’s Cross Country Pre-Season Poll
(# of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
4. St. Andrews