The Northeast Conference revealed the 2019 Preseason Cross Country Coaches Poll on Tuesday afternoon, tabbing Central Connecticut at the top of the list with six first-place nods. Last season, the Blue Devils totaled 46 points and won its first NEC Championship since 1999.
Returning for the Blue Devils is junior Angie Rafter who finished first overall out of a field of 80 runners at the 2018 NEC Championships meet. Her impressive time of 18:03.6 put her on the All-Conference team and she was crowned the 2019 Northeast Conference Most Outstanding Performer.
Sophomore Ashley Dana, the 2018 Northeast Conference Freshman of the Year, will look to continue where she picked off last season. Dana was the first freshman finisher in 15th place with a time of 19:07.7 last season.
The Red Flash of Saint Francis U received three first-place votes and listed second, followed by Sacred Heart who received two votes. Mount St. Mary's came in fourth in the polls followed by Wagner and Robert Morris. In seventh and eighth were Merrimack and Bryant. Fairleigh Dickinson locked in at ninth place and rounding out the preseason poll were LIU Brooklyn and St. Francis Brooklyn.
The women's cross country team opens the 2019 season on Saturday, Aug. 13 at Marist College.