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Oberlin Women & Wabash Men Top NCAC XC Polls

Oberlin Women & Wabash Men Top NCAC XC Polls

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Five-time defending NCAC women’s cross country champion Oberlin and defending men’s cross champion Wabash have been tabbed as the favorites to win their respective 2014 league titles based on pre-championship balloting by league coaches.

The 2014 NCAC Cross Country Championships will be held this Saturday, November 1st, at Infirmary Mound Park in Granville, Ohio, with Denison University serving as the host institution. The men’s 8K race is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m., followed by the women’s 6K race at 12:00 p.m. CLICK HERE to access Denison’s championship website.

The Yeowomen, who own seven NCAC cross country titles all-time, earned all nine first-place votes cast by league coaches to accumulate 81 total points. Ohio Wesleyan, which finished second overall at the 2013 NCAC Championships, earned 67 points to finish second in the poll, followed by Denison (63), Allegheny (53), DePauw (49), Wooster (36), Kenyon (28), Wittenberg (19) and Hiram (9).

Individually, four of the seven first-team All-NCAC performers from the 2013 championship return to the field for this year’s race, led by the Oberlin senior trio of Sarah Jane Kerwin (Chapel Hill, NC/Carrboro), Emma Lehmann (San Francisco, CA/Urban) and Kyle Neal (North Muskegon, MI/North Muskegon). Jane Kerwin led the group of first-team returnees a year ago by finishing fourth overall with a time of 23:17.4, while Lehmann finished fifth (23:19.3) and Neal was seventh (23:26.4). In addition, Ohio Wesleyan sophomore Sarah Fowler (Mt. Vernon, OH/Fredericktown) was crowned the league’s Newcomer of the Year in 2013 after earning first-team laurels by finishing sixth overall with a time of 23:23.9.

The Little Giants, who have won two of the last three men’s cross country titles, topped the pre-championship poll after collecting all 10 first-place votes cast by conference coaches for 100 total points. Allegheny, which leads the way with 11 NCAC men’s titles all-time, finished second in the poll with 86 points, while Oberlin (83), Ohio Wesleyan (64) and Wooster (58) rounded out the top-five. DePauw was sixth with 53 points and Denison was seventh with 44, followed by Kenyon and Wittenberg in a tie for eighth with 26 points, and Hiram in 10th with 10 points.

Four of the seven first-team All-NCAC performers from the men’s side also return to the championship field this fall, led by Allegheny junior Logan Steiner (Meadville, PA/North Allegheny), who is the top returning finisher from a year ago after finishing third overall with a time of 27:04.3. Wabash senior Billy McManus (Fort Wayne, IN/Bishop Luers) was fourth a year ago with a time of 27:11.1, while Oberlin junior Geno Arthur (Camarillo, CA/Rio Mesa) was sixth (27:15.4) and Wabash senior Nick Boyce (Indianapolis, IN/Chatard) was seventh (27:20.2). In addition, Wabash freshman Mason McKinney (Lafayette, IN/McCutcheon) also returns to the field after winning Newcomer of the Year honors and All-NCAC second-team accolades in 2013 by finishing 14th overall with a time of 27:45.5.

Founded in 1983, the North Coast Athletic Conference is made up of ten academically selective colleges and universities - Allegheny College, Denison University, DePauw University, Hiram College, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Wabash College, Wittenberg University and the College of Wooster, along with affiliate member, Earlham College (field hockey).  The NCAC sponsors 23 championship sports, 11 for men and 12 for women.

2014 NCAC Cross Country Pre-Championship Coaches' Polls
(first-place votes in parentheses, followed by total point)

1. Oberlin (9)
  1. Wabash (10)
2. Ohio Wesleyan
  2. Allegheny
3. Denison
  3. Oberlin
4. Allegheny
  4. Ohio Wesleyan
  5. Wooster
6. Wooster
  6. DePauw
7. Kenyon
  7. Denison
8. Wittenberg
  8. Kenyon
Hiram 9
        10. Hiram 10