Women Picked Second, Men Fourth In Preseason SoCon Cross Country Polls

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference released its preseason cross country polls Wednesday afternoon, and Samford’s women’s team was picked second, while the men’s team was tabbed fourth.
 
On the women’s side, Furman was picked to win the league with 81 points and nine of the 10 first-place votes in the poll, voted on by the league’s head coaches. Samford and ETSU were tied for second with 69 points each, with ETSU receiving the final first-place nod. Samford and ETSU were followed by UNCG, Chattanooga, Western Carolina, Mercer, VMI, Wofford and The Citadel.
 
In the men’s poll, Furman was picked as the preseason favorite with 81 points and nine first-place votes. ETSU was picked second with 70 points, followed by VMI with 63 points and one first-place vote. Samford came in fourth with 58 points, followed by UNCG, Mercer, Chattanooga, The Citadel, Western Carolina and Wofford.
 
At the 2020 SoCon Championships, the Samford women finished second, while the men came in fifth.
 
The Samford women’s team returns eight performers from last season. The top returning finisher from last season’s SoCon Championship is McKenzie Hogue, who finished third in the event. Mary Kellison Thorne, Katie Strozier, Harper McGowan, Allison Nelson and Tatum Foreman also return after competing at the SoCon Championships in 2020.
 
The men’s squad brings back nine total runners from last year’s roster. Jeb Jones returns after being Samford’s top performer, finishing 21st at the 2020 SoCon Championships. Ben Myers, Charlie Lott, Cole Arrington and Jose Penalver also competed in the SoCon Championships a year ago.
 
Samford will open the 2021 cross country season on Friday, Sept. 3, when the Bulldogs compete at the Foot Hills Invitational, hosted by Jacksonville State in Oxford, Ala. The 2021 SoCon Championships are scheduled for Oct. 30 in Lexington, Va.
 
2021 Preseason Southern Conference Women’s CC Poll 

Team (1st-place votes)  Total
1. Furman (9)  81
T2. Samford   69
T2. ETSU (1)    69
4. UNCG 49
5. Chattanooga 47 
6. WCU 45
7. Mercer 38 
8. VMI   22
T9. Wofford 15
T9. The Citadel    15

2021 Preseason Southern Conference Men’s CC Poll

Team (1st-place votes)  Total 
1. Furman (9) 81
2. ETSU 70
3. VMI (1)  63
4. Samford 58 
5. UNCG 51
6. Mercer      42 
7. Chattanooga    33
8. The Citadel    22
9. WCU 16
10. Wofford 14 

 
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