Westfield, Mass.— After claiming their first ever Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Women's Cross Country Championship last season, Worcester State has been picked by the seven coaches from around the league to win the 2018 title.
The Lancers claimed four of the first place votes for 34 points. Shaylee Puleo took home MASCAC Rookie of the Year honors after finishing as the top overall rookie in 11th place. Teammates Mia Rogers, Justine Murdocca, Elisabeth Olson and Kelsey Bedard earned a spot on the All-Conference team, finishing second, sixth, seventh and ninth, respectively.
Earning the final three first place votes is Westfield State in second with 32 points. At last year's meet, Jessie Cardin won her fourth straight MASCAC Runner of the Year title to help the Owls to a second place team finish with 53 points. Joining Cardin as All-Conference honorees were teammates Andrea Noland and Kerry O'Neil who crossed the line in third and 10th.
Bridgewater State is up next in third with 27 points. As a team, the Bears were third at last year's meet with 79 points. Leading the squad in fifth was Jenise Madden while teammate Emily Guyon was eighth to earn All-Conference honors.
Landing in fourth is Framingham State with 19 points. The Rams as a team were fourth with 106 points at last year's meet. Taylor Roberts was the first one in for the team with a fifth place finish to grab a spot on the All-Conference squad.
Sitting in fifth place is Fitchburg State with 18 points. The Falcons crossed the line fifth as a team last season. Amy Kelly was the first one to cross the line with a 17th place finish during the 2017 championship.
Closing out the 2018 preseason poll are MCLA and Massachusetts Maritime in sixth and seventh with 10 and seven points, respectively. The Trailblazers finished sixth at the 2017 meet. Covering the 5k course first for MCLA was Julie Gambill in 37th place. For Massachusetts Maritime, Kaylene Murphy was the top runner of the Buccaneers in 60th place.
Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Framingham State and MCLA begin their MASCAC cross country on September 1 while MCLA, Massachusetts Maritime and Westfield State start on September 8.
The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference, the nation's oldest Division III men's and women's playing conference, has a rich and storied tradition of competitive success while celebrating excellence in the classroom. MASCAC member schools include Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, Framingham State University, MCLA, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Salem State University, Westfield State University and Worcester State University. Two other institutions, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and Plymouth State University, are affiliate members of the conference in the sports of football and men's ice hockey, while Western Connecticut State University joined the conference as an affiliate member in football beginning in 2013.
2018 MASCAC Women's Cross Country
Preseason Coaches Poll
(First Place Votes In Parentheses)
1. Worcester State (4) 34 points
2. Westfield State (3) 32 points
3. Bridgewater State 27 points
4. Framingham State 19 points
5. Fitchburg State 18 points
6. MCLA 10 points
7. Massachusetts Maritime 7 points