Manchester Picked to Win Fourth-Straight HCAC Women’s Cross Country Title

Manchester Picked to Win Fourth-Straight HCAC Women’s Cross Country Title

GREENWOOD, IN – Manchester University’s women’s cross country team has been selected as the front runner to win the 2012 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference championship. The Spartans tallied 98 points and nine first place votes in a poll of the conference’s ten head coaches. 

Franklin College will look to dethrone the Spartans at the HCAC championships this fall, as the Grizzlies totaled a second-best 90 points and one first place vote.  Hanover College placed third in the poll with 82 points.  Anderson University finished fourth with 64 points and was followed by Bluffton University (55 points), Defiance College (51), Earlham College (38), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (35), Transylvania University (27), and College of Mount St. Joseph (10).

Manchester earned its third-straight HCAC cross country championship in 2011.  The Spartans totaled 50 points at the meet and held off second place Franklin by 19 points.  The black and gold are set to return three First-Team All-HCAC members from a year ago.  Seniors Karla Madrigal (Elkhart, Ind./Central), Megan Hammel (Bristol, Ind./Northridge) and Ashley Kopla (Valparaiso, Ind./Boone Grove) placed fourth, 10th, and 11th overall at the meet last fall.  Brian Cashdollar’s squad also returns a pair of Honorable Mention selections that will strive to crack the top 12 this October.  The Spartans will open the season ranked No. 9 in the Great Lakes Region.

2012 HCAC Preseason Poll

Team

Points

Manchester

98 (9)

Franklin

90 (1)

Hanover

82

Anderson

64

Bluffton

55

Defiance

51

Earlham

38

Rose-Hulman

35

Transylvania

27

Mount St. Joseph

10

Franklin College will try and claim its second conference crown this fall after finishing second a year ago.  The Grizzlies return First-Team All-HCAC runner and HCAC MVP Hilary Cain (Rushville, Ind./H.S.) from last season’s second place squad.  Cain won the conference meet as a freshman, finishing the course in a time of 23:42.30.

Hanover College has been selected to finish third in 2012 after placing third last fall.  Sophomore Mackenzie Dye (New Castle, Ind./H.S.) finished 13th overall last fall to earn Honorable Mention All-HCAC honors.  Dye is the highest returning finisher for the Panthers this season. 

The 2012 HCAC Women’s Cross Country Championship is set for Saturday, October 27.  The event will be hosted by Bluffton University.

The 2012 women’s cross country season is set to begin on September 1.

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