Webster University is expected to nab their 3rd consecutive SLIAC Championship, racking up 71 points and seven first-place votes in the 2019 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women's Cross Country Coaches Preseason Poll. Greenville University and Principia College each picked up a first-place vote as well in the poll.

#1 Webster University

Seeking a third consective SLIAC Championship Webster University is the 2019 favorites, receiving 71 points and seven first-place votes. The Gorloks will feature a large roster to pull from with 17 runners on the team. Depth is not their only plus with two of their top finishers from last year's championship returning. Meredith Sowers took 3rd last year and had a top time of 20:54. Kalleigh Linthicum, who placed 6th, was the team's top finisher five times last season and is joined by Savannah Brewer and Taylor Dunning in the lineup. New faces to the program include Kaitlin Higgins, Danielle Schultz, and Kyanne Williams.

Head Coach: Dan Graber

#2 Greenville University

Greenville finished 2nd in the voting with 62 points, picking up one first-place vote. The Panthers depth will be tested with the graduation of Shirley Estes and Sheridan Noll. Still the cupboard is not bare as they bring back a strong sophomore class that includes Alyssa Comer, Sabrina Favela, Emma Leonard, and Hannah Williams. Senior Kori Nesbit will provide experience and twice paced the team at meets last fall. Familiar faces in Tori Dyson, who was injured last season, and Ashleigh Brubaker, who spent last year abroad, will join freshman Leah Brown in adding to the team depth.

Head Coach: Brian Patton

#3 Principia College

Principia College was picked 3rd in the poll with 56 points and one first-place vote. The Panthers will look to Afton Leslie to lead the team this season. Leslie competed in just three races last year, with a top time of 25:54, before missing the final four contests. Emme Schaefer is also back after six top team finishes including a personal best time of 24:38. Team captain Ava Lesko will push the Panthers and be a leader for newcomers Lindsey Huffman and Haley Hill.

Head Coach: Sedge Southworth

#4 Spalding University

Spalding University was chosen 4th in the poll with 55 points. The Golden Eagles are coming off a 3rd place finish at last year's SLIAC Championships, their highest finish since winning it all in 2015. They will be anchored by senior Kelsey Phillips. Phillips finished 2nd individually last season and is a three-time All-Conference runner. She led Spalding in every race and had a top time of 23:31. Victoria Shedron had an impressive freshman year last season, finishing 10th at the SLIAC Championships. Among runners that will push Phillips and Shedron are Cameron Dwyer, Blazia Sallee, and Kyla Spies.

Head Coach: Bradley Sowder

#5 Iowa Wesleyan University

Finishing with 43 points and in 5th place is Iowa Wesleyan University. In their second year of a program re-launch the Tigers will have a pair of sophomores returning to lead the team. Sierra Howardson is the one to watch after a 7th place finish at the championships last fall. She was the top finisher in all seven races for the Tigers and had a personal best time of 23:34. Allison Morris twice got under the 28-minute mark for the Tigers last season and will look to lower that even more this fall. Veronica Morgan adds to the team depth.

Head Coach: Chris Creal

#6 Fontbonne University

Fontbonne University was picked 6th with 36 total points. The Griffins will be without three of their top four runners from last year but do return Desiree Brooks. Brooks had six top team finishers last fall including a personal best 26:49 mark at the SLIAC Championships. She is joined by Emily Bay had runs consistently around the 30-minute mark. Top newcomers include Taylor Aurand and Patience Vandermierden.

Head Coach: Phillip Justin Halley

#7 Westminster College

Westminster College received 29 points and comes in 7th on the poll. It will be a new look Blue Jay team with the graduation of three-time SLIAC Champion Jessie Kuykendall. Charlotte Blair is the top returner and concluded her season last year with a season low time of 26:48 in the SLIAC Championship. She is joined by newcomer Cara Wilfong.

Head Coach: Will Crocker

#8 Blackburn College

Blackburn College picked up 22 points in the poll and comes in 8th. The Beavers return two of their three runners from a year ago in Kathryn Chase and Savannah Kruse. Chase had a team high four top finishes, including a team best time of 27:05. Kruse meanwhile closed out the season with a personal best time of 33:28 in the SLIAC Championship.

Head Coach: Brittney Zipprich

#8 MacMurray College

Tying for 8th on the poll is MacMurray College with 22 points. The Highlanders will lean on returner Lizzy Staub. Staub was one of just two runners to compete in every race last season for MacMurray and recorded a low of 29:01. She is joined by freshmen Mia Eshoo and Elizabeth Walters.

Head Coach: Zach Jensen

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a copyright violation, please follow the DMCA section in the Terms of Use.