HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover women's cross country team has been picked to finish third this fall in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's Preseason Poll conducted by the league's 10 head coaches.
The Panthers received 79 total points and have now been chosen in the top three in the poll for the eighth consecutive season.
Manchester, the two-time defending champion, was selected to win its third straight title with 98 total points and eight first place votes.
Bluffton received the remaining two first place votes and 83 total points to come in second. Rose-Hulman (75) and Earlham (55) rounded out the top five followed by Anderson (54), Franklin (39), Transylvania (30), Defiance (20), and Mount St. Joseph (17).
Hanover, which has won five HCAC championships, including back-to-back years in 2014-2015, will have a new head coach in this fall. Brady Wells is the new man in charge, but a familiar face as he served as an assistant coach in 2016.
Wells, a 1983 Hanover graduate and former cross country and track & field team captain, will look to keep the Panthers among the league's top teams. Since 2010 Hanover has finished third or better in each year, with two first place finishes, three seconds, and a two thirds.
The Panthers were also picked to finish third in last year's poll and went on to a third place finish at the conference meet at Hanover. This year's conference championship meet will be hosted by Manchester.
The 2017 season is set to begin Saturday, Sept. 2 with the Hanover Invitational at 10 a.m.
Contact: Mike Pritchard