FLORENCE, Ky. — The University of Rio Grande was tabbed as the No. 3 pick in the 2015 Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Women’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll released Friday by the league office.
The RedStorm tallied 86 points in the balloting of the conference’s 11 head coaches. Coaches were not permitted to vote for their own teams.
Head coach Bob Willey’s finished third in last year’s KIAC Championship meet.
Asbury (Ky.) University was selected as the favorite in the poll, receiving six of the 11 first-place votes and totaling 92 of a possible 100 points in the poll. The Eagles edged out Point Park (Pa.) University, which was just one point behind with 91 points and four first-place votes.
The first-place votes were spread across three teams with Rio Grande receiving the final one on its way to third place.
The top three in this year’s preseason predictions remain in the same order from the 2014 KIAC Women’s Cross Country Meet results. Asbury’s team that finished first last season had just one senior in its top five performers. Point Park was second last year and returns three NAIA national qualifying individuals.
Indiana University-East came in fourth with 66 points, while Brescia (Ky.) University was fifth with 62 points and IU-Kokomo (47 points) was sixth.
Carlow and KIAC newcomer West Virginia Tech were tied for seventh with 44 points each, while Cincinnati Christian (31 points), newcomer Ohio Christian (29) and Alice Lloyd (Ky.) (14) round out the list.
The KIAC women’s cross country season opens August 28. The 2015 KIAC Cross Country Championship Meet is Nov. 7 at Rio Grande. The conference championship team will receive an automatic bid to the NAIA Cross Country National Championship Nov. 21 at Charlotte, N.C., along with any qualifying individuals.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.