Hornets Top ODAC Men's Cross Country Poll

Hornets Top ODAC Men's Cross Country Poll

August 27, 2012
Story Courtesy of the ODAC

Hornets Get Eight First Place Votes, Lead BC and RC in Top Three

FOREST, Va. --- Lynchburg College collected eight first place votes on the way to 98 poll points to lead the 2012 ODAC Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll.  Bridgewater College sits second with 86 tallies, including a pair of top nods, followed by Roanoke College with 71 points.  Guilford College received the remaining first place vote as part of 69 points in the annual coaches' survey (full poll results below).

The depth of the conference was evident throughout the 2011 season, carrying through the ODAC championship where Lynchburg won its fourth straight and 16th overall conference title by one point over Guilford.  Roanoke's Tim Smith won the individual title ahead of Virginia Wesleyan College standout Sean Whitson, who finished as the runner-up for the second straight year.

The South/Southeast Regional in San Antonio, Texas, brought about more success for the ODAC's harriers as the Lynchburg team qualified for the national championships after winning the regional team title for the second straight season.  The Hornets were joined by five individuals in RC's Smith, VWC's Whitson and Nick Lauter, Eastern Mennonite University's Dan Nafziger, and GC's Chad Norton.  Lynchburg went on to finish 32nd in the team rankings at the NCAA Division III National Championships in Winneconne, Wisc.  Smith was the ODAC's top individual finisher with a 38th place showing.

Lynchburg will be under the direction of head coach Doug Thomasey, the 2010 and 2011 ODAC Coach of the Year.  Thomasey welcomes back two all-conference runners from last season, including All-ODAC First Teamer, Cody Stanton (26:29.50 - 7th at 2011 ODAC Championships) and second team honoree Anthony McBride (26:57.30 - 7th).  Also back are seniors Brian Robinson (27:17.10 - 19th) and Ben Tumolo (27:39.20 - 25th).

Bridgewater returns three All-ODAC runners, including Luke Sohl, the 2011 ODAC Rookie of the Year.  Sohl crossed the finish line in 26:01.00 for a third place mark a year ago.  Also back in the fold are second teamers Tim Miller (26:54.00 - 10th) and Ryan Speray (26:57.60 - 12th).

Defending individual champion Tim Smith (25:29.10 - 1st) is the lone all-conference runner returning for Roanoke.  Smith also garnered the ODAC/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete of the Year award last season.  Joining Smith are juniors AJ Bernstein (27:11.40 - 17th) and Austin Grubb (27:43.70 - 27th).

Guilford will be led by a trio of juniors, including first-team runner Chad Norton (26:12.40 - 4th).  David Cason (27:09.80 - 15th) looks to break into the top-14 along with Richard Rogers (28:25.50 - 37th).

Virginia Wesleyan welcomes back Darren Driscoll (26:59.00 - 13th), who earned second team honors a year ago.  The Marlins also return junior Dylan Morey (30:08.50 -59th) and sophomore David Cunningham (31:16.50 - 71st).

Shenandoah joins the ODAC from the USA South Conference.  The Hornets welcome back several solid harriers, including sophomore Jacob Brennan (28:52.82 - 18th at USA South Championships).  Juniors Kyle Lombardi (29:25.84 - 22nd), Ryan Taylor (29:42.96 - 23rd) and Travis Enterline (31:32.90 - 26th) are also back.

Eastern Mennonite returns second team runner, Dan Nafziger (26:41.30 - 9th).  He'll be joined by sophomore Jesse Parker (29:08.30 - 51st).  Washington and Lee welcomes back several key returners in sophomore Kane Thomas (27:16.00 - 18th) and seniors Tyler Gehrs (27:47.90 - 29th) and James Grasso (28:45.70 - 44th).

Hampden-Sydney, Emory & Henry and Randolph all have several key returners.  The Tigers are led by junior Andrew Stoddard (27:51.00 - 32nd), while the Wasps welcome back two seniors in Matt Williams (31:07.70 - 69th) and Madison Williams (37:42.10 - 85th).  The WildCats will be paced by sophomore Chris Hollingsworth (30:38.30 - 65th) and junior Ryan Purrington (30:35.00 - 48th in 2010).

Listed below is the 2012 ODAC Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll.  For more information, visit any of the participating schools' websites, or go to the ODAC's home on the Internet at www.odaconline.com.  Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitter.

(#) Denotes First Place Votes

1. Lynchburg (8)

98 pts.

2. Bridgewater (2)

86 pts.

3. Roanoke

71 pts.

4. Guilford (1)

69 pts.

5. Virginia Wesleyan

65 pts.

6. Shenandoah

59 pts.

7. Eastern Mennonite

50 pts.

7. Washington and Lee

50 pts.

9. Hampden-Sydney

26 pts.

10. Emory & Henry

17 pts.

11. Randolph

14 pts.