The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS) women's cross country team was picked to finish first in the 2019 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) preseason poll as voted upon by the league's member head coaches.
CMS is fresh off its ninth consecutive SCIAC title and will be looking for its 10th straight crown as the Athenas enter the 2019 season 78 points and six first place votes in the preseason poll. The Athenas placed all seven of their secoring runners in the top 15 en route to 34 points and another conference championship. CMS begins its title defense on Saturday, September 7 at the Biola Invitational.
Pomona-Pitzer, last year's runner-up with 56 points highlighted by three top 10 finishes, received three first place votes and 75 points in the 2019 preseason poll. The Sagehens begin their current campaign on Saturday, August 31 at the La Verne, Occidental, Pomona-Pitzer tri-meet in Claremont, Calif.
After securing a third place finish in the 2018 SCIAC Championship with 89 points, Occidental was tabbed to finish third again this year and received 61 points in the preseason vote. The Tigers, who had three runners finish in the top 20 a year ago, will begin their 2019 season on Saturday, August 31 at the La Verne, Occidental, Pomona-Pitzer tri-meet.
Fourth place honors in the preseason vote went to Redlands (55 points). The Bulldogs notched 103 points on the strength of three top 20 finishes at the 2018 league championship, and will kick off their 2019 slate on Saturday, August 31 when they host the Redlands Invitational.
Caltech follows in fifth place as the Beavers collected 43 points in the preseason vote ahead of the 2019 campaign. Caltech earned fifth at last season's championship and will look to build on its 150-poiont output from a year ago. The Beavers are in action at the Redlands Invitational on August 31.
Slotted to finish sixth after earning that position a year ago is Chapman with 35 points in the preseason poll. The Panthers, who begin their new season on September 7 at the Biola Invitational, finished 10 points behind Caltech a year ago with 160 points at the 2018 SCIAC Championship.
La Verne received 30 points in the 2019 preseason vote after posting 168 points and a seventh place mark at last year's conference championship meet. The Leopards begin their slate on Saturday, August 31 at the La Verne, Occidental, Pomona-Pitzer tri-meet and the Redlands Invitational.
Whittier (15 points) and California Lutheran (13 points) round out the 2019 preseason vote after the Poets and Regals finished in eighth and ninth at last year's SCIAC championship event. The Poets start their season on September 21 at the Coyote Challenge in San Bernardino, Calif., while Cal Lutheran will compete at the Mark Covert Classic in Brea, Calif. on August 31.
2019 SCIAC Women's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. CMS - 78 points (6 first place votes)
2. Pomona-Pitzer - 75 points (3 first place votes)
3. Occidental - 61 points
4. Redlands - 55 points
5. Caltech - 43 points
6. Chapman - 35 points
7. La Verne - 30 points
8. Whittier - 15 points
9. Cal Lutheran - 13 points