CANTON -- The St. Lawrence University women's cross country team, which finished second in the 2009 NCAA Championship race, has earned the top spot in this season's Atlantic Regional Pre-Season ranking.
It is the first time in program history that the Saints have achieved the No. 1 slot in the pre-season.
The Saints, who return the 2009 individual national champion Wendy Pavlus '11along with All-American Jenna Hulton '12 and Liberty League Co-Rookie of the Year Megan Derby, are ranked ahead of Geneseo State and NYU in this year's pre-season poll.
"We're obviously excited to be considered amongst the top teams in our region, which has typically been one of the strongest regions in the country," said St. Lawrence head women's cross country coach Mike Howard. "The success of last fall has certainly increased the intensity to some of our pre-season workouts."
The Scarlet and Brown added 14 first-year students to this year's roster, which Coach Howard hopes will add both quality and depth to the Saints' line-up both this year, and in the years to come.
"We flew under the radar throughout the 2009 season until the NCAA Championships," added Coach Howard. "This season, the team understands that they are one of the pre-season favorites to compete at the highest level, and they've taken on that challenge in stride. The leadership of our upperclassmen have helped make a smooth transition into collegiate running for our first-year class."
Geneseo State was second in the Atlantic Regional poll, followed by NYU, Plattsburgh State and Ithaca. Rounding out the top-10 were Cortland State, RIT, Rowan, Brockport State and Rochester.