Women's Cross Country Eighth In NEWMAC Preseason Poll

BOSTON—Following back-to-back ninth-place finishes at the conference meet, the Babson College women's cross country team was picked to come in eighth when the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) released its preseason coaches' poll on Thursday morning.

MIT, which has won seven consecutive league crowns, was the unanimous choice to finish first, collecting all 11 first-place votes. Coast Guard Academy came in second, followed by Wellesley College in third place and Smith College and Wheaton College in fourth and fifth, respectively. WPI was tabbed to finish sixth while Springfield College came in one spot ahead of the Beavers in seventh.

The Green and White returns four of its top runners and five harriers in all, led by senior Marina Capalbo (Gainesville, Va.), who became the first in program history to qualify for the NCAA national championship meet last season. Capalbo is the school-record holder in both the 5k and the 6k, and is aiming to earn all-conference and all-region honors for the third time this fall. Juniors April Goya (Oceanside, Calif.) and Kelli Halligan (Melrose, Mass.) also return after strong sophomore campaigns.

Babson opens its season on Friday, competing in the New England College Mayflower Invitational at 5:30 p.m. in Henniker, N.H.

2014 NEWMAC Women's Cross Country Poll

Rank Team (first place votes)
1. MIT (11)
2. Coast Guard
3. Wellesley
4. Smith
5. Wheaton
6. WPI
7. Springfield
8. Babson
9. Mount Holyoke
10. Clark
11. Emerson