BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. - The Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals have been picked by the coaches in the Mountain East Conference to win the 2014 men's cross country conference title. Coach Donald Leech’s Cavaliers have been picked sixth by the league’s coaches in a preseason poll released Thursday.
The Cardinals finished with 78 points and were picked first on six ballots. WJU won the inaugural MEC title in 2013, but graduated its top runner in Luke Holubeck. However, the team brings back its next two runners in Patrick Stanton and Joe Molek, who finished second and third at last year's conference championship behind Holubeck.
West Virginia Wesleyan finished second in the poll with 72 points and three first-place votes. The Bobcats have three first team All-MEC selections returning, including the league's Freshman of the Year in Wes Stowers.
UVa-Wise returns eight letter winners from last season’s team including first-team All-MEC performer Shaquon Wilkins.
Concord was third with 64 points and had the other first-place vote. Notre Dame College was picked fourth with 50 points, followed by Charleston, competing in its first season in men's cross country, was fifth with 46 points. UVa-Wise was sixth (38), followed by West Liberty (36), Fairmont State (26), Urbana (20) and Glenville State (20).
The 2014 season gets underway on Sept. 6.
2014 MEC Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Wheeling Jesuit
2. West Virginia Wesleyan
4. Notre Dame
7. West Liberty
8. Fairmont State
t9. Glenville State