The Sacred Heart women's cross country team received a pair of first place votes and finished second in the 2010 Northeast Conference Coaches Poll released Wednesday. The Quinnipiac Bobcats, winners of five-straight NEC titles, were picked to repeat for a sixth time with 10 first place votes.
Central Connecticut State will serve as the host of the 2010 Northeast Conference Championship on Saturday, October 30th. This year's race will be run at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain.
The Pioneers enter the season in the hunt to end the Bobcats reign after earning runner-up recognition each of the least two championships. SHU head coach Christian Morrison returns a wealth of experienced runners including six past All-NEC performers.
Leading the 2010 Pioneers will be senior Kimberly Deloreto (Hillsdale, NY)who claimed the 2009 NEC individual championship. DeLoreto was named the NEC Outstanding Performer at last year's title race after toping a field with the only sub-18 minute race with a 17:58 clocking. DeLoreto was a three-time NEC Athlete of the Week, a third-place finisher at the ECAC Championships and the first Sacred Heart runner to earn All-New England, All-NEC and All-East honors twice in her career.
Sophomore Olivia Civardi (Brightwaters, NY)is back after a strong rookie season that culminated in an All-NEC 14th place finish at last year's championship. Civardi earned Road Runner Sports NEC Rookie of the Week honors after running 23rd in her first collegiate race at the Fordham Invitational to open last season.
Sacred Heart will also be boosted by the return of senior sisters Dana Troy (Lebanon, CT) and Samantha Troy (Lebanon, CT) and juniors Mekenzie Krause (Bennington, VT) and Brittany Llobell(West Sayville, NY). Dana Troy was forced to redshirt in 2009 but earned All-NEC honors along with her sister in 2008. Samantha Troy just missed the honor last fall with a 16th place finish. The junior duo of Krause and Llobell sat out last season after finishing sixth and ninth, respectively, at the 2008 NEC Championship.
Rounding out this year's poll was Monmouth and Saint Francis (PA) in third and fourth with Mount St. Mary's rounding out the top five. Central Connecticut State and Bryant were tabbed sixth and seventh, respectively, with Robert Morris eight and Long Island ninth. Finishing off the 12-team field were Farleigh Dickinson, Wagner and St. Francis (NY).