HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's cross country team has been picked to finish second in the Centennial Conference in a poll of the conference's 10 head coaches. The Fords received one first-place vote and totaled 69 voting points. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Six-time defending Centennial Conference Champion Johns Hopkins was picked to repeat that same feat in 2014 as the Blue Jays received nine first-place votes for a total of 81 voting points. Haverford's 69 voting points edged out Dickinson's 67 votes in the poll. Swarthmore (59 points) and Muhlenberg (45 points) were picked fourth and fifth in the preseason poll, respectively.
The Centennial Conference is heavily represented in the NCAA Division III Cross Country Regional rankings that were also recently released as the top four teams in the conference are all found within the top five of the Mideast Region rankings. Haverford is ranked third in its region, switching places with Dickinson. The Fords placed fourth at regionals in 2013.
Haverford returns four of its top five finishers from last season's Centennial Conference Championship. The Fords will have to replace their fourth-place finisher and first-team All-Centennial Conference runner in Emily Scott; however, they return three other runners that were named second-team All-Centennial Conference in 2013.
Nora Weathers placed eighth overall last season in the conference meet, while teammate Charlotte Lellman was right behind her in ninth place. Kelley Riffenburgh also earned second-team all-conference honors with a 13th-place finish at the conference meet. Maggie Heffernan finished 22nd overall at last year's conference championship to round out the Fords' top five.
Haverford has finished runner-up to Johns Hopkins in each of the past three seasons. The Fords have won three Centennial Conference Championships in cross country (1993, 95, 96). They have placed in the top two teams in 16 of their 21 seasons in the Centennial Conference and have been outside of the top three just one time - a fourth-place finish in 1999 - since joining the conference.
The Centennial Conference Championship returns to Haverford in 2014. That championship race for both the men and women will take place on Saturday, November 1. Women's cross country begins its season this Friday in the Haverford Open, slated for a 5 p.m. start.