HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College women's cross country team has been picked to finish third in a preseason vote of the Centennial Conference's head coaches. The Fords received 64 voting points in the preseason poll. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
Defending champion Johns Hopkins was a unanimous choice to repeat as Centennial Conference Champion while rival Dickinson (72 voting points) edged out the Fords out for the second spot. Swarthmore (59 points) and Gettysburg (46 points) rounded out the top five teams in the poll.
The Fords have placed third at the Centennial Conference Cross Country Championship during each of the last two seasons. Haverford has placed outside of the top three teams at the conference championship just once in the Centennial's 25 year history. The Fords captured conference titles in 1993, 1995, and 1996, while finishing second on 14 other occasions.
To continue its legacy as a premier program in the Centennial Conference, Haverford will have to replace its three All-Centennial Conference performers from last season due to graduation. Hannah Doll, who placed 26th at the conference meet during her rookie season, is the team's highest returning finisher. Classmate Hannah Yeakey was 31st at the Centennial Conference Championship during her first year as the team's fifth finisher that day. Sophie Drew (33rd place in 2017) and Mckenna Krall (36th) were also constants among the Fords' top seven runners last fall.
Haverford has qualified for the NCAA Division III Championship meet as a team 17 times in program history. That span of success includes each of the last three seasons, and eight of the last nine overall. On nine other occasions, the Fords have qualified individuals to compete at the Division III Championship.
The Fords will host an exhibition race this Saturday, September 1 at 5 p.m. on the Alumni Cross Country Course before the season begins in earnest with the annual Alumnae/Open Race which is slated for Saturday, September 8. Haverford will face its first outside competition during the always-challenging Main Line Invitational on Friday, September 14 at 4:30 p.m.
The Alumni Cross Country Course will once again serve as the host site for the 2018 Centennial Conference Championship. This year's championship meet is slated for Saturday, October 27 with the women going off at an 11 a.m. start.