Grizzly Men, Women Sit in Middle of the Pack in HCAC Pre-Season Cross Country Polls

Grizzly Men, Women Sit in Middle of the Pack in HCAC Pre-Season Cross Country Polls

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – With the start of the season coming in just a few days, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) released its pre-season cross country polls on Tuesday (Aug. 28) afternoon.

Both the Franklin College women's team and men's team sit in the middle of the pack in the coaches' polls. The FC women's team picked up 55 points to earn a share of fifth place while the men's team earned 51 points and a sixth-place ranking.

The Franklin women return all but one major contributor to their lineup in 2018, led by reigning HCAC Freshman of the Year in Krista Robinson. The Greenwood, Ind.-native is coming off a sixth-place finish at last year's conference meet and was one of three Grizzlies chosen as "Runners to Watch" by the HCAC.

Sophomore Grace Esterline and junior Jayla Callens joined Robinson on the league's list of runners to watch. Brownsburg, Ind.-native Esterline closed out her debut campaign with a personal best time in the 6K with a 25:33.1 at the Great Lakes Regional. Callens posted her career-best time in the 6K at the HCAC Championships last fall, clocking in with a time of 26:32.5.

On the men's side, Franklin returns all of their top runners from a year ago. Junior and two-time HCAC All-Conference cross country runner Clayton Brumfield is expected to lead the way for Franklin once again in 2018. The Greenfield, Ind.-native placed eighth at the HCAC Championships a year ago and posted a career-best time of 26:38.4 in the 8K at the Great Lakes Regional last November.

Brumfield was one of three Grizzly men to be named "Runners to Watch" by the HCAC, along with junior Blaine Conners and sophomore Chris Graham. Conners looks to build on a solid 2017 campaign that saw him slide in as the team's number two runner. The Franklin, Ind.-native closed out the fall with a personal best time in the 8K with a 27:39.9 at the Great Lakes Regional. Graham had his best finish in the 8K at the conference championships last fall, clocking in with a time of 28:09.3.

Manchester was selected to win the league on the women's side, picking up 90 points with four first-place votes. On the men's side, Rose-Hulman was chosen as the unanimous favorites, earning 100 points and all 10 first-place votes. Both polls can be found below.

Franklin gets the 2018 season underway on Saturday, Sept. 1, when they host the Sodexo Grizzly Invitational at Blue River Park in Shelbyville, Ind. Start time is set for 10:00 a.m.

Women's Poll

School (First Place Votes)

Points

1. Manchester (4)

90

2. Rose-Hulman (2)

85

3. Bluffton (1)

81

4. Earlham (3)

80

5. Franklin

55

     Hanover

55

7. Anderson

39

8. Transylvania

31

9. Mount St. Joseph

18

10. Defiance

16

 

Men's Poll

School (First Place Votes)

Points

1. Rose-Hulman (100)

100

2. Earlham

82

3. Hanover

80

4. Manchester

67

5. Bluffton

64

6. Franklin

51

7. Anderson

44

8. Transylvania

26

9. Mount St. Joseph

21

10. Defiance

15