Grizzlies Place Three on Runners to Watch List as HCAC Unveils League Pre-Season Polls

Grizzlies Place Three on Runners to Watch List as HCAC Unveils League Pre-Season Polls

GREENWOOD, Ind. – With a new coach in tow and two young squads ready to get started, the Franklin College cross country teams are gearing up for the first race of the year, which comes in less than two weeks.

On Wednesday afternoon, both of first year head coach Brandon Dworak's squads were picked to finish seventh in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) preseason polls. The FC men garnered 51 points while the Grizzly women received 39 points in their poll.

The Franklin men return one all-conference performer from 2016 in reigning HCAC Freshman of the Year Clayton Brumfield. Brumfield topped the Grizzlies in every one of his races last year and finished eighth at the HCAC Championships to earn the top finish among all league freshmen. He'll be joined by juniors Heath Deugan and J.T. Sargent on the league's "Runners to Watch" list.

Rose-Hulman was chosen as the favorites to win the HCAC on the men's side, earning 98 points and eight first place votes. Manchester was chosen to finish second after earning 85 points and one first place vote while Hanover slots in third with 81 points and the final first place vote. The complete poll can be found below.

On the women's side, the Grizzlies are expected to feature a blend of youth and experience on the course in 2017. Senior Rachel Bowden, junior Meghan Yencer and freshman Grace Esterline were all chosen by the conference as the Grizzlies' "Runners to Watch" in 2017.

Manchester sits atop the ranking for the third straight year, collecting 98 points and eight first place votes. Bluffton comes in second with 83 points and the other two first place votes, just ahead of third place Hanover and their 79 points. The complete rankings can be found below.

Opening day for both Grizzly teams is set for Saturday, Sept. 2 when they host the Sodexo Grizzly Invitational in Shelbyville, Ind. First whistle is set for 10:00 a.m.

2017 HCAC Men's Cross Country Poll

School (First Place Votes)

Points

1. Rose-Hulman (8)

98

2. Manchester (1)

86

3. Hanover (1)

81

4. Bluffton

69

5. Earlham

53

6. Anderson

52

7. Franklin

51

8. Transylvania

28

9. Defiance

20

10. Mt. St. Joseph

15

 

2017 HCAC Women's Cross Country Poll

School (First Place Votes)

Points

1. Manchester (8)

98

2. Bluffton (2)

83

3. Hanover

79

4. Rose-Hulman

75

5. Earlham

55

6. Anderson

54

7. Franklin

39

8. Transylvania

30

9. Defiance

20

10. Mt. St. Joseph

17