Brentwood, TN – Austin Peay State University women’s cross country team was picked to finish ninth in the Ohio Valley Conference’s preseason cross country coaches poll, Tuesday.
The Lady Govs received 45 points in the poll, and were selected ahead of UT Martin (32 points), Tennessee Tech (25) and Tennessee State (11). Defending champion Eastern Illinois (116 points, seven first-place votes) was picked to repeat, with challenges on the horizon from Eastern Kentucky (110 points, three first-place votes) and newcomer Belmont (96 points, two first-place votes).
Despite losing Janelle Avery to graduation, the Lady Govs return junior Xiamar Richards, a Clarksville native who finished 10th at last season’s OVC Championships in Richmond, KY.
“With Xiamar Richards, Chantelle Grey and Kendra Kirksey leading that team, that’s a really strong trio,” said head coach Doug Molnar. “We have a good one-through-five on the women’s side. I think we’ll use this ranking as a motivational tool. I think we’re being overlooked a little bit.”
The Lady Govs kick off the 2012 campaign Saturday, September 1st at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic. Austin Peay is scheduled to compete in six meets this season, leading up to the OVC Championships, October 27th, hosted by Jacksonville State in Oxford, AL.