The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference made its preseason projections for men’s and women’s cross-country, and Fort Lewis College is projected to finish in the middle of the pack.
Here’s a closer look at the preseason releases:
Women’s cross-countryFLC was picked to finish sixth in the annual coaches preseason poll, receiving 137 points, 19 behind Colorado State-Pueblo with 156. Leading the way for the Skyhawks will be senior Becca Bramley, who finished 19th overall last season at the RMAC Conference Championship, crossing the finish line with a time of 22:56.4. Fellow Skyhawks that return from last season include Carly Wilborn, Shayla Tate and Karla De La Cruz. The favorite in the conference is Adams State, who received 11 first-place votes and 220 total points. In second was Western State, who earned five first-place votes and racked up 208 points.
Alicja Konieczek, a senior for Western State, was named the preseason runner of the year for the second consecutive season. She registered a 20:45.1 time at the NCAA Division II Championships last season. Two of Konieczek’s teammates made the preseason all-conference team for Western State, including her sister, Aneta. Out of the 14 runners named to the preseason all-conference team, 13 came from one of the top three schools of Colorado Mines, Adams State or Western State; the only runner who was not from the favorites was Kayla Wooten of University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
No Skyhawks were named to the preseason team.
Men’s cross-countryOn the men’s side, Fort Lewis was projected to finish in ninth place. The Skyhawks registered 113 points, one point shy of eighth-place Metro State, which received 114. The favorites in conference come as a surprise to some, as Colorado School of Mines narrowly edged perennial national title contender Adams State at the top slot with 218 points and eight first-place votes. It will surely motivate the Grizzlies, the reigning NCAA Division II champions, who finished one point behind the Orediggers with 217 points and also had eight first-place votes.
Western State was projected to finish in third and received 195 points.
Grant Colligan, a redshirt senior for Colorado Mines, was named preseason runner of the year.
Runners to look out for the Skyhawks include Hosava Kretzman, who finished 16th at last year’s conference championships, and Shawvan Levi, who finished 29th at the same race.
Just as the Skyhawks women, no FLC runner was named to the preseason team.
Fort Lewis will begin the season when they will host the Tom Strandt Memorial, which will take place Sept. 1 at Hillcrest Golf Club.