FAIRFIELD, CT (August 21, 2013) - The Sacred Heart women's cross country team was chosen as the preseason favorite to capture the Northeast Conference title in 2013 in a vote of the league's head coaches announced on Wednesday. The Pioneers received seven first place votes while Bryant University was second with the other two first place nods.
The Pioneers, under head coach Christian Morrison who begins his 19th season, have finished second the past two seasons but if coming off a year when they captured their first-ever ECAC Championship. SHU won their only NEC title in 2005, when they were co-champions with Quinnipiac University.
SHU finished 2012 ranked 15th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Associationa (USTFCCCA) regional poll. The Pioneers also posted their best-ever finish at the 2012 NCAA Regional Championship taking 16th among 37 teams.
Senior Brianna Castrogivanni (Commack, NY) and junior Emma Bolduc (Peterborough, NH) are back to lead the Pioneers this fall. Castrogivanni earned All-NEC honors by finishing fourth at last fall's championship meet. Bolduc just missed out on All-NEC accolades with a 17th place finish but ended the year joining Castrogivanni in earning All-East honors at the ECAC race thanks to a 24th place finish. Castrogivanni also added All-New England to her resume last season, becoming one of eight women in program history to earn all three honors in the same season.
The Pioneers will open the 2013 season next Saturday, August 31st when they travel across Long Island Sound to run in the Stony Brook University Invitational.