Southeastern’s cross country team has been picked to finish fourth in the Great American Conference according to the preseason poll released on Monday.
The Savage Storm is coming off a third place finish in the GAC Championship meet in 2013 after opening that season picked to finish eighth.
SE returns three runners from last season’s breakout squad, including all-conference honorees Bailee Weger and Haylee Story, along with Amanda Kirby who was twice SE’s third best runner in meets.
Head coach Ron Hair picked up a pair of meet wins in his first season at the helm, finishing first at the Louisiana Tech Mook 5 Invitational and the Northwestern Louisiana Demon Invitational.
He also saw Weger pick up an individual meet victory in the Demon Invitational.
Harding is the preseason favorite with 79 points and seven first place votes, while Southern Arkansas is second with 75 points and three first place votes.
East Central was picked one spot ahead of the Storm with 62 points despite finishing fourth at the GAC meet last season.
SE picked up 46 points, one point ahead of Arkansas Tech in fifth.
Ouachita Baptist was picked sixth, while Southern Nazarene and Southwestern Oklahoma State split seventh place, followed by Henderson State and Arkansas-Monticello.
Southeastern opens the 2014 season Sept. 5 at the Brave Heart Invitational in Tyler, Texas.
Matt Thomas can be reached at email@example.com.