CLINTON, S.C. --- The Presbyterian College women’s cross country team earned the program’s highest preseason selection in the Big South Conference’s preseason poll released on Thursday as they were selected eighth. The men’s team was picked ninth in the poll. The women’s preseason rank is their highest since 2016, when they were picked eighth.

Senior Emily Swanigan (Peachtree Corners, Ga.) is one of three seniors expected to help lead the 2019 Blue Hose as she ran a season-best at the Big South Championship last season with a 21:20. On the men’s side, senior William Wise (Fairview, Texas) and sophomore Zack Kochert (Irmo, S.C.) are expected to lead the way for the men’s team. Wise set an 8k personal record with a 27:49 in the Big South Championship last season, while Kochert ran a season best 27:32 at the Queen City Invite to lead the way for PC.

In the women’s preseason ranking, High Point received 10 of the 11 first-place votes and 120 total points to claim the top spot. Campbell received the remaining first-place vote and 111 points to finish second in the poll, while Charleston Southern was third with 98 points. UNC Asheville finished fourth in the voting with 83 points, ahead of Radford, which placed fifth in the poll with 73 points. USC Upstate claimed sixth-place with 55 points, followed by Winthrop in seventh with 52 points and Presbyterian College in the eighth position (38 points). Hampton landed in ninth (37 points), followed by Longwood (10th, 34 points) and Gardner-Webb (11th, 26 points).

On the men’s side, Campbell is the preseason favorite for the fourth consecutive year as the Camels claimed the top spot in this year’s poll with eight first-place votes and 118 points. Charleston Southern, which was runner-up in last year’s conference meet, finished second in the poll with 110 points and collected the three remaining first-place votes. High Point placed third in the voting with 101 points, while UNC Asheville claimed fourth in the poll with 82 points. USC Upstate followed in fifth place with 67 points, with Radford in sixth at 64 points. Winthrop garnered seventh-place with 49 points, followed by Longwood (eighth, 41 points), Presbyterian College (ninth, 39 points), Hampton (10th, 28 points) and Gardner-Webb (11th, 27 points).

Both teams open the 2019 campaign on August 31st at the Carolina Challenge in Columbia, S.C. beginning at 9:00 a.m.