XC Teams to Compete in MEC Championships This Weekend

XC Teams to Compete in MEC Championships This Weekend

BRIDGEPORT -- The West Virginia Wesleyan cross country teams are gearing up for the 2017 Mountain East Conference Championships. The gun fires off this Saturday at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex with the women racing at 9:30 a.m. and the men at 10:30 a.m.

Wesleyan's women are currently sitting second in the MEC behind regionally ranked Wheeling Jesuit. The Cardinals are sitting in ninth in the Atlantic Region and return all five athletes that scored for them last season, including four of the top five finishers.

"It is a tough mountain to climb," Wesleyan head coach Jesse Skiles said. "They have some tremendous athletes, and it is going to be another monumental challenge."

Wesleyan returns three first-team all-conference runners from last season: senior Sydney Pineault, junior Joie Johnston, and sophomore Rachael Englund.

Wesleyan's men are currently battling Charleston and Wheeling Jesuit for the number two spot, as Concord comes in as a prohibitive favorite. The Mountain Lions return all four of their top runners from a 2016 team that went to Nationals.  

Coach Skiles' Bobcats lost to Charleston at the recent Greater Louisville Classic, but earned a close victory over Wheeling Jesuit. All three teams figure to be very close in a battle for the runner-up spot.

"Every spot is going to matter," Skiles said. "I anticipate some intense racing on both sides."

Senior Matt Dearth and junior Collin Wallace are returning First-Team All-Conference runners on the men's side. Dearth just missed making the NCAA Nationals last fall, missing the cut by one spot.

There are 11 women's teams and 10 men's teams competing.

Awards will be presented following both races at 11:30 a.m.