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Southern Conference Announces Cross Country Preseason Poll

By Steven Gandy

Director of Media Relations

The Southern Conference today unveiled its 2022 Preseason Men’s and Women’s Cross Country coaches’ polls on Wednesday with the Western Carolina women selected to finish in sixth place and the Catamount men tabbed to finish seventh, just a point outside of sixth place.

WCU’s women’s team is led by two-time second-team All-Southern Conference performer Kate Mattison. A fifth-year graduate student, Mattison recorded a team-best 12th place result at last season’s conference championship after crossing the finish line in eighth place at the 2020 league championships. Mattison is joined by nine returning student-athletes and five newcomers, four of which are freshmen. The men’s team is led by senior Jalen Elwell and junior Drew Zink, who recorded a pair of personal best times a season ago including a top time in the men’s 10K at the NCAA Southeast Regional. WCU’s men’s roster includes six additional returners and three newcomers.

At the 2021 Southern Conference Championship, the WCU men’s team finished in sixth place and the women’s team placed seventh.

Furman was selected to win both the men’s and women’s team standings for the 10th straight year, edging ETSU in the men’s tabulation and Samford in the women’s.

WCU kicks off the 2022 season next Friday (Sept. 2) at the Covered Bridge Open in Boone, N.C., hosted by Appalachian State.

Keep track of everything related to Catamount cross country and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook ( and Twitter (@catamounts, @catamountxctf).

2022 Southern Conference Men’s Cross Country Preseason Poll

Team (1st-place votes) - Points

1. Furman (9) – 81

2. ETSU – 72

3. Samford – 63

4. Mercer – 51

5. UNCG – 48

6. VMI (1) – 38

7. Western Carolina – 37

8. Chattanooga – 29

9. Wofford – 18

10. The Citadel – 13

2022 Southern Conference Women’s Cross Country Preseason Poll

Team (1st-place votes) Points

1. Furman (9) – 81

2. Samford (1) – 72

3. ETSU – 66

4. Chattanooga – 51

5. UNCG – 48

6. Western Carolina – 39

7. Wofford – 37

8. VMI – 28

9. Mercer – 16

10. The Citadel – 12

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