HAMDEN, Conn. - The Quinnipiac University men's cross country team was tabbed to finish fourth out of 12 teams in the 2010 Northeast Conference Coaches Preseason Poll. The Bobcats saw their three-year reign as conference champions end last year when in-state rival Central Connecticut State won the championship. Sophomore Mike Levene (Redding, Conn.) will look to lead Quinnipiac in 2010.
Reigning champ CCSU was picked to finish first, earning 10 first-place votes, followed by Saint Francis (Pa.), who earned the final two first-place votes from the conference's 12 coaches. Sacred Heart tabbed to finish third, followed by Quinnipiac and Monmouth to round-out the top five. Wagner and Mount St. Mary's followed in sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by Long Island, Robert Morris, Bryant, St. Francis (N.Y.) and Fairleigh Dickinson.
Leven finished fifth with a time of 26:29 in last year's NEC Championship, earning him a spot on the All-Northeast Conference team. Levene also won a pair of NEC Rookie of the Week awards on Oct. 6 with a sixth place finish at the Paul Short Invitational at Lehigh University and a 24th place finish at the New England Championships. Leven finished in 92nd at the NCAA Northeast Regional with a time of 33:44.
Junior John Greenlaw (Hampstead, N.H.) also earned All-NEC honors last year finishing in 11th place with a time of 26:55 at the NEC Championships. Greenlaw placed 133rd at the NCAA Northeast Regional with a time of 34:30.
The Bobcats open their season on Sept. 4 at the Seawolves Invitational, hosted by Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. On the following weekend, they head to Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, Conn. for the Blue Devil Invitational hosted by Central Connecticut. On Sept. 18, the Bobcats host the annual Quinnipiac Invitational, run on the QU Cross Country Course, which runs through the Mount Carmel campus in Hamden, Conn.
October will bring the Bobcats to the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, Pa., hosted by Lehigh on Oct. 1 in preparation for the New England Regionals on Oct. 9. Quinnipiac will then run at the CCSU Mini-Meet on Oct. 22 at Stanley Quarter Park, before returning on Oct. 30 for the Northeast Conference Championships.