RICHMOND, Ind. – The Earlham men's cross country team was tabbed to finish second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2018 according to the results of preseason voting among the conference's head coaches unveiled Tuesday.
Earlham tallied 82 points to finish second, behind consensus pick Rose-Hulman who received all 10 first-place votes. The Quakers were two points ahead of third-place Hanover with 80 points, while Manchester was fourth with 67 points.
Bluffton was fifth with 64 points, followed by Franklin (51 pts.), Anderson (44 pts.), Transylvania (26 pts.), Mount St. Joseph (21 pts.), and Defiance (15 pts.).
"The men are young and talented and we have a legitimate belief that we can challenge for the HCAC championship. I feel like we have a really nice one-two punch in Nate Papachristos and Austin Burt, and then we've got a really strong pack of four behind them whom I feel are all-conference level guys," said Rob Hewitt, Earlham's co-head coach of men's and women' cross country.
Earlham men's cross country will be trying to improve upon last season's third-place finish at the 2017 HCAC Championship. The 2018 edition of Earlham men's cross country is led by Honorable Mention All-HCAC performer and HCAC Freshman of the Year Nate Papachristos, along with Honorable Mention All-HCAC runners Bineyam Tumbo and Noah Scherf.
Earlham's 2018 cross country season opens this Friday, Aug. 31, with a dual meet against Wilmington College (Ohio). Start time for the meet is 6:00 p.m.
For more information about Earlham cross country, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).
Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference
2018 Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Rose-Hulman – 100 (10)
2. Earlham – 82
3. Hanover – 80
4. Manchester – 67
5. Bluffton – 64
6. Franklin – 51
7. Anderson – 44
8. Transylvania – 26
9. Mount St. Joseph – 21
10. Defiance – 15