The Central Connecticut women's cross country team, the four-time defending Northeast Conference champions, were picked as the league's favorite in the Preseason Coaches' Poll on Tuesday. The Blue Devils received four first-place votes in the poll, while LIU collected five votes.
Central will be looking to secure its seventh NEC Championship all-time this season.
The Blue Devils had three finishers in the top five at the 2021 NEC Championship last year and claimed five spots on the 2021 All-Northeast Conference team. The All-NEC team was comprised of Angie Rafter, Ashley Dana, Brooke Morabito, Rebecca Carusone, and Kaitlyn Stevens. Freshman, Rebecca Carusone, was also named to the NEC All-Rookie Team.
Dana, Morabito, Carusone and Stevens are all slated to return this season. With a first-place finish, Rafter became the first Blue Devil to be the NEC Individual Champion three times. Rafter was also named NEC Athlete of the Week four times was named a nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year.
Saint Francis U and Stonehill were picked third and fourth to round out the top four. Sacred Heart was picked fifth and followed by Merrimack and Wagner.
The Blue Devils will kick off their season with a race at the Father Bede Invitational in Loretto, PA on September 2.