(Posted August 21, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- With all five point scorers from last season's conference championship squad returning, the Juniata College women's cross country team is the preseason favorite to repeat in 2008 according to the Landmark Conference Preseason Women's Cross Country poll released on Thursday.

The Eagles tallied 70 points in the poll, which was determined by voting of the women's cross country coaches and sports information directors at the eight Landmark Conference institutions.

Moravian College finished second in the poll with 59 points, followed closely by Susquehanna University with 54 points. Catholic was fourth in the balloting with 46 points, followed by the University of Scranton (39 points), Drew University (25 points), the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (22 points), and Goucher College (18 points).

Juniata is led by First team All-Landmark Conference and NCAA All-Region performer Laura Rupprecht (Jefferson, Md./Brunswick). Joining Rupprecht to help defend the Eagles' crown will be Second team All-Landmark Conference runners Aubrey Cyphert (North East, Pa./Seneca) and Meghan Jones (Meadville, Pa./Meadville). The Eagles head into the season with 19 runners on the roster, including 12 returning upperclassmen.

Juniata opens its 2008 campaign on Saturday, Aug. 30, when it takes part in the Duquesne Duals in Pittsburgh.

Complete preseason poll results are listed below:

2008 Preseason Women's Cross Country Poll

1. Juniata College - 70 pts.
2. Moravian College - 59 pts.
3. Susquehanna University - 54 pts.
4. Catholic University - 46 pts.
5. University of Scranton - 39 pts.
6. Drew University - 25 pts.
7. United States Merchant Marine Academy - 22 pts.
8. Goucher College - 18 pts.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.