Kansas City, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern women's cross country team has been picked to finish second in the 2013 MIAA preseason coaches poll, the league announced today.
The Lions are the defending MIAA champions and placed 20th at the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championships held in Joplin. Back for the Lions from a season ago are all but two runners, including All-Region and All-MIAA selection Kaitlyn Belisle. Lauren Baehr was also an All-MIAA pick from a season ago.
Southwest Baptist narrowly edged the Lions in the poll picking up one first place vote more than Southern for a two-point advantage. Pittsburg State had two first-place votes and were picked third, followed by Central Missouri, Northwest Missouri, Nebraska-Kearney, Fort Hays, Lindenwood, Central Oklahoma, Emporia State and Lincoln to round out the poll.
The Lions will open up the 2013 season with a meet at the University of Arkansas on September 6.
The complete poll is listed below.
2013 MIAA Preseason Women's Coaches Poll
1. Southwest Baptist (5) 94
2. Missouri Southern (4) 92
3. Pittsburg State (2) 86
4. Central Missouri 73
5. Northwest Missouri 62
T6. Nebraska-Kearney 50
T6. Fort Hays State 50
8. Lindenwood 38
9. Central Oklahoma 30
10. Emporia State 16
11. Lincoln 14