Carmel, Ind. – As the Transylvania team approaches a new era, the Pioneers women's and men's cross country teams have each been picked to finish seventh in the 2019 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference preseason coaches' poll.
The pair of polls, released by the HCAC office on Wednesday, forecast the projected finishes among 10 teams on both the men's and women's circuits as voted on by the conference's 10 coaches.
On the men's side, the Pioneers received 27 voting points to finish in a tie with Anderson University for seventh. In the women's HCAC preseason poll, the Pioneers received 25 points to take sole possession of seventh place, behind sixth-place Franklin and eighth-place Anderson.
The Pioneers will enter the 2019 season under the guidance of first-year head coach Matthew Roden, who took over as the head coach of the Transylvania cross country and track and field teams this summer.
On the men's side, the Pioneers will be led by sophomores Jacob Burnam and Chauncey Longman, who both charted strong finishes to their first collegiate seasons. Junior Darrell Corn also leads the charge for the Pioneers.
On the men's side, we are lucky because we see what was already a young team last year return almost in its entirety," commented Roden. "We also bring a very talented group of incoming freshmen that, mixed with the experience of our returnees, should prove to form a key combination towards our goals to keep progressing towards a higher finish at our conference meet each year."
Junior Josie Cunningham returns to action for the 2019 Pioneers women's cross country squad and is joined by sophomores Cassidy Kelien and Maddie Bell as foundational pieces of the season ahead.
"The veteran experience on our women's side is going to be key in continuing our progression towards higher finishes and personal growth," Roden added.
Transylvania cross country begins its 2019 season on Saturday, September 7 in Hanover, Indiana at the Madison Kiwanis Invitational hosted by conference member Hanover College.
Visit HeartlandConf.org for the official conference press release and full polls.
For more on Transylvania cross country, follow @TransyXCTF on Twitter