The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference released its women’s cross country preseason coaches poll Thursday, Aug. 22 and the University of Minnesota Morris was picked to finish runner-up to St. Scholastica. The Saints received eight first-place votes while the Cougars had one first-place vote among the nine coaches.

Minnesota Morris recorded a fourth-straight runner-up finish at the conference meet last season, but will be without UMAC champion Katherine Novak this fall. However, the Cougars should be poised for another top finish returning All-UMAC Second Team juniors Paige Stearns and Kaitlyn Ladwig, who finished ninth and 10th, respectively. Fellow junior Alex Yeager also returns after a solid top-40 finish in 2018.

UMM opens the regular season at UW-Superior Thursday, Sept. 3.

2019 UMAC Women's Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll

1. St. Scholastica – 64 Points (8 First Place Votes)

2. Minnesota Morris – 56 Points (1 First Place Vote)

3. Wisconsin-Superior – 49 Points

4. Martin Luther – 42 Points

5. Bethany Lutheran – 38 Points

6. Crown – 26 Points

7. Northwestern – 24 Points

8. Northland – 15 Points

9. North Central – 10 Points

University of Minnesota Morris

Tony Krueger | 8th season |

2018 Season: | 2nd | 73 points |

Postseason: Finished 21st as a team at the NCAA Division III Central Region Championships.

Top Runners

  • Paige Stearns, Jr. | 2018 Second Team All-Conference | 2018 Championships: 9th, 24:51, 2nd team finisher |

  • Kaitlyn Ladwig, Jr. | 2018 Second Team All-Conference | 2018 Championships: 10th, 24:52, 3rd team finisher |

  • Alexa Yeager, Jr. | 2018 Championships: 36th, 26:58, 5th team finisher |