West Virginia Wesleyan is favored by league coaches to capture the men’s and women’s WVIAC cross country titles on Saturday in Wheeling.
The Bobcats sit atop both sets of ratings conducted by the league’s coaches. Wesleyan’s men finished just ahead of host Wheeling Jesuit and Seton Hill in the final WVIAC Cross Country power ratings. Defending champion Concord and Davis & Elkins round out the top five.
A pair of Bobcats are among the men’s individual favorites. Nate Edwards is the top-rated individual heading into Saturday’s event, while teammate Barry Franklin is fourth. Defending event champion Eric Cooper is also back for Wesleyan. Wheeling Jesuit has high hopes for the trio of Stu Jones, Scott Bonette, and Dustin Hall. Mike Ortiz and Jess Bradley should pace Seton Hill.
WVWC owns a larger advantage in the women’s team ratings as the Bobcats are ahead of Alderson-Broaddus and Wheeling Jesuit as they seek their 13th title in the past 14 seasons. Seton Hill and Concord are also listed among championship hopefuls.
There’s little doubt about the favorites in the women’s individual race. Seton Hill sophomore Anna Cote is the defending champion and a four-time WVIAC Runner of the Week in 2008. Wheeling Jesuit’s Sarah Campanelli rates a solid second in the women’s individual rankings and has claimed league honors twice in the past three weeks.
Other championship threats on the women’s side according to the final coaches’ rankings of the season include: Brenna Hagerty (WVWC), Ashley Teets (A-B), Erika Rucker (WJU), Amanda Blankenship (CU), and Jenna Brock (WVWC).
Saturday’s event kicks off with the women’s race at 10:15 a.m. in Wheeling Park. The men’s race follows an hour later.