The Central Connecticut men's cross country team was predicted to finish first in the 2013 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll for the fourth year in a row, the league announced Tuesday. The Blue Devils received eight first place votes from the league's head coaches and will travel to Loretto, PA on the campus of Saint Francis U to run for their fifth straight title in November.
CCSU's hopes of extending its title supremacy are high as the Blue Devils welcome back the 2012 NEC Outstanding Performer Colby Delbene. The senior crossed the finish line first in record-breaking fashion at the 2012 NEC Men's Cross Country Championship, setting a course record with his time of 25:03. Joining Delbene are two All-Conference selections, junior Brian Biekert and senior Andrew Hill. Biekert was a top-ten finisher at last year's championship while Hill finished 11th.
At the helm is three-time NEC Coach of the Year Eric Blake who, since taking over the team in 2009, has never lost the championship.
The Blue Devils are set kick off the 2013 season on Saturday August 31 at Fairfield University followed by the first home meet of the season, the Ted Owen Invitational, on Saturday, September 21 at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain, CT.
Northeast Conference Coaches Poll Results
1. Central Connecticut (8)
2. Sacred Heart
3. Mount St. Mary's (1)
5. St. Francis Brooklyn
6. Robert Morris
7. Saint Francis U
9. Fairleigh Dickinson
First place votes in parentheses