WALTHAM, Mass. – For the third-straight year, the Brandeis University women's cross country team has earned a preseason national ranking from the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Judges check in at No. 28 in Division III after starting the season at No. 33 in each of the previous two seasons. It is Brandeis's highest preseason ranking since also starting at No. 28 before the 2014 campaign.
The Judges return six of their top seven runners from last year's squad that finished eighth in New England. That includes a pair of All-New England runners in senior captains and twin sisters Emily and Julia Bryson (Quincy, Mass./North Quincy). Emily finished ninth in the region and captured her third-straight cross country All-America honor last fall. Julia claimed All-New England honors for the first time with a 24th-place finish. Sophomore Niamh Kenney (Hanover, Mass./Hanover) was the team's third finisher at New Englands, while senior Meaghan Barry (Marlborough, Mass./Marlborough) – the squad's third captain in 2018 – was fourth, and the final returning scorer. Senior Doyin Ogundiran (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills East) and junior Danielle Bertaux (Prides Crossing, Mass./Beverly) round out the top returning runners. The Judges also add a rookie class eight strong as they attempt to return to the NCAA Championships for the first time as a team since 2013.
The Judges are ranked sixth among seven New England teams in the Top 35 poll (#5 MIT, #6 Middlebury, #8 Williams, #11 Tufts, #21 Bates and #31 Amherst) and fourth among five University Athletic Association squads (#2 Washington University, #24 Carnegie Mellon, #25 Emory, #30 Chicago).
Brandeis opens the season with the Wellesley Invitational on Friday evening, followed by the UMass Dartmouth Invitational on September 15. The UAA Championships are October 28, hosted by the University of Chicago at Parkside, Wisconsin, and the New England Championships are November 10th at Bowdoin College.
Visit http://www.ustfccca.org/2018/08/featured/2018-ncaa-diii-womens-cross-country-national-coaches-poll-preseason for the full preseason poll.