SMITHFIELD, R.I. -- The Bryant University women's cross country program was picked to finish fourth in the Northeast Conference's annual preseason poll that was announced Friday.
Saint Francis U. was picked by conference coaches as the top team in the NEC, receiving three first-place votes. Central Connecticut and Sacred Heart tied for second, with the Blue Devils finishing with four first-place votes and the Pioneers receiving three nods. Robert Morris, Mount St. Mary's, Wagner, Fairleigh Dickinson, St. Francis Brooklyn and LIU Brooklyn rounded out the poll.
The Bulldogs will compete without Emily McNeil in 2017, who finished 17th at the NEC Championships in last season. However, Bryant returns Melissa Lodge (Hopkinton, Mass.) and Olivia Weiss (Newton, N.J.), who finished 11th and 24th at the NEC Championships in 2016, respectively.
Bryant's season will begin when the school plays host to the Shawn M. Nassaney Invitational on September 9.