CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville women’s cross country team was picked to finish in fourth place in this year’s Big South Conference championship meet in November according to the league’s coaches’ preseason poll that was announced earlier this week.


The Bulldogs finished third at last year’s meet, just two points out of second place and not too far away from first place. Asheville returns two runners who earned Big South All-Conference honors last year in junior Erin Dalton and sophomore Sarah Heisner.


Seventh-year coach Jesse Norman believes he has a team which can compete to finish higher than fourth in 2014.


“We’re a lot deeper than we’ve been in the past,” stated Norman. “We have a great nucleus of returnees coming back plus a talented group of freshmen that will push the upper classmen.


“You always want to stay away from injuries,” added Norman. “But our depth will really help us this year if we can get an injury or two. We have the makings of a good team that can compete with anybody in the Big South.”


The Bulldog harriers open the 2014 season at the Western Carolina Invitational on Friday, Aug. 29. For the third straight year, Asheville will host a home meet at Asheville Christian Academy when it hosts the Cross Country Carnival on Saturday, Sept. 20.


This year’s Big South Championship Meet will be held at Gardner-Webb on Nov. 1.