The Bulldogs bring back all of their runners who scored at the 2011 MVC Championship. Sophomore Mariel Fulton (Louisville, Colo.) and senior Kirsten Lake (Parker, Colo.) were Drake's top-two finishers last year, running times of 18:58 and 19:21, respectively.
Lake turned in an outstanding track season winning the 1500-meter run at the MVC Championship in a school-record time of 4:23.75. She was the only upper-classmen to run for the Bulldogs last season.
Melissa Parks (Norfolk, Neb.) capped an impressive freshman season with a time of 19:29 at the league meet. Her sister,
Stephanie Parks (Norfolk, Neb.), also looks to have a strong showing in her second cross-country season.
Juniors Amanda Marwitz (Crystal Lake, Ill.) and Erin Poss (Antioch, Ill.) round out a young and talented class who will look to improve on their finishes from last season as well as mentor the 11 newcomers to the team.
After winning last year's MVC Cross Country Championship and returning
four of the seven members of the championship squad, the league coaches
picked Illinois State to claim the women's title in 2012. The Redbirds
received seven first-place votes and a total
of 96 points largely due to their trio of all-conference runners
(Krista DeCeault, Elise Sigg and Kristen Zillmer) that are coming back.
Bradley was picked second in the preseason poll earning one first-place mark and 83 points. Wichita State came in as an extremely close third, earning 82 points and the remaining two first-place votes.
Southern Illinois notched the No. 4 spot, tallying 68 points, after only
losing their top-finisher from last year. Indiana State and Missouri
State are tied for fifth-place, securing 53 points.
Northern Iowa is picked seventh with 43 points. Evansville and Creighton round out the women's poll in ninth and 10th place, respectively.
The 2012 MVC Cross Country Championship will be held in Normal, Ill. on October 27.Drake will open the season at Ewing Park hosting the Bulldog 4K Classic on August 31st at 5:00 p.m.