MSU cross country picked 3rd in LSC race

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State received the most first-place votes in the 2016 Lone Star Conference Preseason Poll released Friday afternoon.

But the Mustangs are picked to finish third behind preseason favorite Eastern New Mexico and defending LSC champion Tarleton State as each team received seven first-place votes apiece.

ENMU tallied 184 points to narrowly edge the TexAnns with 181 while MSU totaled 180.

The Mustangs return a trio of all-conference performers led by 2015 Freshman of the Year Sara Smith, who placed fourth in the LSC Championships last season while returning seniors Leticia Shaban and Brandi Hobson placed 10th and 14th, respectable. Shaban was also the league's top newcomer.

Sophomore Bridget Reilly, an all-region performer at the 1,500-meter distance during the outdoor track season, is also back for Midwestern State.

Koby Styles enters his 10th season at the helm of the program as the four-time LSC and two-time USTFCCCA all-region coach of the year has guided the Mustangs to a South Central Regional championship in 2011 and to five league titles.

Under his guidance, the MSU cross country program has claimed 24 team meet victories.

Texas A&M-Commerce (148 points), Angelo State (119), West Texas A&M (94), Texas A&M-Kingsville (73), UT-Permian Basin (53) and Western New Mexico (48) round out the poll of LSC coaches, sports information directors and selected media.

Midwestern State opens the 2016 season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at the UCO Land Run in Edmond, Okla.

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