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NEW ORLEANS -- James Madison University kicks off its women's cross country season this weekend and enters 2014 ranked No. 11 in the Southeast region, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Dukes' position is four spots higher than last season's No. 15 finish in the final regional poll.
The Dukes wrapped up the 2013 season with a second-place finish at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships and a 15th-place finish at the Southeast Region meet. They also took runner-up at the Eastern College Athletic Association Championships.
A pair of All-CAA performers are back from last year's squad in sophomores Meghan Malloy and Tessa Mundell. Malloy placed 11th at the CAA meet with a time of 22:44.23 in the 6-kilometer championship race while Mundell followed in 12th with a time of 22:50.32.
Also back for JMU is junior Jenna Flickinger, who was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District III Team and CAA All-Academic Team as a sophomore.
James Madison is one of four CAA schools to be ranked in a preseason region poll by the USTFCCCA. Also in the Southeast, William & Mary is fourth while league newcomer Elon is ninth. In the Mid-Atlantic region, Delaware took the No. 8 spot.
The Dukes open 2014 on Friday at the UVa Duals. The 4,000-meter race is set to begin at 4:30 p.m. at Panorama Farms in Earlysville.