Women's Cross Country Ranked Third, Men Fifth, in USTFCCCA Preseason Poll
PRESEASON TOP-25 POLLS
St. Louis, Mo., August 24, 2011 – The Washington University in St. Louis men’s and women’s cross country teams both landed in the top-five of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III preseason poll with the women’s team ranked third and the men’s team fifth, as announced Wednesday by the association.
The Washington U. women’s cross country team is coming off the best season in program history, with a national runner-up finish at the 2010 NCAA Division III Championship meet in Waverly, Iowa. The WUSTL men’s team finished ninth at last year’s national championship meet, placing in the top-10 for a second-straight season.
The Bears also swept the University Athletic Association (UAA) men’s and women’s championships in 2010, marking just the second time in school history the Bears accomplished the feat and the first since 2003.
Defending national champion Middlebury College claimed the top spot in the women’s poll. Williams College is ranked No. 2, with Washington University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire rounding out the top-five.
North Central College received seven of a possible eight first-place votes to grab the top spot in the men’s preseason poll. Calvin College received the other first-place vote to finish second, with St. Lawrence University, defending national champion Haverford College and Washington University comprising the remainder of the top-five.
Taryn Surtees, who graduated in the spring, paced the WUSTL women with a sixth-place overall finish at the NCAA meet last year but the Bears return their other top-four runners including a pair of All-Americans. Senior Liz Phillips finished 23rd at last year’s NCAA meet and senior Jessica Londeree placed 30th, resulting in cross country All-America accolades for both student-athletes for the first time in their careers.
Washington University also welcomes back sophomore Sarah Fisher and senior Molly Wawryzniak, who finished 52nd and 82nd respectively at last year’s NCAA meet.
Senior Michael Burnstein finished 30th at last year’s NCAA Championships, becoming just the second student-athlete in program history to become a two-time All-American. He also won the 2010 UAA Individual Championship. Burnstein leads a group of three returning scorers from last year’s NCAA’s, including junior David Hamm (45th) and senior Tucker Hartley (57th).
The WU men’s and women’s cross country teams host the Washington University Early Bird Meet on Saturday, Sept. 3, at the Central Fields of Forest Park in St. Louis, Mo. The race is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m.