Men's XC Ranked No. 1, Women No. 4, in Preseason Coaches Poll
St. Louis, Mo., September 1, 2010 – The Washington University in St. Louis men’s cross country team is ranked No. 1 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division III preseason poll while the WUSTL women’s squad is ranked fourth, as announced Wednesday by the association.
The Washington U. men’s cross country team is coming off the best season in program history; the Bears placed seventh at the 2009 NCAA Division III Championship meet in Highland Hills, Ohio. The Red and Green return all of their top competitors from last year’s squad, including All-American junior Michael Burnstein, who placed 20th at the NCAA meet, and senior Dave Spandorfer, who finished 65th overall.
Washington U. earned four of the eight first-place votes to tally 271 points in the preseason coaches poll, edging out defending national champion North Central College, which garnered three first-place votes for 267 points. Alleghany College (260 points), Haverford College (255 points) and New York University (249 points) rounded out the top-five in the men’s poll.
On the women’s side, defending national champion University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire claimed the top spot in the poll, garnering all eight first-place nods for a score of 280 points. The 2009 national runner-up St. Lawrence University earned second place with 271 points, while Middlebury College (259 points), Washington U. (249 points) and Calvin College (245 points) rounded out the top-five.
Senior Taryn Surtees returns to lead the WUSTL women’s team this fall. A two-time cross country All-America, Surtees came in 20th at last year’s national championship meet. Additionally, Surtees has won the University Athletic Association (UAA) individual title in each of the last two seasons.
The women’s team also welcomes back junior Liz Phillips, senior Jessica Londeree and junior Erica Jackey, each of whom scored for the Bears at the 2009 NCAA Championship.
Other top-returners for the WUSTL men’s squad are senior Kwin Keuter, junior Tucker Hartley, junior Matt Schwab and sophomore David Hamm, who garnered 2009 UAA Men’s Cross Country Rookie of the Year honors.
The WU men’s and women’s cross country teams host the Washington University Early Bird Meet on Saturday, Sept. 4, at the Central Fields of Forest Park in St. Louis, Mo. The race is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.