NEW ORLEANS - A No. 15 national ranking greeted the Texas A&M men's cross country team as the USTFCCCA preseason poll was released on Tuesday. This marks the highest ranking ever for the Aggie men's program after a previous best of 18th during the 2008 season.
Since 1998 through the 2012 season this is the fifth time for a Texas A&M cross country team to secure a top 20 ranking and it's the 15th time for the Aggies to be ranked in the top 30 in that same time span.
"It's nice to get a little respect nationally, but we realize that at the end of the season nobody is going to care where you were ranked in the pre-season," said Texas A&M assistant coach Wendel McRaven. "We still have a lot of work to do between now and the championship time of the year."
The Aggie men are the top ranked team from the SEC as Arkansas was tabbed at No. 23 with Georgia No. 28. The top five schools in the preseason poll include Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, BYU, Oklahoma and Colorado.
SEC schools in the women's national preseason poll include No. 6 Vanderbilt and No. 11 Arkansas. The A&M women were among teams receiving votes along with Florida. The top five women's schools include Oregon, Washington, Georgetown, Florida State and Iowa State.
"We return a group that got their first taste of racing at the NCAA meet last fall and they are hungry to leave their mark both at the SEC and national levels," noted McRaven. "It will be fun to see our progress both this fall and throughout the year."
Last season Texas A&M men were among teams receiving votes to start the season and broke into the top 30 at No. 27 following a strong early October performance at Notre Dame. After solid outings in Wisconsin and at the Big 12 Championships the Aggies moved up in the polls to No. 24.
When A&M secured a NCAA Championship bid with a runner-up team performance at the South Central region meet the Aggies improved to No. 22 in the poll heading into the national meet. Then A&M completed the cross country season with an 18th-place finish among the 31-team field at the NCAA Championships.
United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association
Preseason National Cross Country Coaches Poll
|1. Wisconsin (10)||357||1. Oregon (4)||345|
|2. Oklahoma State (1)||345||2. Washington (5)||343|
|3. Brigham Young (1)||338||3. Georgetown (2)||337|
|4. Oklahoma||299||4. Florida State (1)||334|
|5. Colorado||297||5. Iowa State||289|
|6. Texas||291||6. Vanderbilt||277|
|7. Portland||282||7. Providence||270|
|8. Iona||278||8. Stanford||267|
|9. Stanford||251||9. Syracuse||246|
|10. Florida State||231||10. Villanova||226|
|11. North Carolina State||226||11. Arkansas||222|
|12. Syracuse||216||12. Michigan||218|
|13. Indiana||206||13. Colorado||210|
|14. Georgetown||191||14. Arizona||204|
|15. Texas A&M||178||15. Princeton||196|
|16. Villanova||149||16. Boston College||193|
|17. Northern Arizona||141||17. Michigan State||178|
|18. Minnesota||133||18. Virginia||163|
|19. Michigan||131||19. Weber State||150|
|20. Tulsa||129||20. San Francisco||133|
|21. Princeton||121||21. West Virginia||124|
|22. Oregon||118||22. Notre Dame||112|
|23. Arkansas||95||23. Toledo||103|
|24. New Mexico||87||24. Oklahoma State||82|
|25. Notre Dame||81||25. North Carolina State||76|
|26. Washington State||71||26. Texas||72|
|27. Columbia||62||27. Minnesota||37|
|28. Georgia||58||28. Brigham Young||35|
|29. Eastern Kentucky||55||29. Wisconsin||31|
|30. UCLA||44||30. Cornell||25|