MOUNT PLEASANT - The men’s cross country team was selected second in the Mid-American Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, while the women were selected to finish third.
The men, who return six of last season’s top seven runners, sit behind in-state rival and defending MAC Champion Eastern Michigan in the rankings. Competition between the two teams is projected to be intense in 2012, as the Chippewas were selected ahead of the Eagles in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Regional Preseason Rankings released earlier this week. Central Michigan is ninth in the region, followed by Eastern Michigan in 10th.
The men finished runners-up at the 2011 MAC Championship, but were the top-ranked MAC team in the Great Lakes Regional, finishing seventh overall.
The women’s team is ranked third overall in the conference preseason poll and is the top Michigan-based team in the ranking, behind defending MAC Champion Toledo and Ohio. The conference preseason poll is a direct reflection of the predictions in the USTFCCCA Great Lakes Regional Preseason Rankings for the Chippewas. The Chippewas are 10th overall in that poll.
In 2011, the women's team finished runner-up in the conference.
The full poll results for both the men’s and women’s teams are listed below.
The 2012 season begins Friday at the Jeff Drenth Memorial at the Pleasant Hills Golf Course in Mount Pleasant. The men’s race begins at 10 a.m., followed by the women’s race at 10:45 a.m.
2012 MAC Women’s Cross Country Preseason Poll
3. Central Michigan
5. Eastern Michigan
6. Western Michigan
8. Northern Illinois
10. Kent State
11. Ball State
12. Bowling Green
Predicted Team Champion: Toledo
2012 MAC Men’s Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Eastern Michigan
2. Central Michigan
3. Kent State
9. Bowling Green
Predicted Team Champion: Eastern Michigan