The HU Men's Cross Country team doesn't start practicing to defend their MIAC title until next week. But the coaches of the USTFCCA, the governing body for Cross Country, are letting everybody know how highly they think of them. The Piper men (seen at right honored before a bb game last winter) are rated No. 7 in the first Central Region poll released today. Five MIAC teams, led by St. Olaf (ranked at the top) are in the preseason Top Ten.
Veteran HU coach Paul Schmaedeke was pleased with the acknowledgment. "It's nice to be noted," he said. "But everything starts anew next week. I hope we can live up to the ranking -- and do a little better than that -- by the end of the October. Everything is built in that direction." Last year, the Pipers, helped by a 2-3-4 finish from Devin Monson, Jack Deichert and Ellis Richardson, claimed their third straight MIAC title, edging the Oles, 45-54. It marked the firts time since the late 1990s that a school had claimed a hat trick of first place finishes.
The entire USTFCCA ranking can be found by clicking here.