August 24, 2011

Mens CC Team Rated 18th Nationally In Preseason Poll

  The old axiom: “How you finish means more than how you start” is perhaps even more true in Cross Country than any other sport. Still, recognition from your peers at the start of a new season is always fun to acknowledge. 

Hamline’s Men’s Cross Country’s team starts their fall drills this weekend with the news they are rated 18th nationally in the annual USTFCCCA  (United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association) preseason poll released August 24. The Pipers also drew the early top nod among Central Region teams. 

“Everyone will be looking at us,” said veteran HU coach Paul Schmaedeke. “And that is probably as it should be. We have a nice core group returning. If they stay healthy, we can be a very good team. But we need to take care of business and be aware of what we can control. We need some people to step up if we are to be a strong team this year.” 

The MIAC was well represented in both polls. The two-time defending conference champs were joined by St. John's (24th) and St. Thomas (30th) in the national listing, which extends to 35 teams and ties. Those two schools – plus St. Olaf and Carleton are listed among the Central Region’s Top 10 teams.  

The Pipers will participate in four meets prior to the conference championship event October 29 in Saint Paul. The season opens September 10 at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.