The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Cross Country programs have had a busy preseason as they continue to prepare for their first meet of the season which is just a little over one week away. They will open up their season in Mason, OH at the Queen City Invitational on September 6th. The NAIA and its coaching staffs have compiled their Preseason Top 25 Polls and the Patriots have earned places for both the men and women's teams.
The Patriots women's team didn't crack the NAIA Top 25 but did receive votes in the poll capturing 46 total points keeping them in contention to break into the elite early in the season. Fellow Mid-South Conference (MSC) member and 2012 MSC Champions Shawnee State University capped off in the NAIA Poll at #25 with 129 total points.
Aside from the MSC, defending national champion British Columbia remains atop the rankings in the 2013 NAIA Women's Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Top 25 poll. British Columbia's selection - with 20 first place votes and 591 total points - gives the Thunderbirds their 3rd straight No. 1 ranking for the first time in school history.
The Patriot men's team did earn a nod in the NAIA Top 25 Poll as they came in at #20 with 204 total points. Defending MSC Champion Shawnee State University joins UC as they are ranked at #5 with 486 points.
Defending national champion St. Francis (Ill.) remains atop the rankings in the 2013 NAIA Men's Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Top 25 poll. St. Francis' selection - with 19 first place votes and 560 total points - gives the Fighting Saints consecutive No. 1 rankings for the first time in school history.
Patriot Head Coach Floyd Stroud and graduate assistant Joy Shupeldt say that both teams look very strong this year and have high hopes of winning the Mid-South Conference meet for both the men and women's teams. Shawnee has been tough competition for UC in the years past, but the Patriots are not letting the Bears intimidate them this season.
The polls were voted upon by a panel of head coaches representing each of the conferences/independents/unaffiliated groups. The first regular-season Top 25 polls will be announced on Sept. 18.
As mentioned, both the Patriot men and women's teams will open up their season in Mason, OH to compete in the Queen City Invitational on September 6th, 2013.
For more information on the Patriots Cross Country programs along with other Patriot athletics, please visit www.cumberlandspatriots.com.
Article Provided by Danielle Hoop, UC Multimedia and Athletic Services Student Assistant