Georgetown Cross Country Tabbed Ninth Nationally in USTFCCCA Preseason Poll
Sept. 16, 2009
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its preseason national poll and both the Georgetown University men's and women's cross country teams find themselves tabbed as the ninth-best team in the nation. This comes just two days after the regional results were released which found the men perched atop the standings in the Mid-Atlantic Region while the women were the fourth-best team in the region.
"It is always an honor for both men's and women's teams to be ranked among the nations elite," Director of Track & Field / Cross Country Patrick Henner said. "It is just an early season poll though, and there remains a lot of work to be done."
The men's field is led by Oregon, ranked first in the West Region. The top-ranked Mid-Atlantic team at 9th, Georgetown is the top-ranked BIG EAST Conference team with Providence ranking 16th (Northeast Region - 2), Notre Dame at 27 (Great Lakes - 5) and Villanova at 30th nationally (Mid-Atlantic - 3).
The West Region also boasts the top women's team in the nation in the Washington Huskies. The Georgetown women's team is fourth in the Mid-Atlantic, one of six BIG EAST teams to be ranked nationally which includes West Virginia at fourth (Mid-Atlantic - 1), Villanova at fifth (Mid-Atlantic - 5), Providence at 12th (Northeast - 1), Syracuse at 23rd (Northeast - 2) and Notre Dame coming in at 29 (Great Lakes - 4).
"It's great to start the season ranked ninth but it is tough to put too much stock in it right now," Head Women's Cross Country Coach Chris Miltenberg said. "We have a long way to go and we need to just keep concentrating on what we are doing. The rankings really show that our region is incredibly strong, arguably the strongest in the country. Having to compete against teams of this caliber is a huge asset for us going into the NCAA Championships because we will be used to running against the best in the country. It definitely helped us to be prepared for the NCAA's last year. We certainly have our work cut out for us put we're really fired up for the challenge."
The rankings were released after both squads turned in outstanding performances in their season openers. The women's team finished first among eight teams competing at the Navy Invitational in Annapolis, Md. They were led by sophomore Emily Jones (Harvard, Mass. / Bromfield) who finished first in the field of 109 with a time of 22:31.83. The men's team came in second out of nine teams competing at the JMU Open Invitational in Harrisburg, Va. The men were spearheaded by the effort of junior Mark Dennin (Gilbertsville, Pa. / Boyerstown), who finished in first place overall while setting a new course record of 24:16.8 in the 7,900-meter race.
The national poll is determined by Division I cross country officers, at-large representatives and regional representatives voting on the top 30 teams. The regional polls are determined by nine regional representatives (for both men and women) who coordinate the voting in their own region with input from the coaches