From left, Maverick Darling, Elliot Krause, Mohammed Ahmed and Reed Connor will anchor the Badgers' efforts in 2011.
Winners of nine-straight NCAA Great Lakes Regional championships, the Wisconsin men's cross country team opens the 2011 season as the region's No. 1-ranked team.
The Badgers top the regional rankings, which were released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. UW also finished the 2010 season ranked atop the Great Lakes Region.
In all, UW has taken the crown at 15 of the last 20 runnings of the NCAA Great Lakes Regional and seeks its 10th-straight title when the event moves to Toledo, Ohio, on Nov. 12. The following year, the Badgers are scheduled to host the 2012 NCAA Great Lakes Regional at the Zimmer Championship Course in Madison.
Big Ten Conference teams hold down six of the top nine spots in the USTFCCCA preseason rankings, with five of the top six squads hailing from the Big Ten. UW leads the way, followed by No. 2 Indiana, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Michigan and No. 6 Michigan State. Purdue checks in at No. 9.
The USTFCCCA will release the preseason edition of its national rankings Tuesday.
USTFCCCA Men's Cross Country Rankings
Great Lakes Region - 2011 Preseason
3. Ohio State
4. Notre Dame
6. Michigan State
10. Indiana State
11. Eastern Michigan
13. Kent State