Aug. 27, 2013
• USTFCCCA Release | USTFCCCA Rankings
MADISON, Wis. - After checking as the preseason No. 1 team in the Great Lakes Region on Monday, the Wisconsin men's cross country squad is ranked No. 7 in the first U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association National Coaches' Poll, which the organization released on Tuesday.
The Badgers finished runner-up at the NCAA championship a year ago, and look to replace a trio of All-Americans that finished in the top 15 in Mohammed Ahmed, Maverick Darling and Reed Connor. Wisconsin returns two of its scorers from the national meet in senior Rob Finnerty, who has been granted a sixth year of eligibility, and junior Alex Hatz.
Wisconsin has finished in the top 10 at the NCAA championship in each of the past 17 seasons. The Badgers have also competed at the NCAA championship a record 41 straight years, and have finished in the top three a NCAA-record 22 times, including each the past three seasons.
Wisconsin is one of four Big Ten teams ranked, as Indiana (20), Michigan (26) and Michigan State (30) join the Badgers in the poll. The Big Ten teams is tied for the second most of any conference, trailing only the ACC, which has six teams represented.
Defending NCAA champion Oklahoma State returns four scorers from its title-winning squad and holds the top spot in the poll. Northern Arizona checks in second, while Colorado is third. BYU is ranked fourth, while Arkansas and Tulsa are tied for the fifth spot in the rankings.
The Badgers will see their first action of the year on Friday, Sept. 5, as they host the Badger Opener at the Zimmer Championship Course. The meet is free to the public and slated to start at 5 p.m.