Washington Women Begin XC Title Defense as No. 1
By Keith Nunez, USTFCCCA
September 15, 2009
NEW ORLEANS (September 15, 2009) – The Washington Huskies are perched at the top of the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Women’s Cross Country Top 30 Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the USTFCCCA announced Tuesday. The Huskies received all 12 first-place votes and earned 360 total points in the preseason poll.
Washington, last year’s NCAA Division I Cross Country National Champions, return five of their top seven runners from last year’s championship team, four of which were USTFCCCA Cross Country All-Americans. The Huskies open their 2009 season at home this weekend in the Sundodger Invitational.
Oregon comes in at No. 2 in the women’s preseason poll having earned 344 total points. The Ducks, last year’s runner-up at the NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships, return two USTFCCCA All-Americans in Nicole Blood and Alex Kosinski. The Ducks will be in action on October 2 at the Bill Dellinger Invitational.
Florida State is ranked third followed by West Virginia at No. 4. Florida State returns five of their top seven runners from last year’s squad that finished third overall in the team standings at the national meet. The Seminoles are led by senior standout Susan Kuijken who finished second in the individual standings at the national meet in 2008.
West Virginia finished fourth in the team standings at the national meet in 2008 but return all seven runners from last year’s team including USTFCCCA Cross Country All-American Keri Bland who finished tenth overall in the individual standings at the ’08 national meet.
Rounding out the women’s preseason top 30 at No. 5 is Villanova, the 2008 Big East Conference Cross Country Champions. Villanova loses only one senior from last year’s team (Francis Koons) that finished sixth overall at the NCAA cross country championships.
To view the complete 2009 USTFCCCA Division I Women’s Cross Country Preseason Top 30, click here.