NEW ORLEANS Ė In a unanimous vote, the University of Colorado men’s cross country team is the preseason favorite after recording all 12 first-place votes (360 points) in the USTFCCCA Preseason Coaches Poll.
It’s no surprise the Buffs received the top ranking as the defending NCAA Champions because they return all seven postseason harriers from nationals, as well as senior Jake Hurysz, who redshirted the 2013 season but was an All-American in 2012. In total, CU returns five All-Americans to the starting line this year. Hurysz is joined by seniors Morgan Pearson and Blake Theroux, junior Pierce Murphy and sophomore Ben Saarel.
This is the first time since 2009 (Oregon) that the preseason No. 1 team has picked up all 12 first-place votes. Behind the Buffs are Northern Arizona (339) and Oregon (336) for second and third, respectively. Oklahoma State is fourth (319) and Stanford is fifth (307).
The CU women’s team recorded 277 points for eighth place in their poll after a seventh-place finish at NCAAs in 2013. The Buffs are the third highest ranking Pac-12 Conference team behind second place Oregon (330) and fourth ranked Stanford (314). Michigan is the preseason No. 1 with 342 points.
The Buffs will start their season on Saturday, August 30, with the Time Trial on CU’s South Campus at the Buffalo Ranch Cross Country Course. The women’s 5.8-kilometer race is at 8:30 a.m. and the men’s 8k will follow at 9:15 a.m. Parking and admission are free.