NEW ORLEANS, LA - The Iona College men's cross country team is ranked No. 8 on the USTFCCCA DI National Cross Country Coaches Poll for the preseason, it was announced today. The Gaels were also selected No. 1 in the Northeast Region.
The Gaels return six of its 10 harriers that competed in either the Northeast Regional or NCAA Championships last season. Led by senior All-American Mitch Goose, classmates Matt Bayley and Craig Murphy join junior Chris Stogsdill and sophomores Andrew Kowalsky and Jake Byrne as Gael performers with November championship experience. Goose finished 40th overall at last year's NCAA Championship while Bayley came in just behind his teammate in 43rd place.
The reigning national champion Wisconsin Badgers were selected No. 1 overall. Oklahoma State, Brigham Young, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas and Portland were selected ahead of the Gaels. Stanford and Florida State round out the Top 10.
Iona was selected as the top team in the Northeast Region in the preseason poll. No. 12 Syracuse and No. 27 Columbia are the only other ranked teams in the region.
The Gaels have earned 21 straight MAAC Championships, now the longest active streak in NCAA Division I. Iona overtook the Portland after the Pilots were upended in last year's WCC Championship by the league's newest member, BYU. The Maroon & Gold has also earned 10 straight Top 2 finishes in the Northeast Regional Championship, earning an automatic bid into the NCAA race. The program's 10 straight Top 10 finishes at the national championship is only matched in NCAA Division I by Wisconsin.
Iona opens the season on Saturday (Sep. 1) at the Marist Invitational in Poughkeepsie, NY.
The Iona College cross country / track & field program and the entire Iona community sends its thoughts and prayers to the USTFCCCA and those in the Gulf Coast region as they brace for the landfall of Tropical Storm Isaac.
USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll 2012 Preseason, August 28 Rk. School (FPV) Pts 1. Wisconsin (10) 357 2. Oklahoma State (1) 345 3. Brigham Young (1) 338 4. Oklahoma 299 5. Colorado 297 6. Texas 291 7. Portland 282 8. Iona College 278 9. Stanford 251 10. Florida State 231 11. NC State 226 12. Syracuse 216 13. Indiana 206 14. Georgetown 191 15. Texas A&M 178 16. Villanova 149 17. Northern Arizona 141 18. Minnesota 133 19. Michigan 131 20. Tulsa 129 21. Princeton 121 22. Oregon 118 23. Arkansas 95 24. New Mexico 87 25. Notre Dame 81 26. Washington State 71 27. Columbia 62 28. Georgia 58 29. Eastern Kentucky 55 30. UCLA 44 Also receiving votes: Providence 28, Florida 23, Ohio State 21, Virginia 12, North Carolina 9, California 8, Cal Poly 7, Iowa State 5, William & Mary 3, Dartmouth 1, Michigan State 1, Virginia Tech 1. USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country Northeast Regional Team Rankings Preseason Rankings Rk. School 1. Iona College 2. Syracuse 3. Columbia 4. Providence 5. Dartmouth 6. Cornell 7. Brown 8. Boston University 9. Harvard 10. Boston College 11. Buffalo 12. Connecticut 13. Fordham 14. Central Connecticut State 15. Army