Sept. 16, 2008
NEW ORLEANS, La. - The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its 2008 Division 1 National Rankings and the University of Alabama men were No. 5 in the voting.
"It's a preseason poll and like any poll it can change," cross country coach Joe Walker said. "Now we have to solidify our position and prove that's where we belong and hopefully that's the top five in the country."
Oregon, who returns all five All-Americans from last year's NCAA Championship team, will look to repeat again in 2008 garnering all 12 first place votes. The Ducks won the men's overall title in impressive fashion scoring 85 points en route to their first team title since 1977. The Ducks are led by 2008 U.S. Olympians Galen Rupp (2007 NCAA Individual Champ) and Andrew Wheating.
The Tide also returns their top five runners from last year's sixth place team including All-American Augustus Maiyo. Last year's team finish of sixth is the highest in history at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. The No. 5 ranking is the highest poll ranking the Crimson Tide team has ever held (former ranking of No. 11). This betters last year's preseason ranking of No. 11 and final ranking of No. 6.
"This undoubtedly is a great moment for our program," head track and field coach Harvey Glance said. "It is the highest preseason ranking we've ever achieved. I'm extremely proud to be a part of this historic moment at The University of Alabama."
Alabama is one of three SEC schools to be ranked in the poll. Arkansas is No. 22 while Auburn comes in at No. 25
The voting panel for the USTFCCCA Division I Men's National Poll consists of the elected executive committee and regional representatives of the USTFCCCA and is conducted by Don Kopriva.
The 2008 Division I Cross Country National meet will be hosted by Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind. on Nov. 24.
The Men's Division I Cross Country National Poll:
||Team (first place votes)
||North Carolina State
||William & Mary