Oregon women No. 1 in preseason cross country poll

By the Pac-12 Conference

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The OREGON women's cross country team was ranked No. 1 in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason national coaches' poll, which was announced Tuesday. In all, five women's teams were ranked in the top-15 of the poll. On the men's side, COLORADO led the way for five Pac-12 teams, ranking fifth in the nation. The cross country regular season begins this weekend.

The Ducks are ranked No. 1 in the preseason for the first time since 2008. UO placed fifth at NCAA's last year, led by NCAA runner-up Jordan Hasay, who enters her final collegiate campaign. WASHINGTON was ranked No. 2 in the preseason ranking. The NCAA runner-up last season, the Huskies were just eight points shy of claiming the 2011 crown, the closest the national championship had been decided since 1998.

Also in the top-10 were STANFORD, coming in eighth. The Cardinal were 10th at the NCAA meet last year. 2011 Pac-12 Champion COLORADO was ranked No. 13 and ARIZONA was ranked 14th. Both the Buffs and Wildcats finished in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships last year.

On the men's side, the 2011 Pac-12 Champion Buffs are fifth in the preseason poll. Colorado was the highest Pac-12 finisher at the NCAA Championships, placing third overall. The Cardinal were fifth last year at the national meet and are ranked eighth in the poll. The coaches ranked the Ducks No. 22 in the preseason, followed by WASHINGTON STATE at No. 26 and UCLA at No. 30. CALIFORNIA also received votes in the poll.

The cross country season begins this weekend. The regular season culminates with the Pac-12 Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27 with the Bruins serving as host. The NCAA Regional Championships are scheduled for Friday, Nov. 9, with the national meet taking place in Louisville, Ky., on Monday, Nov. 19.

For more the full preseason poll, visit www.ustfccca.org.

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