Loper Cross Country in Upper Half of MIAA Poll|
The Nebraska-Kearney cross country teams have been picked to finish fourth (men) and sixth (women) in the 2013 MIAA preseason polls.
The conference's head coaches vote on the makeup of the polls; note nine schools sponsor men's cross country with 11 having a women's program.
On the men's side, UNK tallied 45 points to just trail defending league champ Fort Hays State (47). The Tigers did receive one of nine first place votes.
Southwest Baptist, last year's MIAA runner up, is picked first with 58 points with Missouri Southern State one point behind. The Bearcats and Lions each picked up four first place nods.
Last fall, UNK was fourth at the MIAA Championships and eighth of 23 teams at the Central Regional. The Lopers, who were nationally-ranked during the year, return team MVP and All-MIAA selection Kevin Carder (Boone Central H.S.), junior Bryan Hill (North Platte H.S.) and four other letterwinners.
SBU (94) and Southern (92) also rank 1-2 on the women's side with the 'Cats receiving five first place votes and the Lions four. Third-place Pittsburg State (86) garnered the other two first place votes.
UNK and rival Hays tied for sixth, each tallying 50 points, with Central Missouri fourth (73) and NW Missouri State fifth (62).
In 2012, the Lopers placed sixth at the MIAA meet and finished 15th out of 26 at regionals. Returning to the fold is 2012 team MVP and junior Briana Adams (Pierce), 2013 track All-American Marissa Bongers (Brainard) and three other letterwinners.
UNK reports to fall camp on Wednesday, August 21st. The Lopers start the year with a team time trial on Friday, September 6th, at Meadowlark Hills G.C.
Preseason Men's Poll
1. Southwest Baptist (4) 58
2. Missouri Southern St. (4) 57
3. Fort Hays State (1) 47
4. Nebraska-Kearney 45
5. Central Missouri 34
6. Northwest Missouri St. 30
7. Pittsburg State 28
8. Lindenwood 17
9. Emporia State 8
Preseason Women's Poll
1. Southwest Baptist (5) 94
2. Missouri Southern St. (4) 92
3. Pittsburg State (2) 86
4. Central Missouri 73
5. Northwest Missouri St. 62
T6. Nebraska-Kearney 50
Fort Hays State 50
8. Lindenwood 38
9. Central Oklahoma 30
10. Emporia State 16
11. Lincoln 14