ISU Cross Country Picked Second and Third in Preseason Poll
Aug. 27, 2008
ST. LOUIS - The Illinois State men's cross country team was tabbed to finish second in the 2008 Missouri Valley Conference Preseason Cross Country Coaches Poll released Wednesday by the conference office, while the Redbird women are tied for third in coaches poll.
The ISU men, who finished second at the 2007 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships, checked in at No. 2 with 71 points and a pair of first-place votes.
"A preseason ranking of No. 2 is great," said Illinois State head cross country coach Jeff Bovee. "It demonstrates that we have established ourselves as one of the top teams in the Valley. Based on the strength of our finish last year and the number of student-athletes that we have returning (the rankings) really says to a lot of people that we are going to have a good season. However, we are up against tough completion, and our goal has always been to win."
The `Birds return six of their top-seven runners from the 2007 season, including two All-MVC runners in junior Scott Krapf and senior Mike Richardson, who finished fourth and eighth, respectively, at last year's conference championship. Sophomore Matt Mroczynski, the 12th-place finisher in 2007 also returns to the Redbird squad.
Southern Illinois' men are the returning champions and were voted as favorites in the 2008 preseason poll, as the Saluki's garnered 77 points and six first-place votes. Indiana State came in behind Illinois State with 65 points and garnered the first-place vote. Drake came in fourth with 53 points, followed by Wichita State in fifth place (45 points). Northern Iowa was picked sixth with 35 points, while Bradley took the seventh spot with 23 points. Creighton (19 points) and Evansville (16 points) rounded out the eighth and ninth positions, respectively in the preseason poll.
The Illinois State women and Southern Illinois both tied for third with 69 points, with ISU gaining one first-place vote.
"We have a lot of depth and talented young women on our squad this year," said Bovee. "I think the reason we got one first-place vote is because our team has the potential to be contending for a conference championship, depending on how quickly we can hit our stride. The conference on the women's side is a lot deeper, and there are about five or six teams that could finish higher than what they are projected to finish in the preseason poll."
The ISU women's cross country team return six of its top seven competitors from last season, all of whom finished in the top-35 at the 2007 MVC Championships. The Redbirds will be led by sophomores Jess Husted and Sarah Glowacki, who finished 18th, and 24th, respectively in 2007 at the conference championships and have emerged as the top runners looking to fill the void of all-conference runner Suzy Turner.
Missouri State is tabbed as the 2008 favorite with 95 points and six first-place votes, while Wichita State is a solid second-place pick with 91 points and three first-place votes. UNI tallied 62 points and the fifth spot, while Indiana State came in sixth with 52 points. Drake earned the seventh position in the preseason poll and Bradley came in eight with 33 points, Creighton (16) and Evansville (14) round out the final positions.