NEW ORLEANS, La. – After being picked first in the Big Sky this morning, Northern Arizona men's cross country has been ranked second in the nation in the preseason coaches' poll release by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
The Lumberjacks were edged out by defending champion Colorado who received all 12 first-place votes. The Buffaloes beat NAU at the national championships after falling to them at the regional championships.
The Lumberjacks return five of the seven that competed at the national championships, including fourth-place Futsum Zienasellassie and 25th-place Matt McElroy. This year, they'll be joined by Louisville transfer Tyler Byrne, 29th at the national championships, to give the 'Jacks three of the top-18 finishers returning this year.
Colorado returns all seven from their championship team last year.
Oregon followed Northern Arizona in the poll, and they are highlighted with the return of reigning national champion, Edward Cheserek.
Lumberjack cross country kicks off on Sept. 6 when they host the George Kyte Classic at Buffalo Park.