With cross country competition begins nationally this weekend, the United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason polls have been released and the CMS cross country teams are ranked first in the West Region for both the men and the women. Nationally, the Athenas are ranked fifth while the Stags are 14th. 21 teams are ranked in both the men's and women's polls, but only three programs have a better combined ranking than CMS.
The Athenas are the three-time defending conference and regional champions and finished third at last year's NCAA Championships. The team returns four All-Region runners including their top three from last season - sophomore All-American Bridget Blum, senior All-American Allison Barnwell and junior Sara Mostatabi.
The Stags are also the defending conference and regional champions and finished 11th at last year's NCAA Championships. Five Stags return who competed in the postseason last year including defending region champ Zorg Loustalet, junior Sam Pitcavage, junior Justin Jones, senior Colin Briskman and sophomore Jacob Higle-Ralbovsky.
CMS is the only program nationally that is ranked first in their region on both the men's and women's sides. The first competition for CMS will be in Santa Barbara against Westmont College on September 7. The first regular season USTFCCCA poll will be released September 18.