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Portland Tops 2007 Men's And Women's WCC Preseason Cross Country Polls

Sept. 4, 2007

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San Bruno, Calif. - The University of Portland men's and women's cross country teams were both picked to repeat as conference champions, as chosen by the WCC coaches in the annual preseason poll. Both teams received the maximum 49 points in their respective polls, getting the first place nod from all seven other coaches in the league. San Francisco received the remaining first place votes in both polls, and were predicted to finish second in the men's and women's races.

The Pilots have won the men's race 28 consecutive years, the longest streak in any sport in WCC history. Portland runners have also taken the top individual spot in as many years, with the Pilots placing four of the top five finishers in the 2006 race. Five Portland runners finished among the top 11 in 2006, with all five harriers receiving All-WCC honors. San Francisco captured second place to tie its best men's finish in school history, placing three runners in the top 10 and posting a program-best team score with 63 points.

As is the case with the men's program, the WCC women's cross country championship has been dominated by Portland since its inception. The Pilots have won 17 of the 22 women's championships the WCC has sponsored, including 10 of the last 11. The women's championship was run on a 6K course for the first time in 2006, and Loyola Marymount's Laura Mickelson captured the individual title with a time of 21:16. San Francisco set a program-record with 52 points en route to a second place finish.

Loyola Marymount was picked third in the men's poll with 37 points, and Santa Clara was tabbed for a fourth place finish with 31 points. Pepperdine (23) edged Gonzaga (22) for fifth place by a single point, and San Diego collected 12 points to take the No. 7 spot in the poll. Saint Mary's rounds out the listing in eighth place with nine points.

The women's poll mirrors the men's poll, with Loyola Marymount picked for a third place finish with 37 points and Santa Clara grabbing the fourth place spot with 32 points. Pepperdine was slated for a fifth place finish with 26 points, while Gonzaga was picked to finish sixth with 15 points. San Diego received 13 points to rank just behind the Bulldogs, and Saint Mary's garnered 11 points to close out the listing.

The 2007 WCC Men's and Women's Cross Country Championship will take place on October 27 at the Crystal Springs Cross Country Course in Belmont, CA.

2007 WCC Preseason Cross Country Poll Results

Men
1. Portland - 49 (7)
2. San Francisco - 41 (1)
3. Loyola Marymount - 37
4. Santa Clara - 31
5. Pepperdine - 23
6. Gonzaga - 22
7. San Diego - 12
8. Saint Mary's - 9

Women
1. Portland - 49 (7)
2. San Francisco - 41 (1)
3. Loyola Marymount - 37
4. Santa Clara - 32
5. Pepperdine - 26
6. Gonzaga - 15
7. San Diego - 13
8. Saint Mary's - 11

(first place votes)