Sept. 16, 2008
The University of Portland men's cross country team opens the 2008 season as the No. 7 ranked team in the nation as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced the first Division I men's cross country national poll on Tuesday. Portland is ranked No. 2 in the West Region behind defending national champion Oregon, who is also the top ranked team in the country.
The voting panel for the USTFCCCA Division I Men's National Poll consists of the elected executive committee and regional representatives of the USTFCCCA.
Portland finished last season 14th at the NCAA Championship meet paced by All-America junior David Kinsella's eighth place showing. Kinsella is back to lead the Pilots in 2008 along with a good crop of up-and-coming prospects and a talented recruiting class.
The Pilots have already competed in two events this fall, running primarily their `B' squad in anticipation of their first varsity event: the Bill Dellinger Invitational on Oct. 4. Kinsella did participate, and win, the 2008 West Coast Preview at Pier Park on Friday as he is working his way back from an injury that kept him out of the track season last spring. Kinsella impressed by blowing away the field with a cool 25:06 at the 8K course.
In late August, freshman phenom Alfred Kipchumbo set a Western Oregon course record with a time of 24:14.20 at the 8K Summer's End Invitational. Kipchumbo, a native of Iten, Kenya, is one of the rare freshmen that will most likely compete on Portland's varsity squad from the outset.
Portland also returns seniors Colin Longmuir, Justin Houck; junior Tommy Betterbed; and sophomore Dino Bozzone, all competitors in last year's NCAA Championship meet.
On the other side, the UP women have seen steady performances over the last few years at the NCAA West Regional and are looking for a breakthrough effort this year. The squad has finished seventh each of the last two seasons and tied a school-best sixth place finish in 2005. Head coach Ian Solof returns seven of his top eight runners and welcomes arguably the programs best recruiting class in school history. The team's featured runner is junior Dana Morgan, who qualified individually for the NCAA meet last year and posted the second best women's individual finish in school history (46th place).
Also joining the Regional Rankings are the LMU Lions men's team. For the first time in school history, the LMU Men's Cross Country team has been ranked in the Division 1 Men's Cross Country Regional Rankings. The Lions are ranked #15 in the West Region."This is really HUGE for us." Coach Scott Guerrero commented on the preseason rankings. "It's a testament to how far our program has come in the last few years."
Loyola Marymount finished second at last year's WCC championships and will be returned their top finishers from that meet in Trevor Wiseman and Lino Almeida, who both made the all-WCC team last year.
Men's Division I Cross Country National Poll
Rank Team (first place votes) Region Rank Totals1. Oregon (12) West-1 3602. Oklahoma State Midwest-1 3453. Colorado Mountain-1 3064. Iona College Northeast-1 3035. Alabama South-1 3016. Wisconsin Great Lakes-2 2917. Portland West-2 2628. Michigan Great Lakes-1 2609. Minnesota Midwest-2 25710. Georgetown Mid-Atlantic-1 25511. Stanford West-3 20712. UTEP Mountain-4 19613. Virginia Southeast-2 18614. Texas South Central-1 17515. New Mexico Mountain-2 17016. North Carolina State Southeast-1 16617. Northern Arizona Mountain-3 15718. Providence Northeast-2 15219. California West-4 15020. Notre Dame Great Lakes-3 140
Division I Women's Cross Country Regional Rankings
4. Arizona State
8. UC Irvine
10. Washington State
11. UC Davis
13. Oregon State
14. Cal State Fullerton
Division I Men's Cross Country Regional Rankings
5. Cal Poly
7. Arizona State
8. Washington State
10. UC Riverside
12. UC Davis
13. UC Irvine
14. Eastern Washington
15. Loyola Marymount