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ORU Cross Country Picked Ninth in Preseason Poll

Courtesy: Summit League Media Relations
          Release: 08/25/2011
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ELMHURST, Ill. - South Dakota State, the two-time defending Summit League Men's Champion, and Southern Utah, the 2010 women's runner-up were voted the preseason favorites to capture The 2011 Summit League Cross Country titles in a vote of the league's 10 head coaches.

In the men's poll, the Jackrabbits led the way with 75 points and five first-place votes.  Southern Utah finished in a close second with 71 points and four first-place selections.  Four points also separated the third and fourth spots as North Dakota State received 65 points and Oakland tallied 61 points and the final first-place vote.  One point separated IUPUI (41) and league newcomer South Dakota (40) in fifth and sixth.  Rounding out the poll were UMKC, Western Illinois, Oral Roberts and IPFW.

On the women's side, the Thunderbirds were the overwhelming favorite with 80 points and eight first-place votes followed by North Dakota State with 72 points and two first-place votes.  Oakland, the 2010 Summit League Champion, took third with 66 points, while only one point separated South Dakota (46) and UMKC (45) in fourth and fifth, respectively.  South Dakota State, IUPUI, IPFW, Oral Roberts and Western Illinois rounded out the poll for the women.

A total of 22 all-league honorees return this season, 10 men and 12 women, including the 2010 Male and Female Athletes of the Year.  On the men's side, South Dakota State leads the way with three of its four all-league selections returning from last year's championship team.  The Jackrabbits welcome back Michael Krsnak (first team), Jared Ailts (second team) and Greg Vollmer (second team).  The Bison and the Golden Grizzlies are the other two men's teams returning multiple all-league runners in second team selections Tyler Leverington and Travis Fitzke for North Dakota State and Brandon Griffin (first team) and Pat Cassady (second team) for Oakland.  UMKC welcomes back the 2010 individual champion and Athlete of the Year Cosmas Ayabei, while also returning for their teams are Southern Utah's Dallas Eborn (first team) and IUPUI's J.D Smith (second team).

For the women, the Thunderbirds return all four of their all-league selections from a year ago, led by the 2010 individual champion and Athlete of the Year Jamie Smith, along with teammates Sylvia Bedford (first team), Kirsten Bradford (second team) and Danielle West (second team).  Both UMKC and Oakland return two all-league honorees.  The Kangaroos return second teammers Jylian Jaloma and Aubrey Frederking, while the Golden Grizzlies bring back first team honorees Lia Jones and Brittni Hutton.  Also returning for their teams are Oral Roberts' Sheilah Ndasym (first team), South Dakota State's Erin Hargens (first team), IUPUI's Ana Paez (second team) and North Dakota State's Heidi Peterson (second team).

The regular season begins Sept. 2 as nine of the 10 league members begin competition opening weekend. The season culminates at The Summit League Cross Country Championships in Tulsa, Okla., Oct. 29.

2011 Summit League Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll

Place

Team

Points (1st)

2010 Finish

1.

South Dakota State

75 (5)

1st

2

Southern Utah

71 (4)

5th

3.

North Dakota State

65

3rd

4.

Oakland

61 (1)

2nd

5.

IUPUI

41

4th

6

South Dakota

40

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7.

UMKC

35

6th

8. Western Illinois 29 7th
9. Oral Roberts 20 8th
10. IPFW 13 9th

2011 Summit League Women's Cross Country Preseason Poll

Place

Team

Points (1st)

2010 Finish

1.

Southern Utah

80 (8)

2nd

2

North Dakota State

72 (2)

3rd

3.

Oakland

66

1st

4.

South Dakota

46

---

5.

UMKC

45

4th

6

South Dakota State

43

6th

7.

IUPUI

33

5th

8. IPFW 29 7th
9. Oral Roberts 22 8th
10. Western Illinois 14 9th

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