CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released this year's national preseason cross country coaches' poll on Wednesday and both the MIT men's and women's teams found themselves among the tops in the country to open the 2011 campaign. Both squads are coming off tremendous finishes in 2010, as the women placed third at the NCAA Division III championship and the men were 12th nationally.
The Tech women will open this year ranked No. 4 in the country and third in the New England regional poll. Defending national champion, Middlebury College, debuts in the top spot, followed by another New England rival, Williams College. Washington University (Mo.) sits one spot ahead of the Cardinal and Gray. In the regional rankings, MIT is joined by fellow New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) member Wellesley College at No. 9.
On the men's side, the Engineers will begin the season 17th in the nation. The defending New England Division III champions debut fourth in the first regional poll as well. North Central College was chosen as the top squad in the country after finishing second at last year's NCAA championship.
The Tech harriers will open their season with an Alumni meet on Saturday, September 3 before beginning full competition the following week in the Engineer's Cup at Franklin Park in Boston, Mass.