Cougars Ranked in the Top 10

The men and women find themselves as one of four other programs who have both teams ranked in the top ten. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The men and women's cross country teams find themselves as two of the top ten teams in the nation. In a poll released by FinishLynx the women are ranked No. 3 in the nation as the defending national champion Stanford Cardinal come in at No. 1.

Last year, the women fell short of repeating as national champions to Stanford, as eight points separated BYU from winning their third straight title in three years.

On the men's side, the Cougars are ranked No. 9 in the nation according to a poll released by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association. Stanford, North Carolina State, Colorado and Michigan are the only four other programs that have both the men and women's teams ranked in the top ten.

In the past four seasons the men have finished in the top 25, with there best finish coming in 2001, when the men finished No. 12 in the nation.

"We are very excited to be recognized as one of the top programs in the nation," men's coach Ed Eyestone said. "But where you start isn't what matters, its how you finish the season."

For the women, getting back to the top will be a tougher road than expected as they lost there No. 1 runner in Kassi Andersen at the start of the season. Andersen suffered an accident this month while cross training on her bike in American Fork Canyon, which left her with a broken left hip. The junior will be out six to eight months.

"You can't replace your No. 1 runner," Shane said. "All you can do is prepare and hope for the best and ask the team to step it up. It's going to change our outlook drastically, but we'll rise to the occasion and we'll be fine."

Both the men and women find themselves heading back east on Oct 1. The men travel to South Bend, Indiana for the Notre Dame Invitational, as the women travel to Cary, North Carolina for the Great America.

MONDO MEN'S NCAA-1 CROSS COUNTRY POLL

Conducted by the United States Cross Country Coaches Association

First Poll -- Sept 21, 2004

Ranking Team (first place votes) Region Points

1 Wisconsin (9) GL 414

2 Stanford (4) W 403

3 Iona NE 384

4 Arkansas SC 378

5 Colorado M 363

6 Michigan GL 337

7 Georgetown MA 333

8 North Carolina State SE 298

9 BYU M 291

10 Cal Poly San Luis Obispo W 242

11 Air Force M 241

12 Indiana GL 236

13 Villanova MA 235

14 Providence NE 230

15 Northern Arizona M 185

16 Minnesota MW 160

17 Arizona W 151

18 Oklahoma State MW 147

19 Central Michigan GL 131

20 Miami GL 127

21 Oregon W 124

22 Georgia S 104

23 Ohio State GL 104

24 Butler GL 103

25 Washington W 93

26 Florida State S 92

27 Colorado State M 91

28 Iowa MW 80

29 Notre Dame GL 66

30 Arizona State W 65

FinishLynx NCAA Division I

Women's Cross Country National Poll

2004 Poll 31 - September 20, 2004

Ranking Team (first place votes) Points

1 Stanford (10) 386

2 Providence (3) 376

3 Brigham Young (1) 365

4 Notre Dame 354

5 North Carolina State 332

6 Colorado 318

7 Michigan 309

8 Princeton 296

9 UCLA 287

10 Villanova 267

11 North Carolina 249

12 Wake Forest 235

13 Columbia 230

14 Missouri 227

15 Georgetown 200

16 Arkansas 194

17 Duke 188

18 Marquette 170

19 Idaho 135

20 Tennessee 135

21 Penn State 120

22 Arizona State 116

23 Michigan State 107

24 Texas Tech 84

25 Washington 81

26 Colorado State 62

27 Yale 59

28 Southern Mehodist 38

29 Oklahoma 30

30 West Virginia 25