Lehigh selected fifth in PL preseason poll; 14th regionally
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s cross country team was tabbed to finish fifth in the Patriot League in the annual preseason poll, as announced by the league office on Monday. The Mountain Hawks garnered 51 points in the poll, which are voted on by the coaches and the sports information directors.
Navy was picked as the preseason favorite with 98 points and 14-first place votes. American was picked to finish second with 84 points and two first-place votes, Army third with 75 points and Colgate fourth with 54 points. Bucknell (46 points), Holy Cross (25 points) and Lafayette (15 points) rounded out spots six through eight, respectively.
Lehigh was also ranked 14th in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason regional rankings for the NCAA Division I 2011 season, which was also announced on Monday.
The Mountain Hawks took fifth place at the 2010 Patriot League Championship and 15th at the regionals last season. While the 2011 squad is young, Lehigh returns its top two runners from last season – seniors and co-captains Evan Flach and Evans Kosgei. Last season, Kosgei became the first ever Lehigh men’s cross country runner to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the current format. Kosgei finished 13th at the NSCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional Meet and was runner-up in the Patriot League Championship.
Lehigh will open the season on Friday with the Lehigh Invitational at the Goodman Campus Course at 5:30 p.m.