Men's and women's cross country teams nab pre-season spotlight
Posted on: August 30
The Master’s College men and women’s cross country teams will start the 2013 season in the top 10 in the NAIA national rankings.
According to the 2013 NAIA Cross Country Coaches’ Preseason Top 25 Poll, the Mustang men’s and women’s teams are ranked ninth and tenth, respectively.
The Mustang men finished the 2012 season ranked eighth nationally en route to their third consecutive Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) championship. The team will have to absorb the loss of national champion John Gilbertson, who graduated in May, and will face stiff competition from a competitive GSAC field. Fellow conference members Arizona Christian (No. 16) and Vanguard (No. 21) are also ranked nationally in the preseason poll.
TMC is still the favorite, however. The Conference/A.I.I./Unaffiliated Group Poll, which was released on Aug. 26, ranked the Mustangs No. 1 in the conference.
For the women's team, the 2013 season rests on the pillars of its depth and experience. Last year, the Lady Mustangs ended the year with a No. 25 national ranking, and the team returns its top six runners from that squad.
Leading the way for TMC will be Hannah Kellermen, Katrina Graham and Karis Frankian – all of whom earned NAIA All-American honors in 2012.
“The Lady Mustangs have an opportunity to win conference this year and be a top contender in the nation,” said TMC head coach Zach Schroeder. “Being led by team captains Hannah Kellerman and Karis Frankian, we will be very strong with two quality frontrunners. The secret to our team will be the depth we will boast this year as we have four newcomers who will really add depth to the critical three, four, and five spots. With a strong field the Lady Mustangs will no doubt be the best team we have ever fielded in program history.”
Like the men’s team, the Lady Mustangs are also ranked first in the GSAC according to the Conference/A.I.I./Unaffiliated Group Poll.
Both teams will open the season on Sept. 7, at the UC Irvine Invitational.