Click Here For Preseason Rankings
Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's cross country teams will both start the season listed among the nation's top 25 teams as the Bulldogs are included in the 2013 United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division II National Rankings announced this week.
The Bulldog women's squad is ranked 15th in the country in the preseason poll while the men's team is listed 25th in the nation heading into the fall 2013 campaign under sixth-year head coach Steve Picucci.
Additionally, both teams are also featured in the Midwest Regional poll with the women third and the men sixth among the region's top 10 teams.
On the women's side, a total of five Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) schools are either ranked nationally or listed among the teams receiving votes in the preseason listing. Grand Valley State is tabbed as the preseason number one team in the country with Hillsdale 11th and FSU 15th in the poll. Both Saginaw Valley State and Wayne State received votes.
Meanwhile, four men's teams cracked the top 25 overall with GVSU fifth, Ashland 11th, Malone 19th and FSU 25th in the national rankings.
Notably, this year's preseason listing was the first edition of the Division II National Coaches Poll, as previous iterations of the Division II rankings have been compiled by single individuals. The NCAA Division II National Championships will be held November 23 in Spokane, Wash.
A year ago, both Ferris State teams qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championships by placing third at the 2012 NCAA-II Midwest Regional Championships held in Kenosha, Wis. The Bulldog men finished 13th in a competitive field at the national championships with the women placing 22nd overall in Joplin, Mo.
Last season represented only the seventh time in history the Bulldog women's cross country team had qualified as a team for the national championships, but it marked the program's fifth-straight trip to nationals. FSU has reached the national championships each year since 2008 when the Bulldogs qualified for the first time since 1987.
The men's squad advanced a year ago to nationals for the first time since 1985 and made the program's eighth all-time Division II national berth.
Both Ferris State teams will open the 2013 fall campaign at home by hosting the annual Ray Helsing Bulldog Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 7, at FSU's Katke Golf Course.