Story courtesy of Toledo Sports Information
NEW ORLEANS, LA - The Toledo women's cross country team continues to make history by receiving the No. 18 ranking in the first regular season 2012 NCAA Division I National Coaches' Poll, the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday afternoon.
The latest ranking trumped last year's No. 21 spot as the highest national ranking in program history. It also marked the highest regular season ranking of any school in Mid-American Conference history.
Two-time defending MAC champion and preseason favorite to win this year's championship, Toledo climbed from the No. 23 national preseason ranking received two weeks ago.
"Being honest, I think the jump was more a reflection of some teams moving down than us moving up," Head Coach Kevin Hadsell said. "We want to finish the year in this range, but we are not getting overly excited about it."
The jump in the polls can be attributed to the Rockets' domination of the Mel Brodt Collegiate Opener on Aug. 31 in Bowling Green, OH. They finished first among five teams with 19 points, including five of the top-six finishers. Sophomore Mackenzie Choznacky took first place at 18:12.60 and was recognized as the MAC Runner of the Week.
Still the only MAC school appearing in the national coaches' poll, Toledo remains the No. 3 ranked team in the Great Lakes Region behind No. 11 Michigan and No. 13 Michigan State.
The Rockets will run their second race of the season on Friday, Sept. 21, when they host the Second Annual Toledo Inter-Regional Bubble Buster at Ottawa Park.
This year's meet will include three ranked teams that Toledo passed in the national poll, including No. 19 San Francisco, No. 20 Syracuse and No. 25 West Virginia, as well as three teams receiving votes - BYU, Iowa and Portland.
The women's race is scheduled to begin at 5:50 p.m. and the men's race will start at 5:10 p.m.