U-M Earns No. 26 Ranking in USTFCCCA Preseason Poll
Alex Gibby

Aug 27, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The University of Michigan men's cross country team earned a ranking of No. 26 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Poll, as announced Tuesday (Aug. 27). This marks the second straight season that the Wolverines have appeared in the preseason top 30 under fourth-year head coach Alex Gibby.

The Wolverines are one of four Big Ten institutions to be ranked among the nation's top 30, including Wisconsin (No. 7), Indiana (No. 20) and Michigan State (No. 30). Illinois also received votes in the poll.

Michigan returns 14 harriers from their 2012 squad, including six that were members of its Big Ten runner-up team. Seniors Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) and Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns) and sophomore Tony Smoragiewicz (Rapid City, S.D./Rapid City Central) were each members of the NCAA Championship squad. U-M's 2013 roster also features 11 true freshmen.

Last season, Michigan constructed its most successful season since 2008, finishing runner up at the Big Ten Championships and NCAA Great Lakes Regional. The Wolverines also qualified for the NCAA Championships as a team for the second consecutive year, placing 23rd. Beams and Rayyan garnered All-Great Lakes Region and All-Big Ten second team accolades.

The Wolverines will open the 2013 season on Friday (Aug. 30), hosting the annual Michigan Open at 10 a.m. at Hudson Mills Metropark in Dexter, Mich. Purdue will join the Wolverines for the non-scoring 5,000-meter race.

Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423