Mark Beams (front) and Morsi Rayyan
Aug. 28, 2012
NEW ORLEANS, La. -- The University of Michigan men's cross country team earned the No. 19 ranking in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Cross Country Coaches' Preseason Poll, as announced Tuesday (Aug. 28).
The Wolverines are one of four Big Ten schools ranked in the top 30 nationally, including the defending national champion Wisconsin (No. 1), as well Indiana (No. 13) and Minnesota (No. 18).
This year marks the first time Michigan has appeared in the preseason poll since 2009 (No. 22). In 2011, U-M did not crack the top 30 until the third regular-season poll, where they were ranked No. 28.
U-M returns all but two scorers from its 2011 squad, which earned a trip to the NCAA Championships for the first time since 2008, finishing 20th as a team. The Maize and Blue also placed third at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional and tied for third at the Big Ten Championships.
The Wolverines will be led by five returners from last year's varsity squad, including junior Mark Beams (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg), senior/junior Brendon Blacklaws (Wellington, New Zealand/Wellington College), sophomore Mason Ferlic (St. Paul, Minn./Mounds Park Academy), senior Zach Ornelas (Cedar Park, Texas/Vista Ridge) and junior Morsi Rayyan (Dewitt, Mich./St. Johns).
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423