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Cross Country: WVU Advances in Rankings

By Daniel Whitehead for
September 13, 2011 08:11 PM
Week 1 USTFCCCA Rankings

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Following two weeks of competition, the West Virginia cross country team jumped four spots to No. 20 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA) national poll released Tuesday afternoon.

The Mountaineers, ranked No. 24 in the preseason USTFCCCA poll, made the largest jump in the NCAA Division I women’s poll.

“Not much has changed since we began fall camp,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “We are training hard with the end of the season in mind. Moving up a few spots is encouraging and a nice reward for how hard we are working.”

West Virginia took second place with 52 points at the Maryland Eastern Shore Lid-Lifter Invitational on Sept. 3. Redshirt junior Hallie Portner led the team with a sixth-place finish in the race with a 5k time of 18:24. Teammates Sarah Martinelli and Aubrey Moskal finished in eighth and ninth place, respectively, at the event. Navy won the competition with a score of 15 points.

The ACC has six teams to lead all conferences in the women’s top 30, followed by the BIG EAST, Big Ten, and Pac-12, which have five each. Georgetown and New Mexico kept the top number of votes to lead the national rankings.

“We have a long way to go before this team is satisfied with its readiness to compete against the best in the country,” Cleary says. “Week by week we hope to grow and prepare ourselves for the championship portion of the season.”

WVU was once again ranked fifth in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic regional poll released Monday afternoon. BIG EAST foes Georgetown and Villanova retained the top spots in the regional poll.

The Mountaineers look to finish the season with a Top 10 national finish for the fourth time in five years.

WVU Cross Country, Sean Cleary

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