The Toledo women's cross country team received its highest national ranking in program history at No. 15, as voted on by members of the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association Tuesday morning. Toledo moved up seven spots in this week's NCAA Division I National Coaches' Poll, surpassing the previous record set earlier this season when they spent two weeks in the No. 18 spot.
The Rockets continue to build their streak of appearing in the coaches' poll which now stands at seven, dating back to last season. UT also climbed back into the top three of the Great Lakes Region yesterday.
"We are still in the very early stages of our training, so I'm excited about the direction we are headed," 15th-year Head Coach Kevin Hadsell said.
The squad's first appearance in the top 15 comes after a thrilling race last weekend at the Kansas Rim Rock Farm Classic 6K. Toledo led No. 8 Michigan (No. 2 in GL Region) 37-35 with 200-meters remaining, but the Wolverines finished strong and claimed a nine-point victory over the Rockets, 42-33. Both teams placed their top-five runners among the top-15 finishers. Mackenzie Chojnacky finished third overall (20:45.10) with teammate Kaylin Belair (20:50.00) at her heels in fourth place to lead the Rockets.
"I think that the narrow loss to Michigan was a real shot in the arm to the women," Hadsell said. We have to stay healthy and continue to train and race with a purpose."
Toledo hopes more records fall this season. As the two-time reigning Mid-American Conference champions, they are the preseason favorite to win the title for an unprecedented third-straight year. The Rockets are also seeking their third consecutive NCAA Championship bid after recording a MAC-best, 21st-place finish in last year's race.
Pre-Nationals are up next for the Rockets in two weeks on Oct. 13. Louisville will host both races with the men's meet scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. and the women's gun will go off at 10:15 a.m.
As a result of a light schedule for competition in DI this upcoming weekend, there will not be a national poll released next Tuesday. The next poll will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 16