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SPORTS: Oklahoma State University

Cowboy Cross Country Is Title Favorite Again, Cowgirls Ranked No. 21

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STILLWATER, Oklahoma -

Oklahoma State men's cross country has been named the No.1 team in the nation, according to the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason poll.

This ranking comes one day after the Cowboys earned the No. 1 preseason ranking in the Midwest Region.

Being on top of the men's cross country rankings is nothing new for OSU, as the defending champion and winners of three of the past four NCAA titles. The Cowboys earned 10 of the 12 first-place votes in the poll.

The Cowboys return four scorers from their title-winning squad a year ago, three of whom are now seniors who finished in the top 25 as individuals. Tom Farrell finished ninth overall in 2012, while teammates Shadrack Kipchirchir and Joseph Manilafasha finished 18th and 24th, respectively. Shane Moskowitz, who finished 53rd last year, also returns.

"It's always great to earn recognition," OSU coach Dave Smith said. "However, this is just a preseason ranking. They don't award trophies for preseason rankings. We have to go out there and back it up. We're excited to get started."

On the women's side, the Cowgirls will begin the season with the nation's No. 21 ranking. OSU is the highest-ranked squad from the Big 12, and No. 2 in the Midwest Region. Returners Monika Juodeskaite and Natalja Piliusina, who each finished in the top 50 at last year's NCAA Championships, will lead the way for the Cowgirls.

The OSU cross country season begins this Saturday, Aug. 31, with the Tulsa Duels, in Tulsa, Okla.

2013 USTFCCCA Preseason Men's Cross Country Rankings

1 Oklahoma State (10)

2 Northern Arizona (2)

3 Colorado

4 BYU

5 Arkansas

5 Tulsa

7 Wisconsin

8 Portland

9 Syracuse

10 Princeton

11 Eastern Kentucky

12 Oregon

13 UCLA

14 Iona

15 Texas

16 Stanford

17 Virginia

18 Columbia

19 New Mexico

20 Indiana

21 Florida State

22 Notre Dame

23 Florida

24 Georgetown

25 NC State

2013 USTFCCCA Preseason Women's Cross Country Rankings

1 Providence (11)

2 Florida State

3 Oregon (1)

4 Duke

5 Washington

6 Georgetown

7 Arizona

8 Stanford

9 Arkansas

10 Cornell

11 Penn State

12 Villanova

13 Michigan State

14 Colorado

15 New Mexico

16 William and Mary

17 Michigan

18 Notre Dame

19 Minnesota

20 Vanderbilt

21 Oklahoma State

22 NC State

23 San Francisco

24 Weber State

25 Boston College

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