Previewing Bethany Cross Country, UMAC releases preseason poll

Men’s Preview:

During the 2015 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Championship, the Men’s Cross Country team finished with 149, which placed them sixth overall. On Wednesday, the UMAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released with the Vikings picked to finish sixth again this year. The UW-Superior Yellowjackets earned 62 points in the preseason poll with seven first-place votes, while reigning conference champion College of St. Scholastica earned two first place votes to come in a solid second with 56 points.

Bethany will be without 2014 UMAC champion Owen Richardson who led the team last season placing eighth, but the Vikings return good experience with Zach Dantzman and David Luehring who both placed in the top 40 a season ago. Lucas Malimanek will also contribute to the team’s top five.

2016 UMAC Men’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Wisconsin-Superior – 62 Points (7 First Place Votes)
2. St. Scholastica – 56 Points (2 First Place Votes)
3. Martin Luther – 46 Points
4. Minnesota Morris – 45 Points
5. Northwestern – 39 Points
6. Bethany Lutheran – 31 Points
7. Northland – 18 Points
8. North Central – 17 Points
9. Crown – 10 Points

Women’s Preview:

During the 2015 campaign, the Bethany Women’s Cross Country team finished in fourth place at the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) tournament, trailing the UW-Superior Yellowjackets by just one point. The Vikings are again tabbed to finish fourth in this year’s UMAC Coaches’ Poll.

St. Scholastica, UW-Superior, and Minnesota-Morris are the teams the Vikings will be chasing in 2016. St. Scholastica has won 15 of the last 16 UMAC championships and Bethany will look to build on last season and provide St. Scholastica with some tough competition for the 2016 season.

The Vikings lost three runners during the offseason but bring in an array of new runners to add to the talented runners returning this season. The Vikings will be lead in 2016 by returning runner Megan and Morgan Sauer who finished fourth and 13th respectively in the UMAC Championships in 2015.

2016 UMAC Women’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll
1. St. Scholastica – 63 Points (7 First Place Votes)
2. Wisconsin-Superior – 54 Points (1 First Place Vote)
3. Minnesota Morris – 48 Points (1 First Place Vote)
4. Bethany Lutheran – 45 Points
5. Martin Luther – 37 Points
6. Northwestern – 31 Points
T-7. Crown – 16 Points
T-7. North Central – 16 Points
9. Northland – 14 Points

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