The Southwest Minnesota State University men's and women's cross country teams were both picked to finish 13th in the annual Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' poll released Wednesday.
SMSU enters its second season of men's and women's cross country since reinstating the program in summer 2012. Augustana was the top choice in both the men's and women's cross country poll.
Augustana also swept the NSIC Preseason Athletes of the Year awards as senior Paul Yak took the honor on the men's side, while senior Runa Falch earned the honor for the women.
In the men's poll, Augustana took all 12 first-place votes (coaches cannot vote for their school) while Minnesota State finished second with 125 points overall and one first-place vote. Sioux Falls (122), Minnesota Duluth (99) and the University of Mary (99) rounded out the top five. SMSU finished 13th with 25 points.
SMSU sophomore Alex Solheim, a native of Slayton, was named an "NSIC Athlete to Watch."
Augustana also took first place in the women poll with 195 overall points and 13 first-place votes. The University of Mary followed with 166 overall points, while Winona State (161), Minnesota-Duluth (158) and Minnesota State (156) rounded out the top five. SMSU finished 13th with 53 points, finishing ahead of Wayne State and Upper Iowa.
SMSU sophomore Tatum Larson, a native of Canton, S.D., was named an "NSIC Athlete to Watch."
The SMSU cross country teams open the 2013 season at the Augustana Twilight in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Sept 6.