(NEW ORLEANS) – The 2018 NCAA Division II Cross Country Preseason National and Regional Coaches' Rankings were released and Walsh men's and women's teams are ranked in both polls. The women earned the highest national ranking as they debut at No. 13. The men come into the season at No. 19. Both teams are ranked fourth among the regional competition.
Adams State tops both national polls while Grand Valley State stands at No. 2 in both. The Lakers also secured the top spot in the region on the men's and women's side.
The Cavaliers return strong runners on both sides with frontrunners Mark Hadley, Steven Kapes, and Jacob Kernell for the men. The Walsh men's cross country team finished 22nd in last year's NCAA Division II National Championships with Kernell finishing as the top runner for the Cavaliers.
On the women's side, the Cavaliers will miss the stand-out performance of Sarah Berger who will highlight Grand Valley's team as a graduate transfer, but return the majority of the team that placed 12th last year in the NCAA Division II National Championships. The Cavaliers will be led by Brianna Coy and Andra Lehotay who substantially contributed to Walsh's finish at the national championships.
The season will start in two weeks when the Maroon and Gold heads to South Bend, Ind., to race in the National Catholic Meet hosted by the University of Notre Dame.