HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's cross country team will enter the 2018 campaign as the fifth-ranked squad in the nation in the National Coaches' Poll, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Wednesday afternoon. In addition, the Fords are the top ranked squad in the Mideast regional rankings. The No. 5 national ranking is the highest preseason rank for the Fords since the 2013 team was ranked second to begin the season. Haverford finished with 249 total voting points after finishing eighth at the NCAA Championships a season ago.
For the eighth time in the last 10 years, North Central (Ill.) enters the season as the No. 1 team in the nation, followed by Amherst, Wisconsin-La Crosse, Pomona-Pitzer and the Fords. Johns Hopkins is the only other Centennial Conference squad represented in the national poll, taking the No. 14 preseason ranking. In the Mideast regional rankings, Carnegie Mellon, Johns Hopkins, Messiah and Dickinson round out the top five.
Last season, the Fords were ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation heading into the NCAA Division III National Championship. The Fords dominated the Centennial Conference and Mideast Regional meets, securing a 22nd Centennial Conference title and a 23rd Mideast Regional championship in the process.
Mideast Region Runner of the Year and individual champion Graham Peet is back for his senior season in 2018, one of five returners from Haverford's team that competed at the national meet. All-Region selections Ryan Herlihy, Greg Morgan, Dylan Gearinger and Sam McCalpin also return to the fold looking for a national championship in 2018.
Head Coach Tom Donnelly's squad gets the season underway at the Alumni Open (Sept. 8) before hosting the Main Line Invitational on September 14. The Fords will host the Centennial Conference Championships on October 27 on the Alumni Cross Country Course. The national championship meet is slated for November 17 in Oshkosh, Wisc.