HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's cross country will begin the 2019 campaign as the 16th ranked team in the nation according to the National Coaches' Poll, the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced in a release on Wednesday afternoon.
In addition to the national ranking, the Fords are the third-ranked squad in the first installment of the Mideast Regional rankings. In that grouping, Haverford trails only national No. 7 Carnegie Mellon and No. 10 Johns Hopkins. No. 33 Dickinson, ranked fifth in the region, is the other Centennial Conference team ranked in the preseason poll.
Three-time defending national champion North Central (Ill.) is the top team in the initial national preseason poll, while Washington-St. Louis, Williams, Wartburg, and Pomona-Pitzer make up the preseason top five.
On the national stage, the Haverford men have qualified as a team to the NCAA Championships during each of the last 26 years, including a fourth-place finish in last season's meet in Winneconne, Wis. They have placed in the top 10 a total of 19 times across their 36 all-time appearances, including 11 times in the past 15 years.
The Fords will have a new look as its three All-America finishers leave to graduation. Senior Sam McCalpin headlines the returners, as a two-time nationals participants who will look to make his third trip to nationals as the meet is held in his hometown of Louisville, Ky (Nov. 23). Senior David Watt also returns from a nationals performance, while talented sophomores Jamie Moreland and Peter Buckley also made appearances at the national meet in their first season. Moreland will enter his sophomore campaign as the reigning Centennial Conference Rookie of the Year after crossing in 22nd overall at the conference meet.
Head Coach Tom Donnelly's squad gets the 2019 season underway at the Alumni Open (Sept. 7) before hosting the Main Line Invitational on September 20. This season's Centennial Conference Championships will be held at Gettysburg on Saturday, November 2.