NCAA

Cross Country Opens 2023 Campaign Ranked No. 22 in USTFCCCA Preseason Poll

Cross Country Opens 2023 Campaign Ranked No. 22 in USTFCCCA Preseason Poll


NEW ORLEANS – With the 2023 cross country season on the horizon, the Utah cross country team was ranked No. 22 in the USTFCCCA Preseason Poll that was released on Wednesday.
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It marks the fourth time in program history the Women of Utah have been ranked in the preseason poll and first time they have been ranked in the preseason poll back-to-back years. Utah’s highest ranking in the preseason poll came last season when it checked in at No. 18 before finishing the season at No. 12 – the highest final ranking in school history. The two other times the Utes have been ranked in the preseason poll came in 2017 and 2019 – both at No. 22.
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The Utes had a historic season in 2022, and was ranked as high as No. 7 in the country heading into the championships. Utah opened things up by sweeping the Roy Griak Invitational behind All-American Emily Venters before finishing eighth against a stacked line-up at the Nuttycombe Invitational.
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Utah then tied the program record for its best finish ever at the Pac-12 Championships when it finished second due to the tiebreaker rule after tying Colorado with 66 points. The Women of Utah then went out and earned its first automatic bid to the NCAA Championships when it came in second at the NCAA Regionals. Ironically, the tiebreaker went in favor of the Utes this time around after it tied Northern Arizona with 103 points.
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Venters, like she did all season, led the Utes once more at the NCAA Championships finishing 12th overall to earn All-America honors and guide Utah to a 12th-place finish as a team – which was also the highest finish in program history. Meanwhile, Simone Plourde narrowly missed out on All-America honors as Utah’s second finisher at No. 45 followed by Keelah Barger (80), Ariel Keklack (102) and Erin Vringer (113).

The Women of Utah kick off the 2023 campaign at the UVU Invitational this Friday, Sept. 1, at 10:30 a.m. (MT) down in Orem, Utah, at Scera Park.

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For the latest news and information on the Utah cross country and track & field programs, fans can stay connected online at www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following on Facebook, X and Instagram.

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