OXFORD, Miss. - Fresh off a strong performance at the Pre-National Invitational this past weekend, the Ole Miss women's cross country team broke into the national rankings at No. 30 in this week's U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division I Coaches Poll.
This is the first time in Ole Miss history that either the men's or women's cross country team has been ranked in the national poll.
"This was one of the goals that they set for themselves before the start of the season," second-year head coach Brian O'Neal said. "I'm proud of these young ladies."
Only three SEC cross country teams appear in the national rankings this week. The Arkansas women are second and the Razorback men are 12th. Florida is receiving votes in the men's poll, while Texas A&M and Vanderbilt are receiving votes on the women's side.
The Rebels were led at Pre-Nationals by freshman Michaela Quinn, who placed 17th out of 340 with a 6K time of 20:33.95, and junior Haley Cutright, who placed 34th with a time of 20:52.05. Quinn and Cutright were the third and fourth Rebels to run the 6K under 21 minutes in program history and helped their squad to a 12th-place team finish in Terre Haute, Ind. Quinn received SEC Freshman Runner of the Week honors on Tuesday.
Arizona is ranked No. 1 in the USTFCCCA women's poll for the first time, while the Razorbacks are No. 2 and Georgetown is No. 3. Providence and Florida State round out the women's top five.
Colorado is this week's new No. 1 on the men's side, while Northern Arizona is No. 2 and Oklahoma State is No. 3. Oregon and BYU round out the men's top five.
The 2013 SEC Cross Country Championships are scheduled to take place Friday, Nov. 1 in Gainesville, Fla. The Ole Miss women will try to improve on last year's fourth-place result that was the best in school history.
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