Tech men's and women's cross country teams picked to finish fourth in ACC

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference released the 2017 preseason coaches’ polls for cross country Thursday, and the Virginia Tech men’s and women’s cross country teams have been picked to finish in fourth place in the ACC in a vote conducted among the league’s head coaches.

The reigning ACC champion Syracuse men and NC State women have been selected to defend their titles in 2017.

Syracuse, which captured the 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 ACC men’s titles in its first four years as a conference member, is the overwhelming preseason favorite in this year’s vote. Virginia placed second, followed by NC State, the Hokies and Florida State to round out the top five.

NC State is the clear first-place choice on the women’s side. Notre Dame finished second in the voting, followed by Syracuse, the Hokies and Louisville.

In 2016, the Tech women’s team, led by All-ACC honoree Katie Kennedy, finished third at the ACC Championships, which marked the program’s best ever finish. The Tech men came in fourth place.

The Tech men’s squad, which features four seniors – including 2016 All-Southeast Region honorees Daniel Jaskowak and Brent Musselman – enters the 2017 season ranked No. 26 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason poll. The USTFCCCA ranked four ACC men’s teams and three women’s teams in its top 30 polls.

The 2017 NCAA cross country season gets underway this weekend, with 13 of the ACC’s 15 schools slated to see action. Eight meets involving ACC programs are scheduled for Friday, including Tech’s Hokie Invite, followed by an additional five on Saturday. This year’s ACC Cross Country Championships are set for Oct. 27 at Louisville’s E.P. Tom Sawyer Park, which also will be the host site for the 2017 NCAA Championships on Nov. 18.

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