Welcome back to The Bell Lap, Oregon running fans. For those of you who are new around these parts, The Bell Lap was my witty creation last year for ATQ's weekly recap on all things Oregon track & field during the spring. Since we are still several months away from returning to running in circles around the track, The Bell Lap will be your go-to source here at ATQ for all your Oregon cross country news this fall.
On Monday, theU.S Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA as it will be referred to all year, because try saying that name three times fast) released the preseason Regional Team Rankings for the upcoming season. The regional rankings are decided by a single coach in each respective region. That coach factors in returning runners along with results from the current year to try and predict team finishes at the NCAA Regional Championships, which will be held around the country on November 14.
The preseason National Coaches Poll will be released tomorrow. An update with those rankings will be posted here.
On the men's side, Oregon finds themselves at the top of the West, followed by Stanford, Portland, UCLA and Washington to round out the top 5 in the region. Defending individual national champion Edward Cheserek is back for the Ducks for his sophomore year, and there's no telling where this kid's ceiling is
The Oregon women also grabbed the top spot in the West region, followed by Stanford, Boise State, Washington and Arizona State.
You can read the full regional rankings for men and women here.
The Ducks kick off the 2014 season on September 5 at Alton Baker Park with the Bill Dellinger Invitational, Oregon's lone "home" meet of the year. The invitational will be a dual meet between Oregon and Michigan State at 5:45 pm, the evening before the Ducks and Spartans square off in Autzen Stadium in a titanic matchup.