St. Thomas will open 2019 with both its men's and women's cross country teams ranked in the top 35 national polls. That's according to the Division III polls released Wednesday by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA).
Coach Joe Sweeney's women are ranked No. 19, while Coach Pete Wareham's men are ranked No. 31.
On the men's side, Wartburg (Iowa) is ranked first in the Central Region followed by Carleton, St. Olaf, St. Thomas and Loras (Iowa) in the 2-3-4-5 spots.
On the women's side, Carleton is ranked first in the Central Region followed by Wartburg (Iowa), St. Thomas, St. Olaf and Gustavus in the 2-3-4-5 spots.
Wareham's Tommie men placed 30th at the NCAA meet last November. The Toms return six of their top eight runners, led by rising senior Karl Wachter. Wareham will have a team of 30-plus runners this season, with several of the athletes competing next Saturday morning at the Crown College Invite
Sweeney returns 11 of his top 12 women's runners from the 2018 conference runner-up squad. Five of his returning runners received All-Region status in either 2017 or 2018 with top-35 region meet placings. That group includes seniors Sara Ness and Jenny Launder, who are back healthy after missing the 2018 season; seniors Martha Hubbell and Becca Wilkin; and sophomore Olivia Moll. Sweeney again has a team of 30-plus runners this season, with several of the athletes competing next Friday evening (7:20 p.m.) at Blaine's Victory Golf Course at the Bethel Invite.
Tommies in 2019 D-III Fall Sport Rankings
- Football: No. 7
- Men's Soccer: No. 12
- Women's Soccer: No. 19
- Men's Golf: No. 22
- Women's Cross Country: No. 19
- Men's Cross Country: No. 31
- Volleyball: Receiving votes, just out of top 25