WACO, Texas — The Rogers State men's cross country team was picked to finish third in the 2017 Heartland Conference preseason poll announced on Wednesday (Aug. 16) morning by the league office. The poll was selected by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors.
The navy and red received 91 points in the poll to earn the No. 3 ranking, the same spot the Hillcats finished in the conference during the 2016 Heartland Conference Championship.
RSU returns two-time Heartland Conference individual champion and league runner of the year, Baylor Harvey, for his final season along with 2016 All-Heartland Conference finisher and 2015 conference freshman of the year, Seth Whittington. RSU brings back loads of experience as the Hillcats return the complete squad that placed in the 2016 Heartland Conference Championships.
Under the guidance of eighth-year head coach Chris McCormick, the Hillcats begin their fifth season as a member of the Heartland Conference and second year as an active member of the NCAA Division II. The navy and red took advantage of their first season in NCAA Division II with Harvey earning All-American honors with a 19th place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships.
Dallas Baptist University was selected to repeat as the Heartland Conference men's cross country champion with 126 points and 14 of the 16 first-place votes. Oklahoma Christian came in second in the poll with 111 points and the remaining two first-place votes.
Coming in after the Hillcats was Newman in fourth totaling 80 points.
Lubbock Christian ranked fifth in the poll with 65 points. In the sixth spot with 43 votes sat St. Edward's, and Texas A&M International and UAFS tied for seventh with 30 votes.
The 2017 Heartland Conference Championship is scheduled for Oct. 21, hosted by Newman in Wichita, Kansas.
RSU opens the 2017 campaign on Sept. 2 at the UCO Land Run held at Edmond Santa Fe High School.
Heartland Men’s Cross Country Poll
1. Dallas Baptist 126
2. Oklahoma Christian 111
3. Rogers State 91
4. Newman 80
5. Lubbock Christian 65
6. St. Edward’s 43
7. Texas A&M Int. 30
7. Arkansas-Fort Smith 30