OSKALOOSA, Iowa -- The Mount Mercy men's cross country team is the preseason favorite in the Midwest Collegiate Conference, while the Mustang women have been picked second in the league's preseason coaches' polls.
The Mount Mercy men won back-to-back conference titles in 2010 and 2011, then came up just two points shy of a third straight championship last fall. The Mustangs received five first-place votes and 58 points in the preseason coaches' poll. Defending champion St. Ambrose was next with one first-place vote and 50 points, followed by William Penn (30 pts.), Grand View (24), Viterbo (Wis.) (16) and Clarke (6).
St. Ambrose is the favorite to repeat as the MCC women's champion this season. The Queen Bees garnered all six first-place votes and 60 points overall. Mount Mercy is looking for its ninth conference title overall and first since 2009. The Mustangs earned 48 points in the preseason poll. Grand View (36 pts.) is third, then Clarke (19), Viterbo (16) and William Penn.
The Mount Mercy men's and women's cross country teams open the 2013 season when they host the 20th Annual Mustang Gallop on Friday, Aug. 30, at 5:30 p.m. at Jones Park in Cedar Rapids.