The Valparaiso University men's cross country team has been picked to finish sixth in the Mid-Continent Conference this season in a preseason poll of the league's eight head coaches.
The Crusaders, who finished sixth at last season's Mid-Con Championships in Valparaiso, return their top three finishers from that event including senior Adriano Schultz (Brecksville, Ohio/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) who led the Valpo charge in 33rd place.
Southern Utah, winner of seven conference titles, was picked first, followed by 2005 champion Oakland and Oral Roberts who each picked up first place votes.
The Brown and Gold open the 2006 season at home with the 18th annual Crusader Invitational at Sunset Hills Farm on September 8. The men's 6K race is scheduled to begin at 5:54 p.m.
2006 Mid-Continent Conference Preseason Poll
1. Southern Utah - 47 (5)
2. Oakland - 40 (2)
2. Oral Roberts - 40 (1)
4. Western Illinois - 28
5. IUPUI - 23
6. Valparaiso - 22
7. UMKC - 16
8. Centenary - 8
first place votes in parentheses