(Madison, SD) - With the new cross country qualification plan for advancing to NAIA National Championship Meet, the first conference polls were released for Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) men's and women's cross country teams.
Dakota State men's cross country is ranked third behind first place Black Hills State and second place Dickinson State. South Dakota School of Mines is fourth, Jamestown fifth, and Minot State to round out the DAC Conference Preseason Poll. Dakota State finished third in last year's DAC Conference Championship Meet and will lose their NAIA All-American runner Chris Heezen.
On the women's side, the Trojans are ranked fifth in the DAC Conference Preseason Poll. Black Hills State is first, followed by Dickinson State, Jamestown, and Minot State. South Dakota School of Mines is sixth in the rankings. Dakota State placed fifth in last year's DAC Championship Meet, and will lose their DAC Most Valuable Senior Nicole Geraets.
With the new qualification plan to qualify for the NAIA National Championship Meet, the DAC Conference Team winner at the DAC Conference Meet will earn an automatic bid to the NAIA Nationals as a team. The Trojan men's cross country team received votes to the NAIA National Cross Country's first ranking of the season. The rankings will be used to determine the at-large bids teams to the NAIA National Cross Country Championship Meet in November.
Dakota State will be hosting the DAC Conference Championship Meet on Saturday, November 8th at the Madison Country Club.