Both University of Alaska Fairbanks teams were ranked ninth Thursday in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Preseason Cross Country Running Coaches Poll.
The 11 coaches of the NCAA Division II conference voted in the poll. Coaches could not vote for their own teams.
The rankings were based on a points system that ranged from 11 points for first place to one point for 11th place.
The Nanooks women’s team gathered 32 points in the poll and its male counterparts gained 29 points, one more than in last year’s poll.
Redshirt senior Alex Bergholtz, of Kenai, is the top returner for the UAF women. She placed 21st in the women’s race at last year’s GNAC Championships, and she was the only Nanook to compete at the NCAA Division II West Regionals, where she placed 115th.
Lukash Platil, a senior from Thornton, Colorado, is the top returner for the Nanooks men. He placed 27th in the men’s race of the 2018 GNAC Championships.
The GNAC coaches voted the Seattle Pacific women and the Alaska Anchorage men for first-place finishes in the regular season.
The Seattle Pacific Falcons received 101 points and five first-place votes in the GNAC preseason poll. The UAA Seawolves were voted for second place among the women’s teams with 99 points and the Simon Fraser Clan for third place after collecting 96 points.
UAA’s men gained 101 and four first-place votes, and Simon Fraser followed with 99 points and three first-place votes.
The Western Washington Vikings rounded out the men’s top three with 98 points and four first-place votes.
The complete poll is available at gnacsports.com.
The Nanooks and Seawolves compete today in the Blue and Gold 5K Run Fest at the UAF West Ridge Trails. The women’s teams will race for 5 kilometers, starting at 10:45 a.m., and the men will compete on a 7K course, beginning at 11:15 a.m.
A community 5K race is scheduled for 10 a.m. today, and a 1K children’s race takes place after the conclusion of the college men’s race.
Registration for the community race begins at 9 a.m., and the entry fee is $10 each for individuals and $30 each for families.
There is no entry fee for the 1K children’s race.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.