Colorado School of Mines enters the 2022 season as the favorite in the 2022 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Men’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the league announced Monday. The Orediggers look to repeat and lead the way in preseason voting with 13 first-place votes and 195 points. The RMAC Men’s Cross Country Preseason Poll is voted on by the league’s 15 head coaches. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their program.
Mines enters the season with a wave of confidence after claiming the 2021 RMAC Championship and the 2021 NCAA South Central Championship before taking third at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Reigning RMAC Runner of the Year Dillon Powell returns to the Mines roster after winning four of his five races last season.
Adams State enters the season ranked in second in the poll after closing the 2021 campaign with second-place finishes in the RMAC Championship, the NCAA South Central Championship and the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championship. The Grizzlies round out preseason voting with 183 points and a pair of first-place votes.
University of Colorado Colorado Springs secures third place with 158 points, just ahead of Western Colorado, which gathered 157 points for fourth place. Colorado Christian sits in fifth place with 142 points, followed by Colorado Mesa in sixth place with 122 points. Colorado State University Pueblo is seventh overall with 112 points, while Black Hills State occupies eighth place with 108 points.
Metropolitan State University of Denver collects 92 points for ninth place, while New Mexico Highlands stands 10th overall with 81 points. Eleventh-place Fort Lewis holds 67 points, just ahead of 12th-place Chadron State with 53 points.
South Dakota Mines checks in at 13th place with 47 points, followed by Westminster (38 points) and Regis (20 points), which round out preseason voting.
The 2022 RMAC Cross Country Championships will be hosted by Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo., on Saturday, Nov. 5.