DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke men’s cross country team is set to open the 2018 campaign ranked eighth in the ACC Coaches poll, as announced by the conference office Thursday. In addition to its ACC preseason ranking, the Blue Devils also garnered a top-15 spot in this year’s United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason regional poll, coming in at No. 13 in the Southeast Region.
Syracuse, the five-time reigning ACC Champion, took the top spot in the conference preseason poll. In addition to Syracuse, No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 NC State, No. 4 Notre Dame, and No. 5 Virginia Tech comprise the top five conference teams while No. 6 Florida State, No. 7 Wake Forest, No. 9 Georgia Tech and No. 10 North Carolina join the Blue Devils in the top ten. No. 11 Pittsburgh, No. 12 Clemson, No. 13 Louisville, No. 14 Boston College, and No. 15 Miami close out the final rankings of this year’s preseason coaches’ poll.
Duke returns four of its top-five finishers in last season’s ACC Championship, including an experienced group in seniors Stephen Garrett and Nikhil Pulimood, juniors Tom Sullivan and Matt Wisner, and sophomores Paul Dellinger and Alex Miley. The Blue Devils also welcome a strong recruiting class after signing seven freshmen to join this year’s squad.
The Duke men are scheduled to open the 2018 season Friday at the Elon Classic with the start of the race scheduled for 6 p.m. in Elon, N.C.
2018 ACC Preseason Coaches’ Poll 1. Syracuse
- NC State
- Notre Dame
- Virginia Tech
- Florida State
- Wake Forest
- Georgia Tech
- North Carolina
- Boston College