DURHAM, N.C. - The Duke men’s cross country team is set to open the 2017 campaign ranked 12th 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. 14 in the Southeast Region.
Syracuse, the 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 Virginia Tech, and No. 5 Florida State comprise the top-five conference teams while No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 Louisville, No. 8-t North Carolina, No. 8-t Pitt, and No. 10 Wake Forest round out the top ten. Eleventh-ranked Georgia Tech, No. 13 Boston College, No. 14 Clemson, and No. 15 Miami closed out the final five rankings of this year’s preseason coaches’ poll.
Duke returns its top five finishers in last season’s ACC Championship, including an experienced group in seniors Jordan Burton and Alec Kunzweiler, juniors Stephen Garrett and Nikhil Pulimood, and sophomore Cole Hoff. The Blue Devils also welcome one of its strongest recruiting classes in recent memory as they signed a class of five freshmen to join this year’s squad.
The Duke men are scheduled to open the 2017 season Friday at the Bull City Classic with the start of the race scheduled for 6 p.m. in William Morris Stadium.
2017 ACC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
3. NC State
4. Virginia Tech
5. Florida State
6. Notre Dame
8. North Carolina
10. Wake Forest
11. Georgia Tech
13. Boston College