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OSU men, women slotted at top of track preseason rankings

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Cowboy Jamboree XC meet-1.jpg

OSU distance runner Isai Rodriguez runs to the finish line during the Cowboy Jamboree cross country meet on Saturday, October 3, 2020, at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater.

The Cowgirl cross country team is ranked No. 4 in the preseason poll.

That isn’t even the highest ranking among teams that train at the Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course.

The Cowboy cross country team slotted in at No. 2 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason coaches poll, announced Wednesday.

The stellar rankings on the men’s and women’s side are a testament to Dave Smith, OSU’s director of track & field and cross country.

Smith, an accomplished athlete in his own right, took on his current role in 2009. He has coached dozens of All-Americans and has positioned OSU nicely.

The Cowgirls No. 4 preseason ranking is tied with the 2006 team for the top mark in program history. The Cowboys, projected to factor heavily into the national championship hunt, are stocked with returning talent.

Three 2021 All-Americans — Shea Foster, Isai Rodriguez and Victor Shitsama — anchor the men’s side. Alex Maier, a 2020 All-American, is also a key member of the team.

The Cowgirls will rely on Molly Born, Taylor Roe and Gabby Hentemann to defend their Big 12 Championship.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls start their seasons on Thursday in Stillwater at 8 a.m.

sports.ed@ocolly.com