In their first season in over 20 years, the Southwest Minnesota State University men's and women's cross country teams were picked to finish 12th and 13th, respectively, in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Preseason Coaches' poll announced on Thursday.
SMSU freshman Karli Tholen was named as the "NSIC Athlete to Watch" for the women. Tholen is a Tracy native. Freshman Jack Derham, from York, England, was named as the men's "NSIC Athlete to Watch" for the Mustangs.
Augustana was picked by the coaches to finish first for both the men and women. The Vikings also swept the NSIC Preseason Athletes of the Year awards. Junior Runa Falch was chosen for the women, while junior Paul Yak took the men's award.
Both SMSU's men's and women's team open the cross country season at the South Dakota State Classic on Sept. 14 in Brookings, S.D..