AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -- Mount Union's men's cross country team was picked third in the Ohio Athletic Conference Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Purple Raiders received 66 points in the poll which was seven points ahead of fourth place Otterbein (59 pts.). Ohio Northern got nine first place votes and tops the poll with 81 points while John Carroll has the other first place vote and sits in second place with 70 points.
Mount Union placed third at last year's OAC Championship and the Raiders are led by all-conference senior Matt O'Neil (Woodbridge, Va. / Pope John Paul), who finished second overall at the conference meet in 2015.
Other top returners include fellow senior Ty Menear (Brunswick / Brunswick), juniors Nick Thomas (Louisville / Louisville) and Adam Sopchak (Chardon / Chardon) and sophomores Casey Kropka (New London / New London) and Colten Trimble (Hookstown, Pa. / South Side Area).
The Raiders start the season Friday, September 2, at the Ric Sayre Invitational at Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio.
2016 OAC Men's Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Ohio Northern (9) -- 81
2. John Carroll (1) -- 70
3. Mount Union -- 66
4. Otterbein -- 59
5. Baldwin Wallace -- 45
6. Heidelberg -- 42
7. Capital -- 31
8. Wilmington -- 24
9. Muskingum -- 23
10. Marietta -- 9