The Pomona-Pitzer men's cross country team was tabbed to finish first in the 2019 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Preseason Poll as voted upon by the league's member head coaches.
Pomona-Pitzer will be looking to add a third consecutive SCIAC Championship title to its resume in 2019 after posting back-to-back victories in 2017 and 2018. The Sagehens led the nine-team field in the men's 8-kilometer championship race last Fall placing six of its seven scoring harriers in the top 10 to finish with 23 points overall. Pomona-Pitzer received seven of nine first place votes in this year's preseason poll en route to 79 points. The Sagehens begin their 2019 campaign on Saturday, August 31 at the La Verne, Occidental, Pomona-Pitzer tri-meet in Claremont, Calif.
Slotted second with two first place votes and 73 points in the preseason poll is Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS). The Stags finished third in last year's SCIAC Championship race with 81 points. CMS, which won five straight conference crowns between 2012 and 2016 begins its season Saturday, September 7 at the Biola Invitational.
Picked to finish third with 64 points in the 2019 preseason vote is Occidental which finished as last year's runners-up. The Tigers had three top 20 runners in last year's championship race and posted 74 points. Occidental will take part in the tri-meet with La Verne and Pomona-Pitzer to begin the new season on August 31.
Redlands was picked to place fourth in the preseason poll on the strength of 52 points after finishing in that position with 99 points following last year's championship meet. The Bulldogs open the 2019 season Saturday, August 31 when they host the Redlands Invitational.
Earning 44 points in the preseason vote is Caltech, which finished fifth in the SCIAC a year ago after totaling 125 points. The Beavers begin the 2019 schedule at the Redlands Invitational on August 31.
La Verne and Whittier finished sixth and seventh at the 2018 SCIAC Championship with 179 and 201 points respectively, and both teams were tabbed to finish in those positions this season. The Leopards tallied 37 points, while the Poets picked up 25 points in the preseason vote ahead of the 2019 season. La Verne will race at both the Redlands Invitational and the tri-meet with Occidental and Pomona-Pitzer on August 31, while Whittier begins its new season on September 21 at the Coyote Challenge in San Bernardino, Calif.
Rounding out the field for 2019 is California Lutheran (17 points) and Chapman (14 points). The Kingsmen and Panthers finished last year's championship in eighth and ninth respectively. Cal Lutheran begins its new season on August 31 at the Mark Covert Classic in Brea, Calif., while Chapman takes to the trail on September 7 at the Biola Invitational.
2019 SCIAC Men's Cross Country Preseason Poll
1. Pomona-Pitzer - 79 points (7 first place votes)
2. CMS - 73 points (2 first place votes)
3. Occidental - 64 points
4. Redlands - 52 points
5. Caltech - 44 points
6. La Verne - 37 points
7. Whittier - 25 points
8. Cal Lutheran - 17 points
9. Chapman - 14 points