CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The America East conference announced Tuesday that the University of New Hampshire men’s cross country team, two-time defending America East champions, garnered five of a possible eight first-place votes to nail down the top spot in the 2008 preseason coaches’ poll.
UNH, which will look for the three-peat this fall, compiled 61 points to edge out Stony Brook University (59), the squad the Wildcats downed by the same margin in last year’s America East championship. Stony Brook received three first-place votes, while UMBC took one first-place vote as part of their 41 points to finish in a tie for third with the University of Maine.

The Wildcats had four runners finish in the top 10 at the 2007 championship and is returning two of them – senior Matthew O’Connor (Rhinebeck, N.Y.) and junior Joshua Kearns (Ridgefield, Conn.) – who finished fourth and eighth, respectively.  Recent graduate Robert Edgerton, who finished second overall last year, will be a big loss for the Wildcats, who will look for senior Brent Powers (Remsden, N.Y.) and junior Wesley Dinnan (Juneau, Alaska) – both top 20 finishers – to step up.
UNH opens its season Saturday, Aug. 30 at 11:45 a.m. when it hosts Boston College, Providence College and Georgia College at College Woods.

2008 America East Men’s Cross Country Preseason Poll
First place votes in parentheses

    1. New Hampshire (5)    61
    2. Stony Brook (3)           59
    T-3. UMBC (1)                 41
    T-3. Maine                       41
    5. Binghamton                39
    6. Boston University      38
    7. Albany                         20
    8. Vermont                      17
    9. Hartford                        8
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