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The Idaho State men’s and women’s cross country teams were picked to finish sixth and seventh, respectively, in this year’s preseason Big Sky Conference coaches poll, released Wednesday.

The ISU men finished fifth in the conference last season, but lost top runner Wyatt Didericksen. The men received 65 points in the preseason poll, eight fewer than No. 5 Idaho.

ISU’s women were picked to improve upon last year’s eighth-place finish. They earned 54 points in the poll, right behind Montana’s 59 points.

Northern Arizona was picked to win in both polls. The men were a unanimous selection with 11 first-place votes. NAU’s men’s team has won three consecutive NCAA Division I national cross country championships, and has claimed 22 of the last 27 Big Sky Conference titles.

NAU’s women earned nine first-place votes, beating out defending conference champion Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds picked up the two remaining first-place nods and were picked second.

Idaho State’s first competition of the 2019 season is the UVU Invitational on Aug. 31 at Utah Valley University. The Bengals host one home race this season — the Idaho State Invitational on Sept. 28.

2019 BIG SKY CROSS COUNTRY PRESEASON COACHES POLL

Place Team (1st-place votes) Points

Men’s

1. Northern Arizona (11) 121

2. Southern Utah 99

3. Weber State 98

4. Montana State 84

5. Idaho 73

6. Idaho State 65

7. Northern Colorado 50

8. Portland State 40

9. Eastern Washington 38

10. Sacramento State 34

11. Montana 24

Women’s

1. Northern Arizona (9) 119

2. Southern Utah (2) 99

3. Weber State 91

4. Montana State 83

5. Idaho 78

6. Montana 59

7. Idaho State 54

t-8. Portland State 46

t-8. Sacramento State 46

10. Eastern Washington 31

11. Northern Colorado 20