The Hilltoppers received 10 of 12 possible first-place votes while the Lady Toppers tallied six of 12 first-place votes. Arkansas Little-Rock was picked to finished second on the men's side while Arkansas State holds second-place distinction on the women's end.
WKU returns sophomore David Mokone and senior Kyle Chettleburgh, two of its four all-conference runners from the 2011 Sun Belt Championship squad. Senior Joseph Chebet, who will be running his first season of cross country for the Hilltoppers this fall, is also expected to make significant contributions. The Hilltoppers are searching for back-to-back Sun Belt titles for the first time since 1997-1998.
The Lady Toppers return two-time all-conference runner Vasity Chemweno and bring in six new faces. Head coach Erik Jenkins expects Louise Hill-Sterling, Katie Lever and Lindsey Hinken to make an immediate impact as freshmen. The women look to capture their seventh consecutive Sun Belt crown and ninth in the past 10 years.
Both teams open their season Friday night in Nashville, Tenn. as they partake in the Belmont Opener.
Men [Point(s) awarded corresponding to predicated place of finish]
1. WKU (10 first-place votes, 14 points)
2. UALR (1 first-place vote, 35 points)
3. Middle Tennessee State (1 first-place vote, 40 points)
4. South Alabama (60 points)
5. Georgia State (79 points)
6. North Texas (81 points)
7. ULM (85 points)
8. FIU (89 points)
9. Florida Atlantic (106 points)
10. Louisiana-Lafayette (107 points)
11. Arkansas State (109 points)
12. Troy (124 points)
Women [Point(s) awarded corresponding to predicted place of finish]
1. WKU (6 first-place votes, 23 points)
2. Arkansas State (1 first-place vote, 46 points)
3. South Alabama (1 first-place vote 47 points)
4. UALR (2 first-place votes 57 points)
5. North Texas (2 first-place votes, 59 points)
6. Middle Tennessee State (67 points)
7. Georgia State (74 points)
8. Florida Atlantic (78 points)
9. FIU (105 points)
10. Louisiana-Lafayette (123 points)
11. ULM (126 points)
12. Troy (131 points)