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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The University of New Mexico Lobo men’s and women’s cross country teams were selected as the favorites to win their respective 2013 Mountain West titles as voted by the league’s coaches last week.
The vote marks the third straight year both teams were picked to sweep the conference championships.
The women’s squad has won five consecutive conference titles, while the men have won four years in a row.
UNM’s men’s squad seized the top spot in the preseason poll by earning 49 points and seven of the eight first-place votes. The men return their entire conference lineup, including MW Athlete of the Year Luke Caldwell, and add a bevy of new talent.
Air Force scored the final first-place vote and 42 total points to place second, while Boise State and Colorado State registered 34 total points apiece en route to sharing third.
Utah State (24 points), Wyoming (20), Fresno State (13) and San José State (9) rounded out the nine-team poll.
On the women’s side, the Lobos captured 10 of the 11 first-place votes and 100 points total to earn the top position in the women’s poll.
The Lobo women had more turnover in their roster than the men, but will feature, among others, three runners from the 2012 team that finished 10th at the NCAA Championships.
Boise State took second in the poll with 85 points, just edging out third-place Colorado State and its one first-place vote and 83 points. Air Force placed fourth with 72 points and was followed by Utah State’s 63 points for fifth.
Wyoming (57), Nevada (47), Fresno State (37), UNLV (23), San Diego State (20) and San José State (18) claimed the Nos 6-11 spots.
Both UNM squads pulled off a sweep of the 2012 Mountain West Cross Country Championships in Las Vegas last October.
The teams will aim for repeat conference crowns at the 2013 MW Cross Country Championships, which will be hosted this season by Air Force, that scheduled for Nov. 1.
The Lobos will kick off the 2013 season hosting the 2013 Lobo Cross Country Invitational Sept. 7, at the UNM North Golf Course.