The men’s and women’s cross country teams seem primed to continue last season’s national and conference success this season, with both teams ranking in the top 30 in preseason national polls.

Graduate Student Josette Norris finished ninth at the Big East Cross Country Championships last season.

The Georgetown women’s cross country team begins the season ranked No. 25 in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll. The team’s fall slate of meets begins Sept. 7 at Penn State University in State College, Pa.

Although the Hoyas are ranked highly in the national predictions, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country Julie Culley said she wants the women’s team to focus on postseason success as well.

“We are excited and honored to be ranked in the Top 25 in both the USTFCCCA Coaches Poll as well as the FloTrack preseason rankings. November is always the goal and we’ve set our sights on qualifying for the NCAA Championships, but we will have to earn it every day, at every practice and every competition this season,” Culley said in an interview with GUHoyas.

Native Canadian and sophomore Martha MacDonald, who won the bronze medal at the Pan-American Cross Country Championships last fall for Canada, will return to the Hilltop this fall. In addition, graduate students Josette Norris and Kennedy Weisner, who were named to the All-Big East team along with MacDonald last season, are set to lead the Hoyas in their fall schedule.

On the men’s side, the Hoyas won the Big East Cross Country Championship last year, marking the third consecutive season they have topped the Big East. If Georgetown captures its fourth consecutive title this season, the Hoyas would join Providence College as the only Big East schools to win four straight conference championships.

Despite his team’s success, Head Men’s Cross Country Coach Brandon Bonsey still feels that the men’s cross country team is overlooked nationally.

“It is exciting for our group to get some regional and national recognition the last couple of days … I think our team is a lot better than people around the country realize, and practice thus far has been an indication of that. We are looking forward to getting this season started and competing very soon,” Coach Bonsey said in an interview with GUHoyas.

Then-juniors Reilly Bloomer and Nick Wareham were standout runners for the Hoyas last season. Bloomer and Wareham finished in the top seven runners at the Big East Championships last season and earned first Team All-Big East accolades. As seniors, both runners are set to lead the Hoyas in their first meet Sept. 8 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

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