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Lumberjacks Move Up in USTFCCCA Rankings

NEW ORLEANS, La. – After an impressive victory at the Cowboy Jamboree on the campus of Oklahoma State this past weekend, the Northern Arizona men’s cross country team jumped three spots to No. 2 in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll Tuesday afternoon. Saturday’s win for the Lumberjacks came against some stiff competition from No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 9 William and Mary and top-ranked Division II Adams State.

Interim Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Eric Heins is excited to see his men’s squad ranked in the top two this early in the season. It is the first time they have been this high in the rankings since former All-American Lopez Lomong ran for the team in 2007.

“It is a great sense of pride and shows a great deal of respect that the coaches would rank our men’s team this high in the season,” Heins said. “Now it is just a matter of us getting to the National Championships on Nov. 23 and backing that up.”

The Lumberjacks were led this past weekend by another solid effort from junior Jordan Chipangama. It was his second-consecutive win in only his second race in an NAU uniform. Sophomores Diego Estrada and Ahmed Osman, and juniors Ben Ashkettle and Jason Pedersen, all helped solidify the Lumberjacks’ victory Saturday morning by placing in the top 20.

After a fourth place finish this past weekend in Stillwater, Okla., the women’s team slipped 11 spots in the rankings from No. 16, to No. 27. The women still hold the top spot in the Mountain region in front of Colorado, New Mexico, BYU and Texas Tech.

Next up for the Lumberjacks is the Canyon West Classic down in Tempe on Saturday.