DES MOINES, Iowa - After a top-three finish last week, the Drake men's cross country team held onto their No. 12 spot in this week's United States Track and Field Cross Country Coaches Association Midwest Region poll.
The Bulldogs held steady at No. 12 after debuting at the spot in the original 2012 poll that came out on August 27.
"To be in the rankings is nice, but this early we ignore these things and focus on our training and long term goals," fifth-year senior Charlie Lapham (Golden Valley, Minn.) said. "So far the season has been good. We are training at a higher level than I have ever seen and I think that you will see big things from us in the latter part of the season."
In-state rivals Iowa State (fifth) and Iowa (ninth), as well as fellow Missouri Valley opponents Southern Illinois (10th) and Wichita State (13th), join Drake in the top-15. The Salukis were billed to win the MVC this season, while the Bulldogs were picked third.
Last season the Bulldogs rose as high as No. 9 in the region before ending the year in the No. 12 spot.
The team will get an off weekend this week before returning to action in Des Moines at the Grand View Invitational on September 21.
"Having two weeks off from racing is great for us," Lapham said. "It lets us focus on our training without having to prepare for a race. This will really pay off later in the season."
The next USTFCCCA rankings are set to come out on September 17.