The Thunderbirds' rise in the polls comes by way of strong showings at the Notre Dame Invitational and NCAA Pre-Nationals where the team finished 9th and 10th, respectively, in stacked national fields. The finishes included victories over nationally-ranked Florida State (22nd), Michigan (29th) and Indiana (12th).
"This really says a lot about our program, where we've been and what we are looking to accomplish," head coach Eric Houle said. "There are close to 350 Division I cross country programs in the nation and the fact that a small mid-major like us is breaking into the top 30 is a nice compliment from the coaches that do the voting across the country."
Southern Utah is one of seven teams in the Mountain region, arguably the strongest region in the nation, appearing in the national polls, joining Colorado (1st), Northern Arizona (2nd), BYU (5th), New Mexico (9th), Colorado State (22nd) and Air Force (28th).
The Thunderbirds will be off this weekend in preparation for the Big Sky Conference championships set for the first weekend of November. The meet is scheduled for Nov. 2 and will be hosted by Montana State.