CHICO, Calif. – Huge accomplishments and successful seasons are always expected of Chico State, and 2012 is no exception. The Wildcats have been installed as the team to beat in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) preseason regional rankings, garnering the No. 1 ranking, while owning the No. 3 spot on the USTFCCCA’s national poll.

Chico State, which finished fourth nationally and No. 2 in the West Region a year ago, feature four returning All-America runners among a deep roster for the upcoming 2012 season. The Wildcats, under the tutelage of Head Coach Gary Towne, will attempt to post their 14th consecutive national top 10 ranking and 11th straight California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championship. If the ’Cats are still in the No. 3 spot at the end of the season, it would match 2005 and 2008 as the top national finish in the program’s history.

Chico State is the only CCAA team and one of only three West Region squads (Great Northwest Athletic Conference schools Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington sit at No. 8 and 10, respectively) to earn a national top 10 ranking. Five CCAA teams – Chico State, Humboldt State (No. 5), San Francisco State (No. 6), Cal Poly Pomona (No. 7) and UC San Diego (No. 9) – make up half of the 2012 West Region men’s cross country top 10 preseason poll.

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