NAPERVILLE, Ill. -- The United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its preseason national coaches' poll for NCAA Division III and North Central secured the top spot.

The Cardinals, who return two All-Americans and five of their top seven runners from last season's national runner-up team, secured seven of the eight first place votes and tallied 279 points in the coaches' poll. Second ranked Calvin amassed 267 points and one first place nod. Saint Lawrence was third with 258 points followed by 2010 national champion Haverford (249) and Washington University in Saint Louis (244). College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin rivals Wheaton (Ill.) and Augustana (Ill.) are ranked 15th and 20th respectively, with 164 and 106 points.

USTFCCCA Preseason Poll
Rank School Points
Complete Poll
1 North Central (Ill.) 279
2 Calvin 267
3 St. Lawrence 258
4 Haverford 249
5 Washington (Mo.) 244

North Central captured its 37th consecutive CCIW crown during the 2010 season en route to a third consecutive NCAA Division III Midwest Regional crown and a second place finish at the NCAA Division III National Championship. Returning from that squad are All-Americans Neal Klein and Matt Perez along with national meet performers Matthew Brinkmeier, Dan Kerley and Timothy Hird.

The USTFCCCA releases national rankings on a weekly basis during the cross country season. The first ranking of the regular season will be unveiled on Sept. 14.