ATLANTA — The Georgia State men’s cross country team has been selected to finish fifth in the Sun Belt and the GSU women to finish seventh, according to the conference’s preseason coaches’ poll.

The poll is based on the predicted order of finish during the upcoming Sun Belt cross country championship, as determined by the league’s 12 head coaches.

Defending champions Western Kentucky were picked to repeat their first place performances on both the men’s and women’s sides. This is the seventh consecutive year WKU has been picked to win the Sun Belt.

The Hilltoppers will also host the Sun Belt meet on their campus in Bowling Green, Ky. on Oct. 27.

While competing in the CAA last season, the Panther women’s team placed third and the men fourth in a meet hosted by GSU. The women return nine runners from the 2011 roster and the men return three.

GSU cross country opens the season this Friday, Aug. 31 by traveling to the Clemson Invite in Clemson, S.C. The meet is set to start at 6 p.m. and both squads will be running a 5K.

1. Western Kentucky (10 first place votes, 14 points)
2. UALR (1 first place vote, 35 points)
3. Middle Tennessee (1 first place votes, 40 points)
4. South Alabama (60 points)
5. Georgia State (79 points)
6. North Texas (81 points)
7. ULM (85 points)
8. FIU(89 points)
9. Florida Atlantic (106 points)
10. Louisiana-Lafayette (107 points)
11. Arkansas State (109 points)
12. Troy (124 points)

1. Western Kentucky (6 first place votes, 23 points)
2. Arkansas State (1 first place vote, 46 points)
3. South Alabama (1 first place vote, 47 points)
4. UALR (2 first place votes, 57 total points)
5. North Texas (2 first place vote, 59 points)
6. Middle Tennessee (67 points)
7. Georgia State (74 points)
8. Florida Atlantic (78 points)
9. FIU (105 points)
10. Louisiana-Lafayette (123 points)
11. Louisiana-Monroe (126 points)
12. Troy (131 points)