The George Mason University men’s cross country team will head into their first event, the James Madison Invitational in New Market, Va., as the No. 9 team in the southeast region, topping their 2009 ranking of No. 14.

Before the women’s team event on Friday, they received the No. 12 preseason ranking.

The Invitational will start at 10 a.m. It will be the first time the team can prove the worth of their top-10 ranking.

The rankings were released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Aug. 30. Three men’s cross country teams from the Colonial Athletic Association are ranked, as are four of the women’s teams.

This comes after last year’s team won All-Academic Team honors with a 3.9 grade point average.

In other news, Bull Run Regional Park will no longer hold the Mason Invitational, as it has for more than a decade.

The event has moved to the Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, Va. It is set for Oct. 2 at 10 a.m.