SALEM, Va. -- The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its preseason men's and women's cross country polls on Wednesday with both Washington and Lee squads predicted to claim the conference crown.

The W&L men tallied 78 points and seven of the nine first-place votes. Roanoke and Lynchburg both tied for second with 69 points and one first-place vote each, followed by Eastern Mennonite (50 pts.), Bridgewater (42 pts.), Hampden-Sydney (33 pts.), Virginia Wesleyan (27 pts.), Guilford (27 pts.) and Emory & Henry (9 pts.).

The W&L women posted 63 points and collected seven of eight first-place votes. Roanoke tallied 55 points and one first-place vote, followed by Lynchburg (49 pts.), Bridgewater (41 pts.), Virginia Wesleyan (27 pts.), Eastern Mennonite (26 pts.), Guilford (19 pts.) and Emory & Henry (8 pts.).

Both teams claimed the 2004 ODAC title and both return their leading runner from a season ago.

For the men, senior Nathan Johnson (Lexington, Va./Rockbridge County) returns after garnering ODAC Runner of the Year accolades. He won the NCAA South/Southeast Region Championship and advanced to the NCAA National Championships.

On the women's side, sophomore Lindsay Erickson (Silver Spring, Md./Stone Ridge) returns following a season in which she claimed ODAC Rookie and Runner of the Year laurels. She finished third at the NCAA South/Southeast Championship and also advanced to the NCAA Nationals.

Washington and Lee begins its 2005 season by hosting the W&L Invitational on September 10 at 10:00 am.