The men's cross country team kicks off its season at home tomorrow at the Maine Invitational meet, the first test of whether the team's strong returning lineup will be enough to push it ahead in the rankings.

This year's team is composed largely of experienced runners who hope to improve upon last year's performance. The team earned sixth place at the NESCAC cross country championship last fall in addition to its seventh-place finish at the NCAA New England championships.

Head Coach Peter Slovenski said he is excited about the men's early-season prospects and that he hopes to set a good tone early on.

Slovenski said that captains Matt Hillard '12, Colin Ogilvie '12 and Will Staftstrom '12 "have looked good in early September workouts." Ogilvie, along with Coby Horowitz '14, earned All-NESCAC honors last season.

In addition to the Polar Bears' strong returning cohort of runners, Slovenski added that first years John Izzo, Sawyer Bowman and Kevin Hoose also have potential to make big contributions to the team.

Currently ranked sixth in the New England region, the team hopes its combination of new talent and experienced runners will allow it to break into the top five. Williams currently sits atop the rankings, followed by MIT, Middlebury, Bates and Tufts.

In addition to tomorrow's home meet, the Polar Bears will also be hosting the Bowdoin Invitational on October 1 and the New England D-III Championship on November 12.

-Compiled by Andres Botero.