Division III Cross Country Season Opens With Washington (Mo.), UW Eau Claire As Early Favorites

By Tom Lewis, USTFCCCA

September 1, 2010   

NEW ORLEANS – Cross country squads at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., and at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire have a reason to smile on this Wednesday as they are the top-ranked teams in the nation according to the Division III national coaches’ poll as sponsored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The men’s teams of WASHU finished seventh in the nation a year ago and are closely trailed by second-ranked and defending national champs, North Central (Ill.). The women of UW Eau Claire won their first national title last fall with a nine-point victory over No. 2 St. Lawrence and enter the 2010 season as favorites to repeat.

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Washington (Mo.) earned half of the first-place votes in the men’s poll as North Central (Ill.) claimed three of eight and No. 3 Allegheny notched a lone FPV. North Central (Ill.) won their 13th national crown in 2009 and their first since 1999 with a decisive, 131-point margin over Williams College. The Cardinals’ national title was the first of three in the school year as they would go on to win the NCAA team titles in indoor track & field and outdoor track & field.

The Bears of WASHU return top-20 national finisher Michael Burnstein and top-65 finisher Dave Spandorfer to a squad that claimed seventh at the NCAA Championships last year. North Central’s top five runners a year ago all finished in the national top 25 and two of those will be back for the 2010 campaign. Senior Michael Spain was the national runner up for the Cardinals last year and junior Neal Klein was a top 20 finisher a year ago. The Gators of Allegheny will return seniors Jermaine Parker and Chris Marker who placed in the top 15 of the national race in 2009.

Washington (Mo.) opens the season today at 6 p.m., central with the Gateway Dual where the Bears will take on Greenville College. The Bears will also host the Washington University Early Bird this Saturday. North Central will open the season with the Elmhurst Invitational on Friday, followed by the Aurora Invitational on September 10 and the Illinois Intercollegiates on September 17. Allegheny opens the season Saturday at Case Western Reserve’s Bill Sudeck Classic, followed by the Mideast Region Preview Meet on September 25.

The University Athletic Association tops all the leagues in Division III with six of their members in the national men’s top 35, including top-ranked Washington (Mo.), No. 5 NYU, No. 9 Brandeis, No. 11 Carnegie Mellon, No. 30 Rochester, and No. 34 Emory. The WIAC placed five teams in the top 35 and the SUNYAC and NESCAC each had three.

The women of UW Eau Claire swept the first-place votes in the preseason poll. No. 2 St. Lawrence earned all but one second-place vote and enter the season as the second-ranked team in the country. No. 3 Middlebury placed fourth at last year’s national championships and is the lead representatives of the New England Region.

UW Eau Claire’s Blugolds had four of their runners place in the top 45 at the national championships a year ago to lead the team to the national title. Three of those are back for another run at it in 2010 with junior Alyssa Sybilrud, Margaret Ho, and Beth Easker returning to squad. For St. Lawrence, defending individual national champion Wendy Pavlus is back for her senior campaign. In 2009, Pavlus won the six-kilometer championship race by over 17 seconds ahead of nearest finisher, Marie Borner of Bethel (Minn.). Along with Pavlus, the Saints return Jenna Hulton who placed 15th in last year’s national race and Megan Derby who was a top-40 finisher. Middlebury returns sophomores Addie Tousley and Sarah Lange who both finished in the national top 40 last year as freshmen.

The Blugolds open the season on Saturday by hosting their own Alumni/Open run which will be followed by the Luther All-American Invitational on September 11. St. Lawrence opens 2010 by hosting the Run for Ryan Alumni Race and will come back Wednesday, September 8 for the North Country Five Meet. SUNY Oneonta will host an Atlantic Region preview meet on September 17 in which the Saints will test their No. 1 regional ranking. The Panthers of Middlebury will start the season with the Dartmouth Invitational on September 11 and their home Panther Invitational on September 18.

The next national poll will be announced on September 22. The NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, November 20 at the Max Championship Cross Country Course in Waverly, Iowa.


NCAA Division III

Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2010 Preseason, September 1

next poll: September 15
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Location 2009 NCAA
1 Washington (Mo.) (4) 271 Midwest UAA St. Louis, Mo. 7
2 North Central (Ill.) (3) 267 Midwest CCIW Naperville, Ill. 1
3 Allegheny (1) 260 Mideast NCAC Meadville, Pa. 3
4 Haverford 255 Mideast Centennial Haverford, Pa. 8
5 NYU 249 Atlantic UAA New York, N.Y. 4
6 SUNY Geneseo 245 Atlantic SUNYAC Geneseo, N.Y. 6
7 UW Platteville 228 Midwest WIAC Platteville, Wis. 9
8 Calvin 224 Great Lakes MIAA Grand Rapids, Mich. 13
9 Brandeis 209 New England UAA Waltham, Mass. 24
10 UW La Crosse 207 Midwest WIAC La Crosse, Wis. 10
11 Carnegie Mellon 196 Mideast UAA Pittsburgh, Pa. 12
12 St. Lawrence 188 Atlantic Liberty League Canton, N.Y. 11
12 Williams 188 New England NESCAC Williamstown, Mass. 2
14 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 181 West SCIAC Claremont, Calif. 15
15 UW Whitewater 158 Midwest WIAC Whitewater, Wis. DNQ
16 St. Olaf 154 Central MIAC Northfield, Minn. 21
17 Willamette 138 West Northwest Salem, Ore. 20
18 UW Stevens Point 137 Midwest WIAC Stevens Point, Wis. DNQ
19 Grinnell 114 Central MWC Grinnell, Iowa DNQ
20 Elizabethtown 106 Mideast MAC Elizabethtown, Pa. 28
21 Mount Union 105 Great Lakes OAC Alliance, Ohio 32
22 Amherst 98 New England NESCAC Amherst, Mass. 17
23 Plattsburgh State 97 Atlantic SUNYAC Plattsburgh, N.Y. DNQ
24 Hamline 91 Central MIAC Saint Paul, Minn. 23
24 Heidelberg 91 Great Lakes OAC Tiffin, Ohio 18
26 Colorado College 84 West SCAC Colorado Springs, Colo. 25
27 UW Oshkosh 83 Midwest WIAC Oshkosh, Wis. DNQ
27 Dickinson 83 Mideast Centennial Carlisle, Pa. 22
29 Manchester 41 Great Lakes HCAC North Manchester, Ind. 26
30 Rochester 38 Atlantic UAA Rochester, N.Y. DNQ
31 Centre 34 South/Southeast SCAC Danville, Ky. DNQ
32 Tufts 32 New England NESCAC Medford, Mass. DNQ
33 Keene State 25 New England Little East Keene, N.H. 29
34 SUNY Cortland 24 Atlantic SUNYAC Cortland, N.Y. 5
34 Emory 24 South/Southeast UAA Atlanta, Ga. 14
Others Receiving Votes: Wheaton (Ill.) 23, Oberlin 16, Southern Maine 13, MIT 11, Augustana (Ill.) 11, Nebraska Wesleyan 10, Lynchburg 8, UW Eau Claire 7, Whitworth 7, Pomona-Pitzer 6, Case Western Reserve 4, Ohio Wesleyan 2, Susquehanna 1, Bowdoin 1.



NCAA Division III

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2010 Preseason, September 1

next poll: September 15
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Location 2009 NCAA
1 UW Eau Claire (8) 280 Midwest WIAC Eau Claire, Wis. 1
2 St. Lawrence 271 Atlantic Liberty League Canton, N.Y. 2
3 Middlebury 259 New England NESCAC Middlebury, Vt. 4
4 Washington (Mo.) 249 Midwest UAA St. Louis, Mo. 10
5 Calvin 245 Great Lakes MIAA Grand Rapids, Mich. 3
6 MIT 241 New England NEWMAC Cambridge, Mass. 5
7 Whitworth 233 West Northwest Spokane, Wash. 6
8 Nebraska Wesleyan 221 Central Independents Lincoln, Neb. 12
9 SUNY Geneseo 215 Atlantic SUNYAC Geneseo, N.Y. 9
10 Williams 214 New England NESCAC Williamstown, Mass. 8
11 Johns Hopkins 197 Mideast Centennial Baltimore, Md. 7
12 Chicago 179 Midwest UAA Chicago, Ill. DNQ
13 Carleton 171 Central MIAC Northfield, Minn. 11
14 Amherst 167 New England NESCAC Amherst, Mass. 21
15 UW Oshkosh 162 Midwest WIAC Oshkosh, Wis. 13
16 Haverford 158 Mideast Centennial Haverford, Pa. 30
17 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 143 West SCIAC Claremont, Calif. 22
18 Hope 136 Great Lakes MIAA Holland, Mich. DNQ
19 Dickinson 135 Mideast Centennial Carlisle, Pa. 18
19 NYU 135 Atlantic UAA New York, N.Y. 24
21 Oberlin 129 Great Lakes NCAC Oberlin, Ohio 23
22 St. Thomas (Minn.) 125 Central MIAC Saint Paul, Minn. DNQ
23 Case Western Reserve 98 Great Lakes UAA Cleveland, Ohio 15
24 Luther 90 Central IIAC Decorah, Iowa DNQ
25 UW Stevens Point 80 Midwest WIAC Stevens Point, Wis. DNQ
26 Brandeis 78 New England UAA Waltham, Mass. DNQ
27 Wesleyan (Conn.) 71 New England NESCAC Middletown, Conn. 14
28 Plattsburgh State 65 Atlantic SUNYAC Plattsburgh, N.Y. DNQ
29 Baldwin-Wallace 64 Great Lakes OAC Berea, Ohio 29
30 Rhodes 45 South/Southeast SCAC Memphis, Tenn. 26
31 Grove City 35 Mideast PAC Grove City, Pa. DNQ
32 St. Olaf 33 Central MIAC Northfield, Minn. 27
33 Occidental 25 West SCIAC Los Angeles, Calif. DNQ
34 DePauw 23 Great Lakes SCAC Greencastle, Ind. 20
35 Emory 15 South/Southeast UAA Atlanta, Ga. 32
Others Receiving Votes: UW La Crosse 14, Gustavus Adolphus 12, Ithaca 11, Lynchburg 7, Elizabethtown 5, SUNY Cortland 3, Carnegie Mellon 1.