North Central (Ill.) Men & Johns Hopkins Women Picked as DIII XC Preseason Favorites to Defend Titles

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

August 28, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS – The North Central (Ill.) men and Johns Hopkins women have been tabbed by the nation’s coaches as preseason favorites to repeat as NCAA Division III cross country team champions as the No. 1 teams in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Preseason National Coaches Poll, which was released Wednesday.

FULL POLLS: Men’s | Women’s

National PDFs: Top 35 Summary | Week-by-Week 2013 | Week-by-Week All Time
Regional Rankings PDF: Summary

Division III XC Rankings Central

Both squads are coming off of national-title seasons in 2012 and both return at least three scoring members of their NCAA Championships squads. North Central is the men’s preseason pick for the fourth time in the past five seasons, while Johns Hopkins is the preseason team to beat for the first time.

Right behind North Central are No. 2 Haverford, No. 3 UW-La Crosse, No. 4 Washington (Mo.) and No. 5 Bowdoin.

Rounding out the women’s top five are No. 2 Wartburg, No. 3 MIT, No. 4 Williams and No. 5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.

In terms of recent history, three of the last four men’s preseason favorites have gone on to claim the national title in November — North Central all three times. Recent history has been less than kind to women’s preseason No. 1 teams, as none of the past four claimed the ultimate prize.

The NCAA Division III National Championships will be held November 23 in Hanover, Ind.

MEN

It has become commonplace of late to see North Central (Ill.) and Haverford atop the Division III men’s cross country rankings. The Cardinals of NCC have claimed the past three of the past four NCAA DIII team titles, interrupted only in 2010 by Haverford, which finished runner-up each of the last two seasons.

North Central (278 points) is the preseason favorite for the fourth time in the past five years, and have delivered on that with national titles in 2009, 2011 and 2012. With three of five scorers returning from last year’s team and five of their seven total runners back from their nationals team, the coaches believe that trend could continue with six of the eight first place votes cast in favor of the unit from Naperville.

The Cardinals return top scorer senior John Crain (sixth at nationals), along with fellow seniors Roger Klein (44th) and Timothy Hird (121st).

The second spot in the preseason rankings and one of the eight first-place votes belong to Haverford (269 points), which finished tied with Calvin as runners-up to NCC a year ago. Just freshmen who didn’t make the top seven for nationals in 2010 when Haverford last won a title, current seniors Chris Stadler (12th) and Avi Bregman (96th) lead the way as returning scorers, along with junior Joel Christian (48th). In total, five of their seven from the 2012 NCAA Championships return for 2013.

Ranked No. 3, UW-La Crosse (260 points) will go for the calendar-year sweep with three consecutive NCAA DIII titles dating back to their indoor and outdoor national championships during the 2013 track & field season. The Eagles return their third through fifth scorers and five total national team members from their fourth-place squad in 2012 including junior Nate Routhier (42nd) and seniors Jacob Peterson (70th) and Garrett Kerska (98th).

No. 4 Washington (Mo.) (255 points), the recipient of the final first-place vote, returns nearly everyone from its fifth-place team a year ago, with four of five scorers and six of the seven total runners from the 2012 NCAA squad. Now a senior, 2012 fourth-place finisher Kevin Sparks leads a squad that also includes a trio of juniors in Garrett Patrick (67th), Andrew Padgett (86th) and Ryan Senci (87th).

The biggest improvement from 2012 to 2013 comes courtesy of No. 5 Bowdoin (242 points), which finished 16th at NCAAs a year ago. With two top-20 finishers returning in seniors Coby Horowitz (9th) and Samuel Seekins (17th) and three other returning scorers from 2012, including two seniors, the squad has a solid foundation to build upon for 2013.

No. 6 Bates, No. 7 Central (Iowa), No. 8 Williams, No. 9 Calvin and No. 10 UW-Eau Claire round out the top ten.

With four teams in the top ten — three of which are among the nation’s top four — the Midwest Region is shaping up to be perhaps the most difficult in the country, followed closely by the New England with four in the top 11.

WOMEN

Fresh off its first NCAA DIII Cross Country Championship in program history, Johns Hopkins (280 points) is back in 2013 as more than the preseason favorite in 2013: the Blue Jays are the unanimous favorites in the Preseason Coaches Poll with all eight first-place votes.

Four of the Blue Jays’ five scorers from 2012 return and six of their seven total national championship squad runners are back in 2013, setting the team up to pick up where it left off last season. Only a freshman when she finished 10th overall a year ago, sophomore Hannah Oneda is back to contend for both the individual and team titles leading a crew that includes senior Holly Clarke (25th), sophomore Sophia Meehan (85th) and junior Ashley Murphy (88th).

No. 2 Wartburg (266 points), which finished runner-up in 2012, is projected to again give Johns Hopkins a run for its money with all five scorers returning and six of its seven total NCAAs runners back. The Knights have a pair of front-runners of their own in junior Alana Enabnit (seventh) and senior Sammi Bruett (13th) to pace their three other returning scorers: senior Haddie Vawter (49th) and juniors Erin Sawyers (111th) and Morgan Gerdes (140th).

Making the jump from sixth at NCAAs in 2012 to No. 3 in the 2013 preseason is MIT (265 points). Like the two preceding teams, the Engineers are loaded with returning talent with four scorers and five of their six NCAAs runners back. Junior Eliane McVay is the squad’s top returner having finished 38th a year ago, leading a group that includes sophomore Sarah Quinn (74th), senior Martina de Geus (94th) and junior Katlin Allen (184th).

Holding steady at No. 4 is Williams (256 points), which is looking for its first title since 2004. All five scorers and the entire six-woman NCAA roster are back for the Ephs including top finishers senior Kaleigh Kenny (16th) and junior Adrienne Strait (28th). Also returning are senior Shayna Barbash (81st) and juniors Allison Smith (90th) and Amelia Ortiz (176th).

Rounding out the top five is Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, which dropped slightly from its third-place showing at NCAAs last season. All three of the top scorers return, including sophomore Bridget Blum (24th), senior Allison Barnwell (33rd) and junior Sara Mostatabi (66th).

Completing the top 10 are No. 6. UW-Eau Claire, No. 7 Oberlin, No. 8 Trinity (Texas), No. 9 St. Lawrence and No. 10 Middlebury.

The New England Region boasts the highest number of top-10 squads with three, joining the West with two as the only regions with multiple top-10 teams.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III

Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2013 Preseason — August 28

next poll: September 18
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Head Coach (Yr*)
2012 FINAL
1 North Central (Ill.) (6) 278 Midwest CCIW Al Carius (48th)
1
2 Haverford (1) 269 Mideast Centennial Tom Donnelly (39th)
2
3 UW-La Crosse 260 Midwest WIAC Derek Stanley (2nd)
4
4 Washington (Mo.) (1) 255 Midwest UAA Jeff Stiles (13th)
5
5 Bowdoin 242 New England NESCAC Peter Slovenski (28th)
16
6 Bates 232 New England NESCAC Al Fereshetian (19th)
6
7 Central (Iowa) 230 Central IIAC Joe Dunham (6th)
12
8 Williams 212 New England NESCAC Peter Farwell (35th)
12
9 Calvin 205 Great Lakes MIAA Brian Diemer (28th)
2
10 UW-Eau Claire 197 Midwest WIAC Dan Schwamberger (7th)
10
11 Tufts 194 New England NESCAC Ethan Barron (9th)
7
12 Dickinson 181 Mideast Centennial Don Nichter (24th)
19
13 UW-Platteville 175 Midwest WIAC Tom Antczak (21st)
NR
14 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 173 West SCIAC John Goldhammer (30th)
11
15 St. Olaf 170 Central MIAC Phil Lundin (6th)
14
16 Wheaton (Ill.) 155 Midwest CCIW Scott Bradley (12th)
9
17 NYU 149 Atlantic UAA Nick McDonough (16th)
22
18 Johns Hopkins 136 Mideast Centennial Bobby Van Allen (15th)
20
19 Carnegie Mellon 134 Mideast UAA Dario Donatelli (21st)
17
20 UW-Oshkosh 130 Midwest WIAC Eamon McKenna (2nd)
NR
21 SUNY Cortland 114 Atlantic SUNYAC Steve Patrick (6th)
23
22 Allegheny 110 Mideast NCAC Brent Wilkerson (4th)
15
23 UW-Stevens Point 107 Midwest WIAC Rick Witt (35th)
NR
24 Wabash 106 Great Lakes NCAC Roger Busch (8th)
28
25 Middlebury 96 New England NESCAC Nicole Wilkerson (3rd)
8
26 Pomona-Pitzer 81 West SCIAC Tony Boston (6th)
25
27 MIT 66 New England NEWMAC Halston Taylor (32nd)
NR
28 St. Lawrence 59 Atlantic Liberty League John Newman (13th)
27
29 Manchester 45 Great Lakes HCAC Brian Cashdollar (16th)
29
30 Saint John’s (Minn.) 38 Central MIAC Tim Miles (35th)
NR
30 Rochester 38 Atlantic UAA John Izzo (14th)
21
32 SUNY Geneseo 37 Atlantic SUNYAC Mike Woods (22nd)
18
33 Case Western Reserve 19 Great Lakes UAA Kathy Lanese (13th)
30
33 Chicago 19 Midwest UAA Chris Hall (13th)
NR
35 Elizabethtown 15 Mideast Middle Atlantic Brian Falk (3rd)
NR
Others Receiving Votes: SUNY Oneonta 13, Lynchburg 13, Augustana (Ill.) 13, Emory 12, Carleton 12, Luther 12, Willamette 12, John Carroll 8, Amherst 6, Loras 5, Wartburg 4, Swarthmore 3 1
(* year as head coach of that team in men’s cross country, officially NCAA-recognized coach listed)

 


USTFCCCA NCAA Division III

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2013 Preseason — August 28

next poll: September 18
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Head Coach (Yr*)
2012 FINAL
1 Johns Hopkins (8) 280 Mideast Centennial Bobby Van Allen (15th)
1
2 Wartburg 266 Central IIAC Steve Johnson (25th)
2
3 MIT 265 New England NEWMAC Halston Taylor (7th)
6
4 Williams 256 New England NESCAC Peter Farwell (14th)
4
5 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 250 West SCIAC John Goldhammer (30th)
3
6 UW-Eau Claire 238 Midwest WIAC Dan Schwamberger (7th)
5
7 Oberlin 236 Great Lakes NCAC Ray Appenheimer (8th)
9
8 Trinity (Texas) 221 South/Southeast SCAC Derick Lawrence (2nd)
12
9 St. Lawrence 218 Atlantic Liberty League Mike Howard (15th)
7
10 Middlebury 205 New England NESCAC Nicole Wilkerson (3rd)
11
11 Calvin 198 Great Lakes MIAA Brian Diemer (8th)
18
12 Haverford 191 Mideast Centennial Fran Rizzo (23rd)
13
13 Chicago 187 Midwest UAA Chris Hall (13th)
15
14 Carleton 180 Central MIAC Donna Ricks (21st)
17
15 Luther 166 Central IIAC Yarrow Pasche (9th)
14
16 UW-La Crosse 155 Midwest WIAC Derek Stanley (2nd)
25
17 SUNY Geneseo 149 Atlantic SUNYAC Mike Woods (22nd)
26
18 St. Olaf 141 Central MIAC Chris Daymont (33rd)
8
19 NYU 138 Atlantic UAA Nick McDonough (16th)
22
20 Bates 120 New England NESCAC Jay Hartshorn (9th)
19
21 Kenyon 116 Great Lakes NCAC Duane Gomez (31st)
28
22 Dickinson 101 Mideast Centennial Don Nichter (24th)
23
23 Lewis & Clark 100 West Northwest Keith Woodard (7th)
20
24 Washington (Mo.) 95 Midwest UAA Jeff Stiles (13th)
NR
25 Amherst 91 New England NESCAC Cassie Funke-Harris (2nd)
16
26 Hope 83 Great Lakes MIAA Mark Northuis (26th)
10
27 Rowan 82 Atlantic NJAC Derick “Ringo” Adamson (7th)
27
28 Ithaca 60 Atlantic Empire 8 Erin Dinan (2nd)
30
29 St. Benedict 56 Central MIAC Robin Balder-Lanoue (18th)
NR
30 Willamette 50 West Northwest Matt McGuirk (10th)
32
31 Elizabethtown 48 Mideast Middle Atlantic Brian Falk (6th)
NR
32 Tufts 28 New England NESCAC Kristen Morwick (14th)
NR
33 Emory 26 South/Southeast UAA John Curtin (29th)
31
34 UW-Oshkosh 20 Midwest WIAC Drew Ludtke (2nd)
29
35 Case Western Reserve 13 Great Lakes UAA Kathy Lanese (16th)
NR
Others Receiving Votes: Gustavus Adolphus 8, Marywood 3
(* year as head coach of that team in women’s cross country, officially NCAA-recognized coach listed)