OK State Men & Providence Women Open Season as DI Preseason Favorites

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

August 27, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS – Oklahoma State’s defending NCAA champion men and the Providence women have been voted by the coaches as the Division I preseason No. 1 teams in the National Coaches Poll, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced Tuesday.

A position atop the men’s cross country world is nothing new for Oklahoma State, as the men’s team is the defending champion and has won three of the past four titles. But the Providence women — who came close to the NCAA team title a year ago with a runner-up finish — have not been ranked No. 1 since late in the 1996 season: the season following their 1995 title.

National PDFs: Preseason Top 30 Summary | Week-by-Week 2013 | Week-by-Week All Time

Regional Rankings: Preseason Summary (PDF)

Close behind OK State in the men’s polls are No. 2 Northern Arizona, No. 3 Colorado, No. 4 BYU and tied for No. 5 Arkansas and Tulsa.

The women’s top five is completed by No. 2 Florida State, defending champion No. 3 Oregon, No. 4 Duke and No. 5 Washington.

More in-depth analyses of each team can be found below.

For historical reference, the women’s preseason No. 1 has gone on to claim the team title in each of the past three years, while the men’s favorite has failed to do so in each of the last four seasons.

Recent History of Preseason No. 1

Men

Year
Preseason No. 1
NCAA Finish
NCAA Winner
Preseason Rank
2012
Wisconsin
2
Oklahoma State
2
2011
Oklahoma State
2
Wisconsin
3
2010
Stanford
4
Oklahoma State
2
2009
Oregon
2
Oklahoma State
2

Women

Year
Preseason No. 1
NCAA Finish
NCAA Winner
Preseason Rank
2012
Oregon
1
Oregon
1
2011
Georgetown
1
Georgetown
1
2010
Villanova
1
Villanova
1
2009
Washington
3
Villanova
5

 

The NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held November 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.

MEN

The Midwest and Mountain regions are shaping up to be particularly strong for the men, as five of the nation’s top six squads reside between them: No. 1 Oklahoma State and No. 5 Tulsa from the Midwest and No. 2 Northern Arizona, No. 3 Colorado and No. 4 BYU from the Mountain.

As the defending men’s team champion and the winner of three of the past four team titles, Oklahoma State was selected as the preseason favorite to reclaim its title by virtue of 10 of 12 first-place votes and a total 358 points.  The Cowboys return four scorers from their title-winning squad a year ago, three of whom are now seniors who finished in the top 25 as individuals. Tom Farrell finished ninth overall in 2012, while teammates Shadrack Kipchirchir and Joseph Manilafasha finished 18th and 24th, respectively. Junior Shane Moskowitz (53rd) also returns.

The other two first-place nods went to No. 2 Northern Arizona (349 points), which returns all five scorers from its fourth-place national finish a year ago. Senior Brian Shrader is the elder statesman of the Lumberjacks, having finished a team-best 15th overall at NCAAs in 2012, and will lead the way for a group of young returning scorers that features juniors Matt McElroy (66th) and Caleb Hoover (75th) and two sophomores in Futsum Zienasellassie (31st) and Nathan Weitz (80th).

Northern Arizona was last ranked No. 2 in October of 2009.

Colorado (337 points) starts the 2013 campaign in exactly the same spot it finished 2012 — No. 3 — behind the strength of four returning scorers from a year ago. Like Shrader at NAU, the Buffaloes’ top returning finisher Jake Hurysz (32nd) is also the lone returning senior scorer. He is joined by junior Blake Theroux (39th) and sophomores Pierce Murphy (45th) and Connor Winter (65th).

No. 4 BYU (307 points) enters the 2013 season with four of five scorers returning from its 2012 sixth-place showing — three of whom are seniors. Seniors Tylor Tatcher (34th), Conner Peloquin (84th) and Thomas Gruenwald (91st) all return, as does junior Steve Flint (106th).

Arkansas and Tulsa each garnered 284 points to tie for the No. 5 spot in the preseason poll. Both squads return three scorers from a year ago: Arkansas led by 17th-place finisher senior Kemoy Campbell and Tulsa by 20th-place runner senior Chris O’Hare, the indoor mile collegiate record holder. For Tulsa it is the highest-ever ranking in the National Coaches Poll, beating out their ninth-place high-point from last October.

The 2012 national runner-up Wisconsin Badgers enter 2013 at No. 7 after losing three of five scorers.

Portland is No. 8, followed by Syracuse at an all-time program-best No. 9 and Princeton at No. 10 to complete the top 10.

The ACC tops the list of conferences with six teams represented in the top 30, followed by the Pac-12 and the Big Ten with four apiece.

WOMEN

The Oregon women snapped a lengthy championship drought last season with their first team title since 1987 with a title over runner-up Providence. Could this be the year Providence, which won its last and only title in 1995, follows suit and does the same? The voting committee thinks so, as the Friars (359 points) collected 11 of the 12 first-place votes and are ranked No. 1 in the polls for the first time since attempting a title defense during the 1996 season.

The top three scorers from the Friars’ runners-up effort a year ago return in sophomore Sarah Collins, who finished 10th overall as a freshman last year; and seniors Emily Sisson (15th) and Laura Nagel (35th).

No. 2 Florida State (343 points) has been knocking on the door of a national team title for the last six years, having finished fourth the past two seasons, runner-up in 2009 and 1010, and third in 2007 and 2008. The last time FSU started the season at No. 2 — in 2010 — that is exactly where they finished at NCAAs. In order to live up to lofty preseason expectations and to break through and win the program’s first title, the FSU women will have to fill a void left from the departure of four of its scorers from last year’s team — only junior Colleen Quigley (12th) remains.

Like Florida State, defending champion Oregon lost many of its scorers from last year — its top three scorers, to be precise — but the Ducks enter the season at No. 3 in the country.  Junior transfer Lindsay Crevoiserat, who finished 42nd overall last year while at Connecticut, will join returning Ducks Allie Woodward (44th) and Annie Leblanc (68th) in the title defense effort.

Ranked No. 4 — the highest preseason rank in program history — expectations are high for Duke, which will rely on the experience its top three returning scorers to build on a 2012 season that saw the Blue Devils record a seventh-place finish — the program’s best since a third-place showing in 2005. Just a freshman when she finished 20th last year, Kelsey Lakowske is the squad’s top returner along with senior Juliet Bottoff (27th) and Carolyn Baskir (81st).

No. 5 Washington likewise improves from its ninth-place showing at NCAAs in 2012 behind the return of four returning scorers from last year — all of whom are seniors who experienced the Huskies’ narrow runners-up finish to Georgetown at the 2011 NCAA Championships. A strong crew featuring Megan Goethals (48th), Katie Flood (t89th), Justine Johnson (t89th) and Liberty Miller (152nd) will get one final shot at bringing the program its first title since 2008.

No. 6 Georgetown, the 2011 champ, will look to bounce back after a 12th-place showing a year ago, while No. 7 Arizona and No. 8 Stanford each return three from their 2012 sixth- and third-place results, respectively.

The coaches are expecting marked improvement from No. 9 Arkansas after finishing 18th a year ago, while No. 10 Cornell rounds out the top 10.

Unlike the men’s poll, no single region dominates the top five positions of the women’s poll, as the first five teams hail from four different regions. However, with four teams in the top eight, the West Region (No. 3 Oregon, No. 5 Washington, No. 7 Arizona and No. 8 Stanford) will be exceptionally difficult in 2013, as will the Pac-12.

No. 14 Colorado also makes the list to give the Pac-12 a total of five teams on the list, tied with the ACC for the most of any conference. The Big Ten, Big East and Big 12 are each represented by four squads.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2013 Preseason — August 27

next poll: September 17
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
2012 FINAL
1 Oklahoma State (10) 358 Midwest Big 12 Dave Smith (8th)
1
2 Northern Arizona (2) 349 Mountain Big Sky Eric Heins (7th)
4
3 Colorado 337 Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (19th)
3
4 BYU 307 Mountain West Coast Ed Eyestone (14th)
6
5 Arkansas 284 South Central SEC Chris Bucknam (6th)
10
5 Tulsa 284 Midwest Conference USA Steve Gulley (12th)
7
7 Wisconsin 279 Great Lakes Big Ten Mick Byrne (6th)
2
8 Portland 269 West West Coast Rob Conner (24th)
12
9 Syracuse 266 Northeast ACC Chris Fox (9th)
15
10 Princeton 254 Mid-Atlantic Ivy Jason Vigilante (2nd)
11
11 Eastern Kentucky 219 Southeast Ohio Valley Rick Erdmann (35th)
24
12 Oregon 203 West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (2nd)
20
13 UCLA 197 West Pac-12 Mike Maynard (5th)
13
14 Iona 193 Northeast Metro Atlantic Ricardo Santos (6th)
29
15 Texas 172 South Central Big 12 Mario Sategna (1st)
9
16 Stanford 167 West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (2nd)
16
17 Virginia 163 Southeast ACC Peter Watson (2nd)
14
18 Columbia 132 Northeast Ivy Willy Wood (20th)
17
19 New Mexico 127 Mountain Mountain West Joe Franklin (7th)
21
20 Indiana 126 Great Lakes Big Ten Ron Helmer (7th)
18
21 Florida State 125 South ACC Bob Braman (14th)
5
22 Notre Dame 116 Great Lakes ACC Joe Piane (39th)
28
23 Florida 112 South SEC Mike Holloway (7th)
NR
24 Georgetown 110 Mid-Atlantic Big East Patrick Henner (15th)
25
25 NC State 91 Southeast ACC Rollie Geiger (36th)
26
26 Michigan 72 Great Lakes Big Ten Alex Gibby (4th)
23
27 Villanova 65 Mid-Atlantic Big East Marcus O’Sullivan (14th)
27
28 Duke 41 Southeast ACC Norm Ogilvie (23rd)
30
29 Dartmouth 28 Northeast Ivy Barry Harwick (22nd)
NR
30 Michigan State 24 Great Lakes Big Ten Walt Drenth (10th)
31
Others Receiving Votes: Georgia 20, Illinois 18, Providence 17, Virginia Tech 12, Washington 9, North Carolina 8, Oklahoma 8, Alabama 7, Louisville 3, Harvard 3, Missouri 3, Arizona State 1, Air Force 1.
(* year as effective coach of that team in men’s cross country)

 


USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2013 Preseason — August 27

next poll: September 17
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
2012 FINAL
1 Providence (11) 359 Northeast Big East Ray Treacy (30th)
2
2 Florida State 343 South ACC Karen Harvey (7th)
4
3 Oregon (1) 334 West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (2nd)
1
4 Duke 321 Southeast ACC Kevin Jermyn (10th)
7
5 Washington 317 West Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (12th)
9
6 Georgetown 283 Mid-Atlantic Big East Michael Smith (2nd)
12
7 Arizona 278 West Pac-12 James Li (12th)
6
8 Stanford 276 West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (2nd)
3
9 Arkansas 238 South Central SEC Lance Harter (24th)
18
10 Cornell 234 Northeast Ivy Artie Smith (15th)
13
11 Penn State 223 Mid-Atlantic Big Ten Beth Alford-Sullivan (15th)
14
12 Villanova 221 Mid-Atlantic Big East Gina Procaccio (14th)
20
13 Michigan State 219 Great Lakes Big Ten Walt Drenth (10th)
16
14 Colorado 196 Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (19th)
24
15 New Mexico 195 Mountain Mountain West Joe Franklin (7th)
10
16 William and Mary 188 Southeast Colonial Jill Miller (2nd)
21
17 Michigan 184 Great Lakes Big Ten Mike McGuire (22nd)
5
18 Notre Dame 143 Great Lakes ACC Tim Connelly (26th)
15
19 Minnesota 129 Midwest Big Ten Sarah Hopkins (1st)
22
20 Vanderbilt 123 South SEC Steve Keith (8th)
27
21 Oklahoma State 112 Midwest Big 12 Dave Smith (5th)
26
22 NC State 109 Southeast ACC Laurie Henes (8th)
NR
23 San Francisco 95 West West Coast Helen Lehman-Winters (11th)
NR
24 Weber State 69 Mountain Big Sky Paul Pilkington (7th)
17
25 Boston College 68 Northeast ACC Randy Thomas (22nd)
19
26 Iowa State 56 Midwest Big 12 Andrea Grove-McDonough (1st)
11
27 Texas 54 South Central Big 12 Mario Sategna (1st)
25
28 Princeton 48 Mid-Atlantic Ivy Peter Farrell (36th)
NR
29 West Virginia 47 Mid-Atlantic Big 12 Sean Cleary (7th)
NR
30 Butler 23 Great Lakes Big East Matt Roe (7th)
29
Others Receiving Votes: Georgia 21, Connecticut 19, North Carolina 14, UC Davis 13, Harvard 11, Toledo 7, Florida 4, Syracuse 3, Northern Arizona 2, Texas A&M 1
(* year as effective coach of that team in women’s cross country)