NAU Men, Providence Women Take Over No. 1 in Pre-NCAAs DI National Coaches Polls

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

November 18, 2013   

NEW ORLEANS – Regional championships weekend produced a pair of new No. 1 teams in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Division I National Coaches Polls before this weekend’s NCAA Championships as the Northern Arizona men and Providence women both moved to the top.

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NCAA Division I National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Men

1)Northern Arizona 2)Oklahoma State 3)Colorado 4)Stanford 5)Oregon)
Northern Arizona (+1) Oklahoma State (+1) Colorado (-2) Stanford (+2) Oregon (-1)
View Complete Men’s National Coaches Poll

NAU is on top of the poll for the first time since the beginning of USTFCCCA records in 1995 after taking down former No. 1 Colorado and winning the Mountain Region, perhaps the nation’s deepest region, while Providence reclaimed the top spot it held for all but two editions of the poll this season with a Northeast Region win over No. 15 Dartmouth.

While both teams may enter this weekend’s NCAA Championships — held this weekend in Terre Haute, Ind., on November 23 — as the favorites in the coaches’ eyes, neither is an overwhelming favorite. Providence is just one voting point ahead of former No. 1 Arizona, which fell to No. 2, and NAU is clear of defending champion No. 2 Oklahoma State by just six voting points and No. 3 Colorado by 10.

NCAA Division I National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Women

1)Providence 2)Arizona 3)Arkansas 4)Florida State 5)Colorado
Providence (+1) Arizona (-1) Arkansas Florida State (+1) Colorado (+5)
View Complete Women’s National Coaches Poll

Both teams claimed six first-place votes out of 12 total. Arizona’s women took five more and No. 3 Arkansas claimed the final women’s top vote. On the men’s side, Oklahoma State earned four and Colorado, which dropped to No. 3, collected the final two.

If recent history is any indicator, occupying the No. 1 spot heading into the championships isn’t necessarily a good thing, nor a bad thing for that matter. In the past ten years, six men’s teams and four women’s teams have won the NCAA team title as the No. 1 team.

The pre-NCAAs No. 1 has claimed each of the past two team crowns on the men’s side (Oklahoma State in 2012, Wisconsin in 2011), but in the women’s competition a pre-meet favorite hasn’t taken home the title since Villanova in 2010.

Another notable piece of history: two schools have combined for the four upsets on the men’s side in Oklahoma and Colorado, both of which have been ranked  No. 1 at some point this season and own at least two first-place votes.

Oklahoma State’s men claimed the national title in both 2009 and 2010 as the No. 2 team in the country, which is exactly where it sits entering the meet in 2013. Colorado won as the No. 2 team in 2006 and the No. 4 team in 2004. It is nestled right in between at No. 3 this week.

The changes at the top were microcosmic of the dramatic re-shuffling that took place throughout both polls at large in this final edition before NCAAs, many of which are covered in detail below. Only one team remained stationary in the men’s poll and the women weren’t too far off that mark with three teams that stayed in place from the previous poll.

Men

The battle between Northern Arizona and Colorado for the Mountain Region title and the No. 1 national rank lived up to expectations, as the Lumberjacks narrowly edged out the Buffaloes, 61-69. Third-place finisher Futsum Zienasellassie finished third to lead four Lumberjacks in the top 11.

National runner-up is the best NAU has finished at the NCAA Championships, in both 1995 and 1998.

With the loss, the Buffaloes drop to No. 3. Colorado’s Pierce Murphy finished fifth to pace four finishers in the top 16. While NAU took the meet title, Colorado showed a bit more depth with its sixth runner coming through in 27th, in comparison to NAU’s 40th for its sixth.

The Buffaloes are going for their first title since 2006.

Defending national champion Oklahoma State moved up and past Colorado into the No. 2 spot following a Midwest Region title over No. 9 Tulsa, 45-57. The Cowboys’ top five packed up and finished in a line between seventh and 11th. Tom Farrell, Shadrack Kipchirchir and Craig Nowak all finished within a second of one another, as did Kirubel Erassa and Joseph Manilafasha a few strides behind.

Stanford moved up two spots to a season-best No. 4 rank following a 53-64 win over Oregon — which dropped one position to No. 5. Jim Rosa and Erik Olson finished second and third individually to lead four top-12 finishers.

Oregon had the individual winner in Edward Cheserek and fifth-place Parker Stinson.

New Mexico jumped five spots to No. 6 after finishing third to NAU and Colorado in the Mountain Region, just ten points behind CU. The mark is the second-highest since the beginning of USTFCCCA records in 1995 behind its No. 5 citation entering the 2010 NCAA Championships.

No. 7 Syracuse made the biggest jump into the top 10 of any men’s team this week with a seven-position improvement from last time following a Northeast Region title. En route to its highest national rank since the beginning of USTFCCCA records, the Orange defeated No. 12 Columbia and No. 15 Iona, 57-78-81. With third-place Martin Hehir at the point, all seven of Syracuse’s runners came through among the top 30 individual finishers.

No. 8 BYU dropped three positions from last time following a fourth-place team finish in the difficult Mountain Region. On the same day his eligibility was reinstated, Jared Ward led the Cougars with a fourth-place finish.

Tulsa jumped four spots up to No. 9 with its runner-up finish to Oklahoma State in the Midwest Region. The Golden Hurricane was led by individual champion Chris O’Hare.

No. 10 Arkansas dropped one spot following a close call in narrowly winning the South Central Region, 34-37, over No. 23 Texas. Stanley Kebenei and Kemoy Campbell crossed the line side-by-side for the top two spots as the Razorbacks put four in the top 10.

Great Lakes champion Michigan moved up three spots to No. 13, just ahead of Mid-Atlantic champion Villanova at No. 14. The Wildcats jumped six spots.

Moving in the other direction were No. 15 Iona (down eight spots), No. Indiana (down nine) and No. 28 North Carolina (down 10).

Four teams rejoined the poll in No. 22 Virginia, No. 25 NC State and No. 30 Florida. No. 29 Georgia entered the poll for the first time this season.

Women

Providence reclaimed the top spot it lost in mid-October with a resounding win in the Northeast Region, 44-84, over No. 15 Dartmouth, which itself dropped three positions from a week ago. The trio of Emily Sisson, Sarah Collins and Laura Nagel finished runner-up, third and seventh, respectively, and the Friars were the only team with five top-20 finishers.

With 353 voting points and six first-place votes, the Friars find themselves as the coaches’ favorites by just one voting point over No. 2 Arizona’s 352 points and five first-place nods. The Wildcats won by just 10 points over No. 12 Stanford — which jumped six positions — by a score of 84-94. Eighth-place Elvin Kibet led four top-12 finishers, but Arizona’s fifth was back in 45th.

Arkansas remained put at No. 3 with a dominant showing in the South Central, winning 33-116 over No. 29 SMU and Texas A&M. Led by runner-up Dominique Scott, the Razorbacks’ seven runners all finished in the top 20 and the top five all came through in the top 11.

Florida State moved up one position to No. 4 with a similarly decisive 35-116 win over No. 25 Vanderbilt in the South Region. Individual winner Colleen Quigley led four FSU runners in the top 10.

Mountain champion Colorado climbed five spots to No. 5 after dismantling former No. 8 New Mexico, 29-64, behind individual runner-up Shalaya Kipp leading four of the top six individual finishers and seven runners in the top 15. New Mexico, despite having two of the top three finishers and individual champ Sammy Silva, dropped three to No. 11.

No. 6 Georgetown fell for a second straight poll after being upset by previously unranked Villanova in the Mid-Atlantic, 31-35. The Hoyas ran well as a tight-knit group with third-place Samantha Nadel leading all five scorers to top-10 finishes within 11 seconds of one another and seven runners in the top 15.

The aforementioned Villanova Wildcats went from receiving votes nationally to No. 9 behind individual champion Emily Lipari and runner-up Nicky Akande. This is the first top-10 appearance for Nova since week three of last season. Earlier this season Villanova was ranked as high as No. 11.

Ahead of the Wildcats are Midwest champion No. 7 Iowa State and Great Lakes champ No. 8 Michigan.

Individual winner Crystal Nelson led the Cyclones to a 39-59 win over No. 16 Minnesota with all five finishers in the top 15. Iowa State and Minnesota were two of the three teams in the women’s poll to remain stationary from two weeks ago.

Michigan improved six spots from a week ago after defeating former top-10 teams No. 13 Butler and No. 14 Michigan State, 48-67-73, behind four of the top 11 finishers.

Virginia improved one position to No. 10 following a win in the Southeast over No. 18 William & Mary, 57-69, with third-place Barbara Strehler leading five top-20 finishers.

Following a third place finish in the West, defending national champion Oregon dropped two spots to No. 17, its lowest rank since week three of the 2011 season. The Ducks, who were ranked 16th entering the NCAAs that yea­r, ended up finishing fifth in 2011.

Along with Villanova’s jump from unranked to top-10 and Stanford’s six-spot improvement to No. 12, No. 22 Penn State also made a significant improvement with an eight-position increase following a third-place finish in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Villanova, No. 25 Vanderbilt, No. 28 Wisconsin and No. 30 BYU rejoined the poll, while SMU entered the poll for the first time since early in 2010.

The NCAA Championships will be contested November 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. NCAA.com will carry live streams of all the championships.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2013 Week #7 — November 18

next poll: none (final rankings, NCAA Championships, November 23)
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 Northern Arizona (6) 353 Mountain Big Sky Eric Heins (7th)
2
2 Oklahoma State (4) 347 Midwest Big 12 Dave Smith (8th)
3
3 Colorado (2) 343 Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (19th)
1
4 Stanford 322 West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (2nd)
6
5 Oregon 309 West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (2nd)
4
6 New Mexico 284 Mountain Mountain West Joe Franklin (7th)
11
7 Syracuse 267 Northeast ACC Chris Fox (9th)
14
8 BYU 264 Mountain West Coast Ed Eyestone (14th)
5
9 Tulsa 259 Midwest Conference USA Steve Gulley (12th)
13
10 Arkansas 255 South Central SEC Chris Bucknam (6th)
9
11 Portland 250 West West Coast Rob Conner (24th)
10
12 Columbia 230 Northeast Ivy Willy Wood (20th)
8
13 Michigan 214 Great Lakes Big Ten Alex Gibby (4th)
16
14 Villanova 205 Mid-Atlantic Big East Marcus O’Sullivan (14th)
20
15 Iona 203 Northeast Metro Atlantic Ricardo Santos (6th)
7
16 Eastern Kentucky 185 Southeast Ohio Valley Rick Erdmann (35th)
17
17 Wisconsin 170 Great Lakes Big Ten Mick Byrne (6th)
19
18 Princeton 141 Mid-Atlantic Ivy Jason Vigilante (2nd)
15
19 Notre Dame 137 Great Lakes ACC Joe Piane (39th)
22
20 Indiana 134 Great Lakes Big Ten Ron Helmer (7th)
11
21 Providence 119 Northeast Big East Ray Treacy (30th)
21
22 Virginia 104 Southeast ACC Peter Watson (2nd)
RV
23 Texas 95 South Central Big 12 Mario Sategna (1st)
25
24 Air Force 80 Mountain Mountain West Juli Benson (5th)
29
25 Dartmouth 66 Northeast Ivy Barry Harwick (22nd)
26
25 NC State 66 Southeast ACC Rollie Geiger (36th)
NR
27 Colorado State 62 Mountain Mountain West Art Siemers (2nd)
23
28 North Carolina 39 Southeast ACC Mark VanAlstyne (2nd)
18
29 Georgia 28 South SEC Patrick Cunniff (2nd)
RV
30 Florida 18 South SEC Mike Holloway (7th)
RV
Others Receiving Votes: Harvard 11, Iowa State 9, Boise State 6, Southern Utah 5, Georgetown 3
Dropped Out: No. 24 Iowa State, No. 27 Southern Utah, No. 28 Arizona State, No. 29 Washington
(* year as effective coach of that team in men’s cross country)

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2013 Week #7 — November 18

next poll: none (final rankings, NCAA Championships, November 23)
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 Providence (6) 353 Northeast Big East Ray Treacy (30th)
2
2 Arizona (5) 352 West Pac-12 James Li (12th)
1
3 Arkansas (1) 337 South Central SEC Lance Harter (24th)
3
4 Florida State 318 South ACC Karen Harvey (7th)
5
5 Colorado 286 Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (19th)
10
6 Georgetown 283 Mid-Atlantic Big East Michael Smith (2nd)
4
7 Iowa State 278 Midwest Big 12 Andrea Grove-McDonough (1st)
7
8 Michigan 269 Great Lakes Big Ten Mike McGuire (22nd)
14
9 Villanova 261 Mid-Atlantic Big East Gina Procaccio (14th)
RV
10 Virginia 243 Southeast ACC Todd Morgan (2nd)
11
11 New Mexico 242 Mountain Mountain West Joe Franklin (7th)
8
12 Stanford 239 West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (2nd)
18
13 Butler 235 Great Lakes Big East Matt Roe (7th)
9
14 Michigan State 220 Great Lakes Big Ten Walt Drenth (10th)
6
15 Dartmouth 205 Northeast Ivy Mark Coogan (3rd)
12
16 Minnesota 173 Midwest Big Ten Sarah Hopkins (1st)
16
17 Oregon 170 West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (2nd)
15
18 William and Mary 159 Southeast Colonial Jill Miller (2nd)
19
19 San Francisco 152 West West Coast Helen Lehman-Winters (11th)
17
20 Washington 125 West Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (12th)
12
21 Syracuse 107 Northeast ACC Chris Fox (9th)
19
22 Penn State 87 Mid-Atlantic Big Ten Beth Alford-Sullivan (15th)
30
23 Notre Dame 83 Great Lakes ACC Tim Connelly (26th)
21
24 Cornell 79 Northeast Ivy Artie Smith (3rd)
23
25 Vanderbilt 59 South SEC Steve Keith (8th)
RV
26 West Virginia 56 Mid-Atlantic Big 12 Sean Cleary (7th)
24
27 Princeton 52 Mid-Atlantic Ivy Peter Farrell (36th)
22
28 Wisconsin 37 Great Lakes Big Ten Jim Stintzi (10th)
RV
29 SMU 32 South Central American Cathy Casey (8th)
NR
30 BYU 29 Mountain West Coast Patrick Shane (32nd)
RV
Others Receiving Votes: Indiana 25, Arizona State 17, Boston College 6, UC Davis 3, Harvard 2
Dropped Out: No. 25 Boise State, No. 26 Arizona State, No. 27 Harvard, No. 28 Duke, No. 28 Texas A&M
(* year as effective coach of that team in women’s cross country)