Preseason Regional Rankings for Division III Cross Country Announced

Courtesy: Dennis Young, USTFCCCA

August 26, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS—The preseason NCAA Division III Cross Country Regional Team Rankings, released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), largely represent the status quo from last November.

Regional Rankings Summary PDF | DIII XC Rankings Central
QUICK LINKS: Men’s Regions | Women’s Regions

On the men’s side, every defending regional champ was ranked No. 1 in their respective region. That’s defending national champion St. Olaf in the Central Region; SUNY Cortland (co-No. 1 with SUNY Geneseo) in the Atlantic; North Central (Ill.) in the Midwest; Williams in the New England; Wabash in the Great Lakes; Bridgewater (Va.) in the South/Southeast; Johns Hopkins in the Mideast, and Pomona-Pitzer in the West.

Three women’s teams are tipped to defend their regional titles: Williams in the New England Region, Johns Hopkins in the Mideast, and the Midwest’s Chicago. The rest of the country is represented by new No. 1s in SUNY Geneseo in the Atlantic; Carleton in the Central; Oberlin in the Great Lakes; Emory in the South/Southeast; and Willamette in the West.

Williams, Hopkins, and Geneseo are the only schools to be ranked No. 1 regionally for both men and women; St. Olaf, Haverford, Bridgewater, and Calvin all have men’s and women’s teams in the top two.

Geneseo is the only school from the aforementioned group to sweep No. 1 for both sexes despite neither winning a regional title last fall. After 23 years at the helm, well-respected head XC coach Mike Woods has announced that 2014-15 is his last year as the boss of the distance programs there, but the high rankings aren’t an early retirement present: Geneseo returns all seven men and six of seven women from last year’s top-20 teams.

Before 2013, all regions were capped at five berths to the national championship. That cap was removed last fall, but the broad consensus among coaches and DIII observers was that the selection committee was conservative in taking advantage of the new, uncapped world. Last year, the Midwest and New England got six teams to the national meet; everywhere else was under the old cap.

With the changed format on the books for a full year now, look for selectors to be more aggressive in rewarding the best regions with six or seven bids to the national meet. What does that mean for you, fan of the rankings? Start following those 6-10 slots even more closely.

NCAA Division III Regional Championships will be held around the country Saturday, November 15.

USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Rankings are determined either subjectively by a single member coach or a panel of member coaches (in the Central and Mideast) in each respective region. The regional representative is tasked with weighing returning team strength with current-season results in determining predicted team finishes at the NCAA Regional Championships.

A Closer Look: MEN’S Regional Team Rankings

North Central (Ill.) is ranked No. 1 in the Midwest, perennially and objectively the toughest men’s region in DIII. Perhaps the ultimate respect paid to a team in the preseason rankings ends up in the Cardinals’ account, as they graduate their top three runners from a team that won the Midwest Region and took second at nationals last fall, but still took the top spot in the Midwest, anyway. They haven’t lost a regional championship since 2007.

The quality of the Midwest means that a No. 2 ranking connotes serious expectations for UW-Eau Claire. Only once in the last 18 years has Eau Claire finished higher at the regional meet than the No. 2 Midwest team did at the national meet. However, a stellar mix of freshmen and transfers has shot the Blugolds to unprecedented heights in the pollsters’ eyes.

Defending national champ St. Olaf was a unanimous pick as No. 1 in the Central region. The unanimity is richly deserved, as the Oles return six out of their top seven from a squad that pulled off an upset national title last November.

In the Mideast, Johns Hopkins is ranked No. 1 after winning their first ever regional and Centennial Conference titles last fall. The battles between them, No. 2 Haverford, and No. 3 Dickinson (both of whom have never lost to Hopkins at nationals) will be among the chippiest in the nation this fall.

When preseason No. 1 Wabash won the Great Lakes championship last fall, it ended a seventeen-year title streak for No. 2 Calvin. The Little Giants (running for one of the last all-men’s colleges in the United States) have all seven men back from last year’s 21st place national squad.

As mentioned above, with Mike Woods retiring from Geneseo, the battle for the Atlantic will be even more emotionally tinged than usual. Co-top-ranked Geneseo/Cortland and No. 5 NYU (the site of perhaps the highest profile coaching change of the offseason, from Nick McDonough to Will Boylan-Pett) have combined to take seven of the last eight Atlantic titles.

A Closer Look: WOMEN’S Regional Team Rankings

Since 1999, New England has clearly established itself as the best DIII women’s region. In that time period, the region has won nine of the last thirteen national titles (between Amherst, Middlebury, and Williams), produced an astonishing 53% of the nation’s top-three team finishes, and never had a team miss the podium.

Preseason No. 1 Williams, No. 2 Middlebury, and No. 3 MIT all cracked the top five nationally last year. (In fact, the preseason regional top ten perfectly mirrors last year’s regional results, the only poll where that’s the case) More than any other region for either sex, watch those Nos. 6-10 slots for at-large bids coming out of New England.

Johns Hopkins has won the last two national championships, making them a clear choice for a preseason No. 1 ranking in the Mideast. The last nine Mideast Region championships have been won by Hopkins (2008-13) and preseason No. 2 Dickinson (2005-07); Haverford shares the No. 2 slot.

From 2005 to 2012, Washington (Mo.) and UW-Eau Claire won every women’s Midwest regional title. That hegemony was broken up last fall by preseason No. 1 Chicago; WashU sits at No. 2 in the preseason rankings.

The West’s Willamette is one of two regional No. 1 teams in the nation to return all seven of their runners from last year’s NCAA meet. After finishing second in the region and twelfth in the nation a year ago, the Bearcats look to end preseason No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps’ four-year reign as region champs.

The other team that returns all seven of their harriers from nationals is Central preseason No. 1 Carleton. Along with No. 2 St. Olaf, the two schools tipped for the Central’s two automatic bids are located across the Cannon River from each other in Northfield, Minn.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III

Men’s Cross Country Regional Team Rankings

2014 Preseason — August 26

national poll release: August 27
next regional release: September 16
         
ATLANTIC Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, N.Y. SUNYAC
3
1 SUNY Cortland Cortland, N.Y. SUNYAC
1
3 St. Lawrence Canton, N.Y. Liberty League
4
4 RPI Troy, N.Y. Liberty League
5
5 NYU New York, N.Y. UAA
2
6 Rochester (N.Y.) Rochester, N.Y. UAA
6
7 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, N.Y. SUNYAC
7
8 TCNJ Ewing, N.J. NJAC
8
9 Ithaca Ithaca, N.Y. Empire 8
9
10 Fredonia Fredonia, N.Y. SUNYAC
10
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: SUNY Cortland, 2012: NYU, 2011: St. Lawrence, 2010: SUNY Geneseo, 2009: SUNY Cortland
       
         
CENTRAL Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 St. Olaf Northfield, Minn. MIAC
1
2 Central (Iowa) Pella, Iowa IIAC
2
3 Loras Dubuque, Iowa IIAC
5
4 Carleton Northfield, Minn. MIAC
4
5 St. Thomas (Minn.) Saint Paul, Minn. MIAC
7
6 Luther Decorah, Iowa IIAC
3
7 Wartburg Waverly, Iowa IIAC
6
8 Saint John’s (Minn.) Collegeville, Minn. MIAC
8
9 Nebraska Wesleyan Lincoln, Neb. Great Plains
9
10 Grinnell Grinnell, Iowa Midwest Conference
10
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: St. Olaf, 2012: St. Olaf, 2011: Nebraska Wesleyan, 2010: Grinnell, 2009: Nebraska Wesleyan/St. Thomas (Minn.),
       
         
GREAT LAKES Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Wabash Crawfordsville, Ind. NCAC
1
2 Calvin Grand Rapids, Mich. Michigan Intercollegiate
2
3 Mount Union Alliance, Ohio OAC
4
4 Oberlin Oberlin, Ohio NCAC
10
5 John Carroll University Heights, Ohio OAC
8
6 Ohio Northern Ada, Ohio OAC
6
7 Rose-Hulman Terre Haute, Ind. HCAC
11
8 Case Western Reserve Cleveland, Ohio UAA
7
9 Hope Holland, Mich. Michigan Intercollegiate
9
10 Wooster Wooster, Ohio NCAC
5
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Wabash, 2012: Calvin, 2011: Calvin, 2010: Calvin, 2009: Calvin
       
         
MIDEAST Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Johns Hopkins Baltimore, Md. Centennial
1
2 Haverford Haverford, Pa. Centennial
3
3 Dickinson Carlisle, Pa. Centennial
2
4 Allegheny (Pa.) Meadville, Pa. NCAC
4
5 Swarthmore Swarthmore, Pa. Centennial
6
6 Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, Pa. UAA
5
7 Susquehanna Selinsgrove, Pa. Landmark
9
8 Widener Chester, Pa. Middle Atlantic
11
9 York (Pa.) York, Pa. CAC
7
10 Saint Vincent Latrobe, Pa. PAC
10
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Johns Hopkins, 2012: Haverford, 2011: Haverford, 2010: Haverford, 2009: Allegheny (Pa.)
       
         
MIDWEST Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 North Central (Ill.) Naperville, Ill. CCIW
1
2 UW-Eau Claire Eau Claire, Wis. WIAC
4
3 UW-Platteville Platteville, Wis. WIAC
9
4 UW-La Crosse La Crosse, Wis. WIAC
5
5 Washington (Mo.) St. Louis, Mo. UAA
2
6 Chicago Chicago, Ill. UAA
6
7 Wheaton (Ill.) Wheaton, Ill. CCIW
7
8 UW-Stout Menominie, Wis. WIAC
8
9 UW-Oshkosh Oshkosh, Wis. WIAC
3
10 Augustana (Ill.) Rock Island, Ill. CCIW
10
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: North Central (Ill.), 2012: North Central (Ill.), 2011: North Central (Ill.), 2010: North Central (Ill.), 2009: North Central (Ill.)
       
         
NEW ENGLAND Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Williams Williamstown, Mass. NESCAC
1
2 MIT Cambridge, Mass. NEWMAC
3
3 Middlebury Middlebury, Vt. NESCAC
2
4 Colby Waterville, Maine NESCAC
6
5 Amherst Amherst, Mass. NESCAC
8
6 Tufts Medford, Mass. NESCAC
4
7 Bates Lewiston, Maine NESCAC
5
8 Bowdoin Brunswick, Maine NESCAC
7
9 WPI Worcester, Mass. NEWMAC
11
10 Wesleyan (Conn.) Middletown, Conn. NESCAC
13
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Williams, 2012: Middlebury, 2011: Williams, 2010: MIT, 2009: Williams
       
         
SOUTH/SOUTHEAST Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Bridgewater (Va.) Bridgewater, Va. ODAC
1
2 Centre Danville, Ky. SAA
3
3 Rhodes Memphis, Tenn. SAA
7
4 Emory Atlanta, Ga. UAA
2
5 Christopher Newport Newport News, Va. CAC
4
6 Washington and Lee Lexington, Va. ODAC
12
7 Eastern Mennonite Harrisonburg, Va. ODAC
10
8 Lynchburg Lynchburg, Va. ODAC
8
9 Trinity (Texas) San Antonio, Texas SCAC
9
10 Mary Washington Fredericksburg, Va. CAC
11
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Bridgewater (Va.), 2012: Lynchburg, 2011: Lynchburg, 2010: Lynchburg, 2009: Emory
       
         
WEST Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Pomona-Pitzer Claremont, Calif. SCIAC
1
2 Occidental Los Angeles, Calif. SCIAC
4
3 Willamette Salem, Ore. Northwest Conference
3
4 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Claremont, Calif. SCIAC
2
5 La Verne La Verne, Calif. SCIAC
5
6 Whitman Walla Walla, Wash. Northwest Conference
8
7 UC Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, Calif. Independent (D-III)
6
8 Whittier Whittier, Calif. SCIAC
10
9 Puget Sound Tacoma, Wash. Northwest Conference
7
10 Colorado College Colorado Springs, Colo. SCAC
11
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Pomona-Pitzer, 2012: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 2011: Occidental/Colorado College,2010: Willamette, 2009: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III

Women’s Cross Country Regional Team Rankings

2014 Preseason — August 26

national poll release: August 27
next regional release: September 16
         
ATLANTIC Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, N.Y. SUNYAC
4
2 NYU New York, N.Y. UAA
1
3 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, N.Y. SUNYAC
5
4 St. Lawrence Canton, N.Y. Liberty League
2
5 Ithaca Ithaca, N.Y. Empire 8
6
5 TCNJ Ewing, N.J. NJAC
3
7 SUNY Cortland Cortland, N.Y. SUNYAC
8
8 SUNY New Paltz New Paltz, N.Y. SUNYAC
12
9 RPI Troy, N.Y. Liberty League
10
10 Vassar Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Liberty League
9
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: NYU, 2012: St. Lawrence, 2011: St. Lawrence, 2010: St. Lawrence, 2009: St. Lawrence
       
         
CENTRAL Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Carleton Northfield, Minn. MIAC
2
2 St. Olaf Northfield, Minn. MIAC
3
3 Wartburg Waverly, Iowa IIAC
1
4 Luther Decorah, Iowa IIAC
4
5 St. Benedict St. Joseph, Minn. MIAC
6
6 St. Scholastica Duluth, Minn. UMAC
5
7 Nebraska Wesleyan Lincoln, Neb. Great Plains
9
8 Grinnell Grinnell, Iowa Midwest Conference
7
9 Macalester Saint Paul, Minn. MIAC
10
10 Gustavus Adolphus St. Peter, Minn. MIAC
11
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Wartburg, 2012: Wartburg, 2011: Wartburg, 2010: Luther, 2009: Carleton
       
         
GREAT LAKES Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Oberlin Oberlin, Ohio NCAC
2
2 Calvin Grand Rapids, Mich. Michigan Intercollegiate
1
3 Hope Holland, Mich. Michigan Intercollegiate
3
4 Ohio Wesleyan Delaware, Ohio NCAC
4
5 Mount Union Alliance, Ohio OAC
5
6 Case Western Reserve Cleveland, Ohio UAA
6
7 DePauw Greencastle, Ind. NCAC
7
8 Otterbein Westerville, Ohio OAC
11
9 John Carroll University Heights, Ohio OAC
9
10 Denison Granville, Ohio NCAC
8
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Calvin, 2012: Hope, 2011: Calvin, 2010: Calvin, 2009: Calvin
       
         
MIDEAST Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Johns Hopkins Baltimore, Md. Centennial
1
2 Dickinson Carlisle, Pa. Centennial
2
2 Haverford Haverford, Pa. Centennial
4
4 Elizabethtown Elizabethtown, Pa. Middle Atlantic
5
5 Swarthmore Swarthmore, Pa. Centennial
6
6 Marywood Scranton, Pa. Colonial States
3
7 York (Pa.) York, Pa. CAC
8
8 Carnegie Mellon Pittsburgh, Pa. UAA
7
9 Messiah Grantham, Pa. Middle Atlantic
10
10 Scranton Scranton, Pa. Landmark
9
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Johns Hopkins, 2012: Johns Hopkins, 2011: Johns Hopkins, 2010: Johns Hopkins, 2009: Johns Hopkins
       
         
MIDWEST Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Chicago Chicago, Ill. UAA
1
2 Washington (Mo.) St. Louis, Mo. UAA
3
3 UW-La Crosse La Crosse, Wis. WIAC
2
4 UW-Stevens Point Stevens Point, Wis. WIAC
4
5 North Central (Ill.) Naperville, Ill. CCIW
6
6 UW-Oshkosh Oshkosh, Wis. WIAC
7
7 UW-Eau Claire Eau Claire, Wis. WIAC
9
8 Aurora Aurora, Ill. NACC
5
9 UW-River Falls River Falls, Wis. WIAC
10
10 Wheaton (Ill.) Wheaton, Ill. CCIW
11
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Chicago, 2012: UW-Eau Claire, 2011: Washington (Mo.), 2010: UW-Eau Claire, 2009: UW-Eau Claire
       
         
NEW ENGLAND Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Williams Williamstown, Mass. NESCAC
1
2 Middlebury Middlebury, Vt. NESCAC
2
3 MIT Cambridge, Mass. NEWMAC
3
4 Tufts Medford, Mass. NESCAC
4
5 Brandeis Waltham, Mass. UAA
5
6 Bates Lewiston, Maine NESCAC
6
7 Colby Waterville, Maine NESCAC
7
8 Amherst Amherst, Mass. NESCAC
8
9 Wellesley Wellesley, Mass. NEWMAC
9
10 Keene State Keene, N.H. Little East
10
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Williams, 2012: MIT, 2011: Middlebury, 2010: Middlebury, 2009: Middlebury/MIT,
         
SOUTH/SOUTHEAST Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Emory Atlanta, Ga. UAA
2
2 Bridgewater (Va.) Bridgewater, Va. ODAC
3
3 Centre Danville, Ky. SAA
4
4 Trinity (Texas) San Antonio, Texas SCAC
1
5 Rhodes Memphis, Tenn. SAA
5
6 Univ. of the South Sewanee, Tenn. SAA
6
7 Christopher Newport Newport News, Va. CAC
8
8 Birmingham-Southern Birmingham, Ala. SAA
9
9 Meredith Raleigh, N.C. USA South
13
10 Berry Rome, Ga. SAA
14
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Trinity (Texas), 2012: Trinity (Texas), 2011: Emory, 2010: Rhodes, 2009: Rhodes
       
         
WEST Region
Rank Institution Location Conference
2013 FINAL
1 Willamette Salem, Ore. Northwest Conference
2
2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Claremont, Calif. SCIAC
1
3 Whitworth Spokane, Wash. Northwest Conference
3
4 Whitman Walla Walla, Wash. Northwest Conference
5
5 Occidental Los Angeles, Calif. SCIAC
4
6 Pomona-Pitzer Claremont, Calif. SCIAC
9
7 Lewis & Clark Portland, Ore. Northwest Conference
6
8 Cal Lutheran Thousand Oaks, Calif. SCIAC
8
9 Colorado College Colorado Springs, Colo. SCAC
12
10 Linfield McMinnville, Ore. Northwest Conference
7
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2013: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 2012: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 2011: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 2010: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 2009: Whitworth