Big Changes in Week Three Atop the Division II Cross Country National Polls

By Kyle Terwillegar, USTFCCCA

October 8, 2014   

NEW ORLEANS – Now a full month into the NCAA Division II Cross Country season, a number of teams are in unfamiliar territory – for better or for worse – in the third regular-season National Coaches’ Poll released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

A pair of top-five teams in the No. 3 Minnesota Duluth women and No. 4 Southern Indiana men moved into their best positions in the poll dating back to the beginning of the USTFCCCA archive in 2000, while the No. 6 Western State men are outside the top five for the first time in half a decade.

National Coaches Poll PDFs: Top 25 Summary | Week-by-Week 2014 | Week-by-Week All-Time
Regional Rankings PDF: Regional Summary | Regional Week-by-Week

Division II XC Polls/Rankings Central

NCAA Division II National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Men

1)Adams State 2)Grand Valley State 3)Chico State 4)Southern Indiana 5)Colorado Mines
Adams St. GVSU Chico St. Southern Indiana Colorado Mines
View Complete Men’s National Coaches Poll

NCAA Division II National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Women

1)Grand Valley State 2)Adams State 3)Minnesota Duluth 4)Western State 5)Chico State
GVSU Adams St. Minnesota Duluth Western St. Chico St.
View Complete Women’s National Coaches Poll

UMD was third in the 27-team Gold race at Notre Dame with 154 points (though two-time defending national champ No. 1 Grand Valley State won handily with just 56 points) to move up one spot from a week ago. The Bulldogs traded positions with Western State.

Southern Indiana was ninth in the 28-team Greater Louisville Classic Gold race behind a pair of low-sticks in overall fifth- and sixth-place finishers Johnnie Guy and Tyler Pence.

USI’s performance in Louisville was one factor in the Screaming Eagles’ one-spot improvement from a week ago; the other was Western State‘s performance at the Colorado Rocky Mountain Shootout. The Mountaineers entered the weekend as the No. 3 team in the country, but lost out to Colorado Mines for second behind reigning DI champ Colorado, 56-63.

Western State, which ran without former National Athlete of the Week Keifer Johnson, consequently dropped to No. 6, outside the top five for the first time since week seven of the 2008 season. Colorado Mines, which put three guys across the line before Western’s No. 2, improved one spot to No. 5.

Chico State, which had been tied with Western for No. 3 in the country, took sole possession of that spot.

Another RMAC team that took a precipitous tumble were the women of No. 18 Metro State, who finished third at their home invitational to drop 13 spots. Winning that meet were the UC-Colorado Springs women, who jumped up eight spots into a tie at No. 10 with Wayne State (Mich.).

Moving up to take Metro State’s place in the top five was Chico State.

Sitting above the fray were the top two teams in both genders, unchanged from a week ago.

Both the previously mentioned GVSU women and the two-time defending men’s champion No. 1 Adams State men easily took care of business this past weekend – the Grizzly men were third in the Gold race at Paul Short with the race’s best one-through-four contingent – but both No. 2 teams looked susceptible to top Division III squads.

The No. 2 GVSU men narrowly defeated Division III’s No. 1 North Central (Ill.) by just 11 points, 71-82, at Notre Dame for the Gold race team win, while the No. 2 Adams State women lost out to two-time reigning DIII champs No. 1 Johns Hopkins in the Paul Short Gold race by 50 points, 315-368.

Further down the men’s poll, much of the remaining top-10 men’s teams from a week ago remained the same – No. 7 Alaska Anchorage, No. 8 Lock Haven and No. 9 Augustana (S.D.) were static – with Mount Olive moving up one spot to rejoin the top 10.

Rounding out the women’s top ten were a number of teams achieving their best ranks in some time.

No. 6 Hillsdale moved up two spots from a week ago following a strong 11th-place showing in the Gold race at Louisville. Incidentally, the No. 13 Hillsdale men also had a good day themselves at Louisville to move up 11 spots – the polls’ biggest move of the week.

Augustana (S.D.) remained No. 7, while No. 8 Simon Fraser moved up one spot from last time. Right behind the Clan is West Region rival No. 9 UC San Diego, ranked in the single digits for the first time since week two of the 2006 season. The aforementioned duo of UCCS and Wayne State rounded out the top 10.

While UCCS spent much of last season inside the top 10, Wayne State is ranked this highly for the first time since the end of the 2008 season.

Just outside the men’s top 10, No. 11 American International – led by Paul Short Gold race winner and two-time 2014 National Athlete of the Week Mike Biwott – moved up into a tie for its best rank dating back to the start of the USTFCCCA archives. The Yellow Jackets were also No. 11 in week seven of the 2012 season.

Keeping with the 11 theme, that’s how many spots the Ashland men dropped following a decisive All-Ohio Championships loss to GLIAC rival Malone to check in at No. 20. Malone entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 19.

Notable among the six teams new or returning to the poll are the women of No. 17 Roberts Wesleyan. Not only are the Redhawks ranked nationally for the first time this season following their 20th-place finish in Louisville’s Gold race, but also for the first time as a Division II institution. They just completed their transition from the NAIA.

Also new to the polls were the men of No. 23 Stonehill and No. 24 Lewis, while the women of No. 24 Saginaw Valley State and No. 25 Lewis both returned after dropping out earlier this season.

The Division II National Championships will be held Saturday, December 6, in Louisville, Kentucky.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division II

Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2014 Week #3 — October 8

next release: October 15
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Head Coach (Yr*)
Last
Week
1 Adams State (8) 200 South Central RMAC Damon Martin (20th)
1
2 Grand Valley State 192 Midwest GLIAC Jerry Baltes (16th)
2
3 Chico State 181 West CCAA Gary Towne (19th)
3
4 Southern Indiana 173 Midwest GLVC Mike Hillyard (17th)
5
5 Colorado Mines 171 South Central RMAC Chris Siemers (3rd)
6
6 Western State 163 South Central RMAC Jennifer Michel (8th)
3
7 Alaska Anchorage 145 West GNAC Michael Friess (25th)
7
8 Lock Haven 142 Atlantic PSAC Aaron Russell (17th)
8
9 Augustana (S.D.) 140 Central NSIC Tracy Hellman (14th)
9
10 Mount Olive 112 Southeast Conf. Carolinas Matt Van Lierop (6th)
11
11 American International 111 East Northeast-10 Leo Mayo (9th)
14
12 UC San Diego 108 West CCAA Nate Garcia (8th)
12
13 Hillsdale 106 Midwest GLIAC Andrew Towne (1st)
24
14 Sioux Falls 102 Central NSIC Grant Watley (3rd)
18
15 Missouri Southern 89 Central MIAA Bryan Schiding (2nd)
15
16 UW-Parkside 80 Midwest GLVC Micah VanDenend (5th)
15
17 Shippensburg 75 Atlantic PSAC Steve Spence (17th)
17
18 West Texas A&M 59 South Central Lone Star Darren Flowers (6th)
13
19 Malone 48 Midwest GLIAC Jack Hazen (48th)
RV
20 Ashland 40 Midwest GLIAC Trent Mack (5th)
9
21 Edinboro 35 Atlantic PSAC Rick Hammer (2nd)
21
21 Cal Poly Pomona 35 West CCAA Octavious Gillespie-Bennett (3rd)
20
23 Stonehill 24 East Northeast-10 Karen Boen (17th)
NR
24 Lewis 21 Midwest GLVC James Kearney (1st)
NR
25 Western Washington 17 West GNAC Pee Wee Halsell (28th)
22
Also Receiving Votes: Florida Southern 12, Franklin Pierce 7, Central Missouri 4, Ferris State 4, Colorado Mesa 3, Cal Baptist 1
Dropped Out: No. 19 UC-Colorado Springs, No. 23 Franklin Pierce, No. 25 Cal Baptist
(* year as head coach of that team in men’s cross country, officially NCAA-recognized coach listed)

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division II

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2014 Week #3 — October 8

next release: October 15
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Head Coach (Yr*)
Last
Week
1 Grand Valley State (8) 200 Midwest GLIAC Jerry Baltes (16th)
1
2 Adams State 192 South Central RMAC Damon Martin (27th)
2
3 Minnesota Duluth 181 Central NSIC Joanna Warmington (4th)
4
4 Western State 176 South Central RMAC Jennifer Michel (8th)
3
5 Chico State 167 West CCAA Gary Towne (19th)
6
6 Hillsdale 158 Midwest GLIAC Andrew Towne (4th)
8
7 Augustana (S.D.) 153 Central NSIC Tracy Hellman (14th)
7
8 Simon Fraser 145 West GNAC Brit Townsend (15th)
9
9 UC San Diego 125 West CCAA Nate Garcia (8th)
10
10 UC-Colorado Springs 123 South Central RMAC David Harmer (3rd)
18
10 Wayne State (Mich.) 123 Midwest GLIAC Rick Cummins (18th)
11
12 Southern Indiana 112 Midwest GLVC Mike Hillyard (18th)
16
13 Missouri Southern 107 Central MIAA Patty Vavra (21st)
14
14 Midwestern State 91 South Central Lone Star Koby Styles (8th)
15
15 Cal Baptist 86 West PacWest Ben Gall (3rd)
13
16 Malone 79 Midwest GLIAC Jack Hazen (24th)
19
17 Roberts Wesleyan 71 East East Coast Andrew & Jen Dorr (4th)
NR
18 Metro State 63 South Central RMAC Nick Maas (2nd)
5
19 Northern Michigan 50 Midwest GLIAC Jenny Ryan (8th)
23
20 Edinboro 38 Atlantic PSAC Rick Hammer (2nd)
17
21 Winona State 36 Central NSIC Brett Ayers (2nd)
11
22 Stonehill 35 East Northeast-10 Karen Boen (17th)
22
23 Western Washington 27 West GNAC Pee Wee Halsell (28th)
20
24 Saginaw Valley State 20 Midwest GLIAC Rod Cowan (5th)
RV
25 Lewis 11 Midwest GLVC James Kearney (1st)
NR
Also Receiving Votes: U-Mary 10, Shippensburg 9, West Texas A&M 8, Southwest Baptist 2, Tampa 2
Dropped Out: No. 21 U-Mary, No. 24 Montevallo, No. 25 Shippensburg, No. 25 Colorado Springs
(* year as head coach of that team in women’s cross country, officially NCAA-recognized coach listed)