The Warm-Up Lap: New England NEICAAA Championships Top the Weekend College XC Schedule

The Warm-Up Lap: New England NEICAAA Championships Top the Weekend College XC Schedule

NEW ORLEANS – After two consecutive weekends of significant meets across all three NCAA Divisions in cross country, now would be a good time for college XC fans (and competitors) to catch their collective breath.

That’s because the biggest regular-season weekend in college cross country is just eight days away, starting with the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Friday, followed by Saturday’s Division I Pre-Nationals.

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Kevin Batt

With all but one top-30 Division I women’s team and two more men’s teams scheduled to compete either in Madison or Terre Haute, both meets will no doubt be make-or-break opportunities to get the ever-valuable head-to-head wins for NCAA Championships at-large qualification consideration – more on that in next week’s preview.

Division III teams are also gearing up for significant competition in eight days’ time. The State of Wisconsin will also host two premier DIII races at the UW-La Crosse Tori Neubauer Invitational and the UW-Oshkosh AAE Invitational, while teams from all over the eastern United States will get together for the Inter-Regional Rumble at Oberlin.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s take a look at the upcoming weekend in cross country action, which is admittedly light in comparison. (The USTFCCCA National Results Wall is also taking a rest this weekend, but will be back in full force next Friday).

The hottest action will be taking place in New England for the annual NEICAAA Cross Country Championships on Saturday at Franklin Park in Boston.

On the Division II front, the No. 11 American International and No. 23 Stonehill men headline their race, as do the No. 22 Stonehill women. For American International, the Yellow Jackets could once again run reigning National Athlete of the Week and Paul Short Run winner Mike Biwott. Just one year ago, the junior won Paul Short and NEICAAAs on back-to-back weekends for consecutive National Athlete of the Week honors.

This would mark the third year in a row Biwott has won the meet, with both previous victories coming at the expense of Division I sub-4 miler and multiple-time All-American Rich Peters of Boston University.

Several nationally ranked Division I programs – the women of No. 17 Boston College, defending national champ No. 23 Providence and No. 24 Dartmouth, and the men of No. 13 Providence – are in the field but will not likely run their top runners with all-important Wisco/Pre-Nats looming large next weekend.

That opens the door for DI teams outside the top 30 and those from Division II and III to take center stage. New Hampshire‘s women and Central Connecticut State‘s men are the reigning champions.

The Division III competition will be particularly interesting with three top-10 women’s teams lining up against one another in No. 2 MIT, No. 4 Middlebury and No. 9 Tufts.

Fewer top-10 DIII teams are in the men’s field – that would be just one in upstart No. 6 Colby – but the White Mules are up against No. 11 MIT, a pair of Maine rivals in No. 27 Bates and No. 35 Bowdoin, and No. 30 Tufts.

This will likely be the first action for former National Athlete of the Week David Chelimo and the rest of Colby’s "A" Team since upsetting the field at the Williams Purple Valley Classic to leap to No. 6 in the country and No. 1 in the New England Region (see our full feature on Colby here). However, region rival Williams went down to the Paul Short Run this past weekend and snatched back the top spot in the New England rankings with a strong performance.

Your serve, Colby.

Elsewhere around the nation, Saturday’s UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational is the only other meet that features more than two nationally ranked teams in one race. Making the trip to the left shore of Lake Michigan are a trio of top-25 Division II women’s teams from Michigan in No. 10 Wayne State, No. 19 Northern Michigan and No. 24 Saginaw Valley State, who will be joined by DIII’s No. 29 Chicago –  formerly a top-five team.

Host No. 16 UW-Parkside headlines the men’s race.

The only other meet this weekend featuring multiple nationally ranked teams in both the men’s and women’s races is Saturday’s Western Washington Classic, which is shaping up to be a preview for the DII GNAC conference meet. No. 7 Alaska Anchorage‘s men are up against host No. 25 Western Washington, while the No. 8 Simon Fraser women square off with No. 23 Western Washington.

You can check out where all this weekend’s action featuring nationally ranked teams is happening in the tables below.

Men’s Top 30 – DI

Team Meet
4. Oklahoma State SF State Invitational
9. UCLA UCLA Dual at The Rose Bowl
13. Providence New England(NEICAAA) Championship
14. Iona Metropolitan Championships (Cross Country)
18. Florida State Florida State Invitational
21. Southern Utah Color Country Invitational
26. Furman Gene Mullin Furman Invitational

Women’s Top 30 – DI

Team Meet
2. Michigan State Michigan State-Wide Intercollegiate
9. Florida State Florida State Invitational
17. Boston College New England(NEICAAA) Championship
18. Oklahoma State SF State Invitational
23. Providence New England(NEICAAA) Championship
24. Dartmouth New England(NEICAAA) Championship
25. Arizona State Mesa Thunderbird Classic


Men’s Top 25 – DII

Team Meet
6. Western State W Mountain Race
7. Alaska Anchorage Western Washington Classic
8. Lock Haven Mack Cooper Classic
9. Augustana (S.D.) Briar Cliff Invitational
11. American International New England (NEICAAA) Championship
14. Sioux Falls Briar Cliff Invitational
15. Missouri Southern SBU Invite
16. UW-Parkside UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational
17. Shippensburg Mack Cooper Classic
18. West Texas A&M Wagonwheel Dual
19. Malone Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic
21. Cal Poly Pomona UCLA Dual at The Rose Bowl
23. Stonehill New England (NEICAAA) Championship
25. Western Washington Western Washington Classic

Women’s Top 25 – DII

Team Meet
4. Western State W Mountain Race
7. Augustana (S.D.) Briar Cliff Invitational
8. Simon Fraser Western Washington Classic
10. Wayne St. (Mich.) UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational
13. Missouri Southern SBU Invite
14. Midwestern State Oklahoma Baptist Bison Invitational
16. Malone Walt Disney World Cross Country Classic
19. Northern Michigan UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational
22. Stonehill New England (NEICAAA) Championship
23. Western Washington Western Washington Classic
24. SVSU UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational


Men’s Top 35 – DIII

Team Meet
1. North Central (Ill.) Eagle Invitational
4. Williams James Early Invitational
5. UW-Platteville Pioneer Gender Equity Invite
6. Colby New England (NEICAAA) Championship
11. MIT New England (NEICAAA) Championship
16. Dickinson DeSales Invitational
22. NYU Metropolitan Championships (Cross Country)
22. Calvin Michigan State-Wide Intercollegiate
25. Chicago UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational
26. SUNY Oneonta Bronco 5k
27. Bates New England (NEICAAA) Championship
29. Carnegie Mellon Carnegie Mellon Invitational
30. Tufts New England (NEICAAA) Championship
35. Bowdoin New England (NEICAAA) Championship

Women’s Top 35 – DIII

Team Meet
2. MIT New England (NEICAAA) Cross Country Championship
4. Middlebury New England (NEICAAA) Championship
8. Williams James Early Invitational
9. Tufts New England (NEICAAA) Championship
10. Willamette Mike Hodges Invitational
12. SUNY Oneonta Bronco 5k
14. Calvin Michigan State-Wide Intercollegiate
17. NYU Metropolitan Championships
17. St. Thomas (Minn.) St. Kate’s Invitational
24. North Central (Ill.) Eagle Invitational
26. Vassar James Early Invitational
28. Dickinson DeSales Invitational
29. Chicago UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational
30. SUNY Cortland Carnegie Mellon Invitational
33. Carnegie Mellon Carnegie Mellon Invitational
34. St. Benedict St. Kate’s Invitational