Michigan State Women Enter NCAA DI Championships as the National Coaches’ Poll Favorites

Georgetown Women
Georgetown enters as the No. 2 team in the country, looking to reclaim its 2011 national title. (Photo: Craig Houtz)

NEW ORLEANS – The college cross country world knows which women’s teams advanced from the regional championships into Saturday’s NCAA Division I Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana. With the Monday evening release of the final National Coaches’ Poll by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), it now knows where everyone stands entering the meet.

And where everyone stands – at least in the top third of the poll – is in roughly the same spot as two weeks ago. Nine of the top 10 teams from the previous edition, most of whom were likely focused on just getting through regionals incident-free and well-rested, held firm.

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The pre-NCAA Championships men’s National Coaches’ Poll was also released Monday evening.

NCAA Division I National Coaches’ Poll Top 5 – Women

1)Michigan State 2)Georgetown 3)Oregon 4)Arkansas 5)Iowa State
Michigan State Georgetown Oregon Arkansas Iowa State
View Complete Women’s National Coaches’ Poll

The lone exception was Mountain champion No. 8 Colorado, which moved up four spots just ahead of the team it defeated for the title, No. 9 New Mexico.

Great Lakes champion Michigan State – going for its first-ever NCAA title in women’s cross country – will enter as the pre-meet favorite in the Coaches’ Poll, followed by Mid-Atlantic champ No. 2 Georgetown, West winner No. 3 Oregon, South Central champion No. 4 Arkansas and Midwest winner No. 5 Iowa State.

Both MSU and Georgetown are in their highest pre-NCAA Championships rank since at least 1995. Georgetown was No. 4 in the country before winning the 2011 national title with a team that included the Hoyas’ current top runner Katrina Coogan.

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Five times in the past 11 years the No. 1 women’s team has gone on to win the team title. Providence won as a No. 1 just last year, but the two years before that? A pair of team in the hunt for another upset this year: Oregon won as the second-ranked team in 2012 and Georgetown was No. 4 before claiming the crown in 2011.

No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 7 West Virginia held steady after finishing runners-up in their respective Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions.

In at Nos. 10 and 11 were a pair of teams who posted identical 103-point team scores at the West Regional, but are ranked in the order opposite the way the tie was broken. The stalemate broke in favor of No. 11 Boise State at regionals to finish runner-up and automatically earn the Broncos their first-ever team berth to NCAAs, but No. 10 Stanford got the slight nod in the National Coaches’ Poll.

The Broncos moved up 14 spots to No. 11 (a program-best dating back to at least 1995), marking the beginning of a lower-two-thirds of the poll that was every bit as changed as the top third was static.

South Region champ Vanderbilt moved up four spots to No. 12 after upsetting No. 13 Florida State. The Last time the Commodores were ranked higher was 2011 when they entered the meet No. 5 and finished sixth.

William and Mary made an even bigger splash, going from outside the top-30 and on the bubble entering the weekend to Southeast Region champion and No. 14 in the nation Monday. W&M was also No. 14 early in the 2013 season, but the last time the Tribe was ranked higher was 2002.

The Tribe moved just ahead of region runner-up North Carolina, which dropped four spots to No. 15.

Ravaged by injuries to their top runners, the preseason favorite Michigan Wolverines finished fourth at the Great Lakes meet to drop 10 spots to No. 18. With the hope of some key runners returning for NCAAs, UofM is still ranked ahead of the region’s third-place team, No. 21 Toledo. The Rockets moved up five spots and sit just ahead of in-state rival Ohio State at No. 22.

Despite running without their top returner from a year ago, the defending national champion No. 23 Providence Friars came through in a big way to finish runner-up in the Northeast Region behind No. 16 Iona (moved up one spot). The Friars had been outside the top 30 and on the bubble entering the weekend.

Top-30 teams from the pre-Regionals National Coaches’ Polls that weren’t so fortunate? Arizona State (formerly No. 24); Princeton (No. 28) and Villanova (No. 30) each failed to qualify for NCAAs.

The NCAA Championships will be held Saturday, November 22, in Terre Haute, Indiana, at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2014 Week #7 — November 17 (pre-NCAA)

next poll: none, NCAA Championships, November 22
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 Michigan State (12) 360 Great Lakes Big Ten Walt Drenth (11th)
1
2 Georgetown 341 Mid-Atlantic Big East Michael Smith (3rd)
2
3 Oregon 333 West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (3rd)
3
4 Arkansas 328 South Central SEC Lance Harter (25th)
4
5 Iowa State 318 Midwest Big 12 Andrea Grove-McDonough (2nd)
5
6 Wisconsin 291 Great Lakes Big Ten Mick Byrne (1st)
6
7 West Virginia 287 Mid-Atlantic Big 12 Sean Cleary (8th)
7
8 Colorado 273 Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (20th)
12
9 New Mexico 260 Mountain Mountain West Joe Franklin (8th)
9
10 Stanford 230 West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (3rd)
10
11 Boise State 219 West Mountain West Corey Ihmels (2nd)
25
12 Vanderbilt 216 South SEC Steve Keith (9th)
16
13 Florida State 188 South ACC Karen Harvey (8th)
13
14 William and Mary 186 Southeast Colonial Natalie Hall (1st)
RV
15 North Carolina 182 Southeast ACC Mark VanAlstyne (3rd)
11
16 Iona 179 Northeast Metro Atlantic Ricardo Santos (7th)
17
17 Virginia 178 Southeast ACC Todd Morgan (3rd)
14
18 Michigan 177 Great Lakes Big Ten Mike McGuire (23rd)
8
19 Washington 161 West Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (13th)
15
20 Minnesota 105 Midwest Big Ten Sarah Hopkins (2nd)
20
21 Toledo 104 Great Lakes Mid-American Linh Nguyen (2nd)
26
22 Ohio State 97 Great Lakes Big Ten Karen Dennis (9th)
19
23 Providence 96 Northeast Big East Ray Treacy (31st)
RV
24 NC State 93 Southeast ACC Laurie Henes (9th)
18
25 Syracuse 91 Northeast ACC Chris Fox (10th)
22
26 Baylor 80 South Central Big 12 Todd Harbour (15th)
21
27 Dartmouth 70 Northeast Ivy Courtney Jaworski (1st)
22
28 Virginia Tech 59 Southeast ACC Ben Thomas (14th)
RV
29 UCLA 32 West Pac-12 Mike Maynard (3rd)
27
30 Boston College 30 Northeast ACC Randy Thomas (23rd)
RV
Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame 16
Dropped Out: No. 24 Arizona State, No. 28 Princeton, No. 29 Notre Dame, No. 30 Villanova
(* year as effective coach of that team in women’s cross country)
USTFCCCA NCAA Division I
's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll

Preseason - November 21st

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USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Cross Country

2014 Rankings & Polls Calendar
Weeks Regional RankingsNational Coaches' Poll KEY DATES
PreseasonMon 8/25
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 8/26
MEN | WOMEN
Week 1Mon 9/15
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 9/16
MEN | WOMEN
Week 2Mon 9/22
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Tue 9/23
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Week 3Mon 9/29
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Tue 9/30
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Week 4Mon 10/6
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Tue 10/7
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Week 5Mon 10/20
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Tue 10/21
MEN | WOMEN
Week 6Mon 11/3
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 11/4
MEN | WOMEN
Week 7Mon 11/17
MEN | WOMEN
FINAL ResultsFri 11/14
MEN | WOMEN
Sat 11/22
MEN | WOMEN
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