Winds of Change Sweep Through DI Women’s Poll
The collegiate cross country season shifts into another gear this weekend with more than two-thirds of the nationally ranked teams in action!
Many of them are at Notre Dame or Washington on Friday, or Louisville or Princeton on Saturday – and you can follow along LIVE with all of them on the USTFCCCA National Results Wall!
NEW ORLEANS – Hold on to your hats, folks.
If the first week of countable meets in NCAA Division I Cross Country and the ensuing National Coaches’ Poll is any indication, we’re in for a treat this season.
There were some major changes in the women’s poll released Tuesday afternoon by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Let’s get this out of the way first: New Mexico is still No. 1 by a large margin. The Lobos hauled in all 12 first-place votes and are the unanimous team to beat (on paper).
Everything changed behind New Mexico in the top-10. Only No. 10 Arkansas remained in the same spot from last week’s ballot.
Providence, a team that was No. 8 last week is the new No. 3 after posting a dominant win at Franklin Park in the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown. The Friars placed three runners in the top-10, led by Catarina Rocha (third, 16:53.9) and Sarah Collins (fourth, 16:55.6). To put this into context, Providence scored one-third the amount of points that new-No. 16 Syracuse did (42-127). Georgetown finished a disappointing third and while it should be noted that the Hoyas raced without several of their projected top runners, they fell five spots in the poll from No. 4 to No. 9.
Now raise your hand if you expected Boise State to win the Roy Griak Invitational. OK, even if you thought that, you probably didn’t think the Broncos would win so convincingly. Boise State, led by freshmen Allie Ostrander and Annie Bothma, put four of its runners in the top-10 – and its fifth runner was only 16th. The Broncos scored the fourth fewest points in Griak Invitational history and jumped from 20th to 7th in the poll.
While Boise State and Providence trended upward, former No. 1 Iowa State and reigning national champion Michigan State are headed in the other direction.
After news broke last week that two-time All-American Crystal Nelson would redshirt, many felt the Cyclones would be docked a few spots. Iowa State dropped four places this week from No. 2 to No. 6 and its “B” squad finished 19th at the Griak Invitational.
The Spartans have their own injury concerns as they raced without Lindsay Clark and Katie Landwehr in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Juniors Rachele Schulist and Alexis Wiersma ran admirably, but Michigan State was a distant second to the Broncos. After falling from third to sixth last week, the Spartans tumbled to 12th this week.
There was one new addition to the National Coaches’ Poll as Alabama comes in at No. 29 after receiving votes last week. This is the Crimson Tide’s first appearance in the poll since 1995 when it was ranked No. 19 in Week 3.
This weekend could be another volatile one as there are four meets to watch – the Notre Dame Invitational, the Washington Invitational, the Princeton Inter-Regional Invitational and the Greater Louisville Classic.
Six top-30 teams headline the field at Louisville, including No. 6 Iowa State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 11 Wisconsin and No. 13 West Virginia.
Notre Dame will give us our first glimpse of the new-look No. 1 Lobos, up against five more teams ranked or receiving votes this week.
Washington features a battle between No. 4 Stanford and No. 5 Oregon as part of a field with four top-30 teams, while Princeton will feature No. 18 William & Mary, No. 21 North Carolina and No. 28 Princeton.
Fans can follow along with all those meets and more live on the USTFCCCA National Results Wall.
All of these meets, however, won’t hold a candle to what could happen Nov. 21 in Louisville, Kentucky at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships.
Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll
2015 Week #3 — September 29
|next poll: October 6|
|Rank||Institution (FPV)||Points||Record||Region||Conference||Cross Country Coach (Yr*)||
|1||New Mexico (12)||360||—||Mountain||Mountain West||Joe Franklin (9th)||
|2||Colorado||335||—||Mountain||Pac-12||Mark Wetmore (21st)||
|3||Providence||319||23-0||Northeast||Big East||Ray Treacy (32nd)||
|4||Stanford||312||10-0||West||Pac-12||Chris Miltenberg (4th)||
|5||Oregon||303||—||West||Pac-12||Robert Johnson (4th)||
|6||Iowa State||282||7-17||Midwest||Big 12||Andrea Grove-McDonough (3rd)||
|7||Boise State||279||24-0||West||Mountain West||Corey Ihmels (3rd)||
|8||Michigan||278||—||Great Lakes||Big Ten||Mike McGuire (24th)||
|9||Georgetown||269||21-2||Mid-Atlantic||Big East||Michael Smith (4th)||
|10||Arkansas||258||—||South Central||SEC||Lance Harter (26th)||
|11||Wisconsin||237||—||Great Lakes||Big Ten||Mick Byrne (2nd)||
|12||Michigan State||215||23-1||Great Lakes||Big Ten||Walt Drenth (12th)||
|13||West Virginia||205||—||Mid-Atlantic||Big 12||Sean Cleary (9th)||
|14||NC State||203||—||Southeast||ACC||Laurie Henes (10th)||
|15||Washington||196||—||West||Pac-12||Greg Metcalf (14th)||
|16||Syracuse||179||22-1||Northeast||ACC||Chris Fox (11th)||
|17||Virginia||176||14-0||Southeast||ACC||Todd Morgan (4th)||
|18||William and Mary||174||—||Southeast||Colonial||Natalie Hall (2nd)||
|19||Penn State||155||—||Mid-Atlantic||Big Ten||John Gondak (2nd)||
|20||Notre Dame||147||—||Great Lakes||ACC||Matt Sparks (2nd)||
|21||North Carolina||109||—||Southeast||ACC||Mark VanAlstyne (4th)||
|22||Vanderbilt||91||—||South||SEC||Steve Keith (10th)||
|23||BYU||76||—||Mountain||West Coast||Patrick Shane (34th)||
|23||Minnesota||76||22-2||Midwest||Big Ten||Sarah Hopkins (3rd)||
|25||Villanova||69||—||Mid-Atlantic||Big East||Gina Procaccio (16th)||
|26||Texas||55||15-0||South Central||Big 12||Mario Sategna (3rd)||
|27||Oklahoma State||52||5-0||Midwest||Big 12||Dave Smith (7th)||
|28||Princeton||28||—||Mid-Atlantic||Ivy||Pete Farrell (38th)||
|29||Alabama||21||4-1||South||SEC||Dan Waters (5th)||
|30||California||20||20-4||West||Pac-12||Tony Sandoval (34th)||
|Others Receiving Votes: Mississippi State 18, Weber State 16, Dartmouth 15, Harvard 13, Purdue 13, Cornell 12, Lipscomb 6, Northern Arizona 5, SMU 2, Columbia 1|
|Dropped Out: No. 25 Dartmouth|
|Win-loss record reflective of results in varsity competition versus DI opponents starting September 25|
|(* year as effective coach of that team in women’s cross country)|