Upset Winners Shake Up DI Women’s Poll

By Tyler Mayforth, USTFCCCA

November 3, 2015   

NEW ORLEANS – Upset winners stole the show this past weekend as 31 NCAA Division I conferences held their respective championship meets.

Those same underdog champions – Penn State (Big Ten) and Oklahoma State (Big 12) – surged the most in the latest U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches’ Poll, which was released Tuesday.

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Regional Rankings: Summary | Recap
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NCAA Division I National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Women

1)New Mexico) 2)Colorado 3)Arkansas t4)Stanford) t4)Stanford)
New Mexico Colorado Arkansas Oregon Providence
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The Nittany Lions, who jumped from No. 15 to No. 10 after winning their first conference title since 2009, waged an epic battle against previously-second-ranked Michigan (now No. 7) over the 6K tract at the Sydney R. Marovitz Golf Course. This is Penn State’s first apperance in the top-10 since Week 7 in 2012.

It was clear early on that the Nittany Lions were on the prowl, as they asserted themselves early on and took a 39-55 lead through 2K. The Wolverines fought back and reclaimed a 49-53 edge at 4K, but Penn State was just too strong. The Nittany Lions put four runners in the top-12 – Tori Gerlach (fourth), Elizabeth Chikotas (sixth), Jillian Hunsberger (ninth) and Tessa Barrett (12th) – while Michigan only had three, which included individual champion Erin Finn.

Unlike what happened in Chicago, Illinois, the race to decide the Big 12 champion in Stillwater, Oklahoma wasn’t as close. In fact, it was a run-away victory for Oklahoma State over Iowa State and the rest of their the Big 12 bretheren.

The Cowgirls overcame a 1-2 finish by the Cyclones and put four runners in the top-10 – Ingeborg Loevnes (third), Kaela Edwards (fourth), Natalie Baker (sixth) and Anna Boyert (ninth). Oklahoma State entered the meet ranked 23rd and jumped to 13th. Iowa State fell from 11th to 16th.

With Michigan slipping from second to seventh, it shifted the top-6 up one spot behind unanimous No. 1 New Mexico. Pac-12 champion Colorado is now No. 2, followed by SEC champion Arkansas (No. 3) and ACC champion Virginia (No. 6). Oregon and BIG EAST champion Providence are tied for fourth.

BYU fell the most out of any ranked team from the previous week, dropping from No. 14 to No. 24 after a runner-up finish in the West Coast Conference. Meet champion Gonzaga comes in at No. 30 and is ranked for the first time in program history.

This is the penultimate National Coaches’ Poll of the season. The final poll will come out two weeks from today after the respective regional championships.

After that, most of these teams will gear up for the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships held Nov. 21 at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2015 Week #6 — November 3 (pre-regional)

next poll: MONDAY, November 16
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Overall (vs Ranked) Region Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 New Mexico (12) 360 65-0 (22-0) Mountain Mountain West Joe Franklin (9th)
1
2 Colorado 338 56-1 (12-1) Mountain Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (21st)
3
3 Arkansas 331 61-1 (18-1) South Central SEC Lance Harter (26th)
4
4 Oregon 317 63-3 (14-3) West Pac-12 Robert Johnson (4th)
5
4 Providence 317 70-12 (17-5) Northeast Big East Ray Treacy (32nd)
6
6 Virginia 295 61-2 (21-2) Southeast ACC Todd Morgan (4th)
7
7 Michigan 274 79-1 (15-1) Great Lakes Big Ten Mike McGuire (24th)
2
8 NC State 266 64-5 (20-5) Southeast ACC Laurie Henes (10th)
8
9 Boise State 263 62-6 (16-6) West Mountain West Corey Ihmels (3rd)
9
10 Penn State 258 57-11 (12-11) Mid-Atlantic Big Ten John Gondak (2nd)
15
11 Stanford 252 69-7 (10-7) West Pac-12 Chris Miltenberg (4th)
10
12 Washington 221 46-11 (14-11) West Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (14th)
12
13 Oklahoma State 208 38-0 (1-0) Midwest Big 12 Dave Smith (7th)
23
14 Georgetown 186 66-9 (4-9) Mid-Atlantic Big East Michael Smith (4th)
18
15 Notre Dame 183 54-15 (10-15) Great Lakes ACC Matt Sparks (2nd)
17
16 Iowa State 173 62-25 (13-12) Midwest Big 12 Andrea Grove-McDonough (3rd)
11
17 Mississippi State 167 65-6 (7-6) South SEC Houston Franks (7th)
13
18 Michigan State 147 57-17 (8-17) Great Lakes Big Ten Walt Drenth (12th)
21
19 Syracuse 138 57-14 (9-14) Northeast ACC Chris Fox (11th)
16
20 Utah 132 62-13 (4-13) Mountain Pac-12 Kyle Kepler (11th)
19
21 Minnesota 106 69-22 (5-22) Midwest Big Ten Sarah Hopkins (3rd)
22
22 William and Mary 98 34-20 (2-18) Southeast Colonial Natalie Hall (2nd)
24
23 Princeton 93 41-12 (9-12) Mid-Atlantic Ivy Pete Farrell (38th)
20
24 BYU 82 43-12 (10-12) Mountain West Coast Patrick Shane (34th)
14
25 Weber State 78 68-10 (3-10) Mountain Big Sky Paul Pilkington (9th)
27
26 Villanova 68 50-14 (2-12) Mid-Atlantic Big East Gina Procaccio (16th)
28
27 Vanderbilt 66 46-22 (2-21) South SEC Steve Keith (10th)
26
28 North Carolina 37 37-23 (2-22) Southeast ACC Mark VanAlstyne (4th)
29
29 Yale 36 67-18 (1-12) Northeast Ivy Amy Gosztyla (5th)
NR
30 Gonzaga 26 16-5 (1-4) West West Coast Pat Tyson (9th)
NR
Others Receiving Votes: Columbia 20, Wisconsin 18, Lipscomb 8, Purdue 6, West Virginia 5, Boston College 2, SMU 2
Dropped Out: No. 25 Columbia, No. 30 Purdue
Win-loss record reflective of results in varsity competition versus DI opponents starting September 25; records in () are results against ranked teams.
(* year as effective coach of that team in women’s cross country)