NCAA DI Men’s Preseason Regional Rankings Announced

NCAA DI Men’s Preseason Regional Rankings Announced

NEW ORLEANS – Preseason Regional Rankings are out ahead of the NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country’s opening weekend that starts Thursday.

The rankings were announced Monday afternoon by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The Preseason National Coaches’ Polls will be announced in a live video stream Tuesday afternoon on USTFCCCA.org.

Regional Rankings Summary PDF | Rankings Central | Women’s Rankings

Topping each of the nine regions were a mix of reigning regional champions, top-three finishers from a year ago and a pair of traditional powerhouse squads that missed out on the NCAA Championships a year ago.

For all those details and more, keep scrolling to find overviews and full top-15 lists for each of the nine regions. The women’s Regional Rankings were also announced Monday and can be found here.

NCAA Division I Regional Championships will be held around the country on Friday, November 11 with the return of the NCAA Championships to Terre Haute, Indiana, eight days later..

USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Rankings are determined subjectively by a single member coach in each respective region. The regional representative is tasked with weighing returning teams strength with current season results (if applicable) in determining predicted team finishes at the NCAA Regional Championships.

GREAT LAKES REGION

Last year saw the Wisconsin Badgers finish sixth at Regionals and miss the NCAA Championships for the first time since 1971 – snapping an NCAA-best streak of 43 consecutive nationals appearances.

The Preseason Great Lakes Region Rankings, however, don’t expect the Badgers to start a streak of non-appearances, as the UW men enter the season ranked No. 1. Most of Wisconsin’s key runners – including Malachy Schrobilgen and Morgan McDonald – are back and hungry for redemption.

In fact, both of the top two teams in these preseason rankings missed the Big Dance a year ago, as Indiana checked in at No. 2. Before last season, the Hoosiers hadn’t missed NCAAs since 2001.

Reigning Regional winner Michigan came in at No. 3, followed by in-state rivals No. 4 Michigan State and No. 5 Eastern Michigan. Only Michigan and Michigan State advanced to the NCAA Championships a year ago from the Great Lakes.

See the full regional rankings below.

 

MID-ATLANTIC REGION

Led by 2015 NCAA Championships fifth-place finisher Jonathan Green, the Georgetown Hoyas begin 2016 as the favorites to defend their Mid-Atlantic Region title from a year ago. Green heads a group of five returning scorers from a year ago.

Penn may have surprised last year with their first NCAA Championships appearance since 1975, but the Quakers will not sneak up on anyone this year. They start the year ranked No. 2 in the region and will look for their first back-to-back NCAA appearances since three-in-a-row in 1969-71.

Only Georgetown and Penn advanced to NCAAs a year ago.

Rounding out the top five were No. 3 Princeton, No. 4 Penn State and No. 5 Villanova. Though Nova returns NCAA runner-up Patrick Tiernan, the Wildcats – who lost much of the remainder of last year’s scoring lineup – could be in danger of missing consecutive NCAA Championships for the first time since 2004-06.

See the full regional rankings below.

 

MIDWEST REGION

Oklahoma State has had a stranglehold on the Midwest Region for the better part of a decade-and-a-half, having won at least a share of 11 of the past 13 regional titles. It seems that trend may continue this year as the Cowboys checked in as the preseason Midwest Region favorite.

Only two other teams have won Midwest titles during that run: Oklahoma and Minnesota. The Sooners start this season at No. 2, but were the highest-finishing team from the region at last year’s NCAA Championships with a 15th-place effort. Oklahoma State was 18th.

No. 3 Tulsa, No. 4 Illinois and No. 5 Iowa State complete the preseason top-five for the region. Tulsa took 20th at NCAAs in 2015, but neither Illinois nor Iowa State qualified. No. 6 Minnesota finished 19th, but appears to have some work to do to overtake at least several teams currently ranked ahead of it.

See the full rankings below.

 

MOUNTAIN REGION

Annually one of the toughest regions in nation, the 2016 iteration of the Mountain Region looks to continue that tradition. With Futsum Zienasellassie’s and others’ returns from redshirted 2015 seasons, the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks start the year at the summit of this region. Though NAU missed the NCAA Championships a year ago, the Lumberjacks were fourth nationally in 2014 and runners-up in 2013.

Coming in at No. 2 is last year’s NCAA runner-up, Colorado. The Buffaloes lose four from last year’s NCAA team; will this year be a rebuilding year or a reloading year? CU has finished no worse than third nationally dating back to 2011.

No. 3 UTEP loses just one runner from its 11th-place 2015 team. In one of the more unusual situations anywhere in the nation, however, that leaves the Miners with just five runners on their roster.

No. 4 BYU and No. 5 Southern Utah round out the top five. The Cougars were 12th at NCAAs a year ago, while Southern Utah was 21st.

See the full rankings below.

 

NORTHEAST REGION

Syracuse will start its defense of the Northeast (and the NCAA title) as the preseason favorite in the region. With top-10 finishers Justyn Knight and Colin Bennie back in the fold to lead four returning scorers, the Orangemen are in good shape to pick up right where they left off a year ago.

After missing NCAAs for just the third time since 1995 with a sixth-place regional finish, Providence is slated at No. 2 to start this year’s campaign. The Friars should return its top six from a year ago.

Rounding out the top-five are No. 3 Iona, No. 4 Columbia and No. 5 Yale. Iona was fifth at NCAAs a year ago with six of those runners back this year, but the team has reportedly been bitten by the injury bug heading into the season.

See the full rankings below.

 

SOUTH REGION

After last year’s 30th-place finish at the NCAA Championships after early-season hype, national expectations for Ole Miss will likely be tempered this year. At the regional level, however, the Rebels are the projected favorite with each of their top six runners from a year ago suiting up again in 2016.

Reigning South Region champ Florida State will start this year one spot back at No. 2. A mix of returners and transfers will power this year’s FSU squad after it finished 29th at NCAAs a year ago.

Big steps up are predicted for the next two teams. No. 3 Auburn and No. 4 Middle Tennessee finished fifth and seventh at regionals a year ago, but both squads bring back a significant number of returners. Florida rounded out the top five.

See the full rankings below.

 

SOUTH CENTRAL REGION

The Arkansas Razorbacks are the early-season favorites to take home their fourth consecutive South Central Region title this year and live up to their sixth-place NCAA Championships finish. The Hogs return five of their top seven from last year – including All-Americans Jack Bruce and Frankline Tonui – and added in a couple impact runners since last fall.

Texas is one of only two other schools that have won South Central titles over the past decade, and the Longhorns check in this preseason at No. 2. Like Arkansas, Texas returns a big chunk of its lineup from last year’s regional runner-up squad, including regional top-five finisher Jacob Pickle.

Texas A&M, the other team to have won a region title since 2005, came in at No. 3, followed by No. 4 Stephen F. Austin and No. 5 Lamar.

See the full rankings below.

 

SOUTHEAST REGION

This was one of the deepest regions in the nation last season with six teams qualifying to the NCAA Championships – topped only by the West’s seven. Last year’s surprise regional winner (and top Southeast Region finisher at the NCAA Championships in seventh) was Louisville, but the Cardinals graduated a couple key contributors since then and will start the season at No. 3.

Meanwhile an hour-and-a-half down the road at Eastern Kentucky, the Colonels will start 2016 as the preseason favorites with everyone returning from their 17th-place squad a year ago. That corps will be led by All-American Jaime Perales.

Last year’s regional runner-up Virginia checks in at No. 2, though the Cavaliers return just over half of their 22nd-place squad from a year ago.

Rounding out the top five are No. 4 Furman and No. 5 NC State. Furman was 13th at NCAAs, while NC State was 28th. Virginia Tech, which finished 27th at nationals, starts the year at No. 6.

See the full rankings below.

 

WEST REGION

Last, but certainly not least, is 2015’s deepest region: the West. With each of the top eight teams returning at least four runners from last season’s squads, expect this region to once again be a dogfight to the end.

Oregon starts the year at No. 1, led by three-time defending national champ Edward Cheserek and four additional returners – all of whom finished better than 85th place at NCAAs to lead the Ducks to a fourth-place team finish.

No. 2 Stanford similarly returns five runners from its 2015 third-place team. Leading that group are All-Americans Sean McGorty and Grant Fisher, and another former All-American in Sam Wharton.

Reigning West champ No. 3 Washington finished eighth at NCAAs and also returns five of its seven NCAA Championship runners from last fall. The Huskies will be led by All-American Colby Gilbert.

No. 4 Boise State one-upped those three with six of seven back from its 16th-place NCAA squad a year ago.

Coming off a down year that saw them miss the NCAA Championships after making the podium in 2014, the Portland Pilots round out the top five with five returners from a year ago and the removal of the redshirt by former top-50 finisher Timo Goehler.

No. 6 Washington State returns all seven runners from last year’s 26th-place NCAA team after making the Championships for just the third time since the turn of the new millennium.

No. 7 UCLA and No. 8 California return four of seven from last year’s respective 14th- and 23rd-place teams.

See the full rankings below.

 

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Men’s Cross Country Regional Team Rankings

2016 Preseason — August 29

national poll release: August 30
next regional release: September 12
RAOR = Record against own region (since September 9, reported to TFRRS)
GREAT LAKES Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Wisconsin Big Ten
6
2 Indiana Big Ten
5
3 Michigan Big Ten
1
4 Michigan State Big Ten
2
5 Eastern Michigan Mid-American
3
6 Notre Dame ACC
4
7 IUPUI Summit League
8
8 Akron Mid-American
7
9 Purdue Big Ten
9
10 Ohio State Big Ten
10
11 Oakland Horizon
11
12 Miami (Ohio) Mid-American
12
13 Butler Big East
13
14 Indiana State Missouri Valley
14
15 Ohio Mid-American
16
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Michigan, 2014: Wisconsin, 2013: Michigan, 2012: Wisconsin, 2011: Wisconsin
       
         
MID-ATLANTIC Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Georgetown Big East
1
2 Penn Ivy
2
3 Princeton Ivy
4
4 Penn State Big Ten
5
5 Villanova Big East
3
6 Navy Patriot
6
7 Saint Joseph’s Atlantic 10
7
8 La Salle Atlantic 10
8
9 UMBC America East
9
10 Bucknell Patriot
10
11 Lehigh Patriot
11
12 Duquesne Atlantic 10
12
13 Rutgers Big Ten
13
14 Pittsburgh ACC
14
15 Temple American
15
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Georgetown, 2014: Villanova, 2013: Villanova, 2012: Georgetown, 2011: Georgetown
       
         
MIDWEST Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Oklahoma State Big 12
1
2 Oklahoma Big 12
3
3 Tulsa American
4
4 Illinois Big Ten
8
5 Iowa State Big 12
5
6 Minnesota Big Ten
2
7 Bradley Missouri Valley
9
8 South Dakota State Summit League
6
9 Kansas Big 12
7
10 Wichita State Missouri Valley
10
11 Missouri SEC
11
12 Nebraska Big Ten
12
13 Eastern Illinois Ohio Valley
13
14 UMKC WAC
14
15 Illinois State Missouri Valley
18
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Oklahoma State, 2014: Oklahoma State, 2013: Oklahoma State, 2012: Oklahoma/Oklahoma State, 2011: Oklahoma State
       
         
MOUNTAIN Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Northern Arizona Big Sky
8
2 Colorado Pac-12
1
3 UTEP Conference USA
2
4 BYU West Coast
3
5 Southern Utah Big Sky
4
6 Colorado State Mountain West
6
7 Air Force Mountain West
5
8 New Mexico Mountain West
9
9 Wyoming Mountain West
7
10 Weber State Big Sky
10
11 Utah Valley WAC
11
12 Texas Tech Big 12
12
13 Idaho State Big Sky
13
14 Montana State Big Sky
14
15 New Mexico State WAC
15
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Colorado,
2014: Colorado, 2013: Northern Arizona, 2012: Northern Arizona, 2011: BYU
       
         
NORTHEAST Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Syracuse ACC
1
2 Providence Big East
6
3 Iona Metro Atlantic
2
4 Columbia Ivy
5
5 Yale Ivy
7
6 Cornell Ivy
3
7 Dartmouth Ivy
4
8 Brown Ivy
9
9 Harvard Ivy
8
10 Stony Brook America East
10
11 Army West Point Patriot
14
12 Buffalo Mid-American
18
13 Maine America East
15
14 UMass Atlantic 10
12
15 Binghamton America East
11
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Syracuse,
2014: Syracuse, 2013: Syracuse, 2012: Iona, 2011: Syracuse,
       
         
SOUTH Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Mississippi SEC
2
2 Florida State ACC
1
3 Auburn SEC
5
4 Middle Tennessee Conference USA
7
5 Florida SEC
3
6 Georgia SEC
4
7 Alabama SEC
6
8 Georgia Tech ACC
8
9 Tennessee SEC
9
10 Lipscomb Atlantic Sun
11
11 Belmont Ohio Valley
10
12 North Florida Atlantic Sun
12
13 Mississippi State SEC
13
14 South Alabama Sun Belt
14
15 ETSU Southern
16
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Florida State,
2014: Mississippi, 2013: Georgia, 2012: Florida State, 2011: Florida State
       
         
SOUTH CENTRAL Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Arkansas SEC
1
2 Texas Big 12
2
3 Texas A&M SEC
3
4 Stephen F. Austin Southland
5
5 Lamar Southland
4
6 UT Arlington Sun Belt
8
7 Baylor Big 12
6
8 McNeese State Southland
9
9 North Texas Conference USA
7
10 Houston American
10
11 Rice Conference USA
11
12 UTSA Conference USA
14
13 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Southland
15
14 Arkansas State Sun Belt
12
15 Sam Houston State Southland
17
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Arkansas,
2014: Arkansas, 2013: Arkansas, 2012: Texas, 2011: Texas
       
         
SOUTHEAST Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Eastern Kentucky Ohio Valley
3
2 Virginia ACC
2
3 Louisville ACC
1
4 Furman Southern
4
5 NC State ACC
5
6 Virginia Tech ACC
6
7 North Carolina ACC
7
8 Duke ACC
8
9 Campbell Big South
10
10 Kentucky SEC
9
11 William and Mary Colonial
11
12 Liberty Big South
14
13 Davidson Atlantic 10
13
14 George Mason Atlantic 10
12
15 Appalachian State Sun Belt
16
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Louisville, 2014: Virginia, 2013: Eastern Kentucky, 2012: Virginia, 2011: NC State
       
         
WEST Region
Rank School Overall (RAOR) Conference
2015 FINAL
1 Oregon Pac-12
3
2 Stanford Pac-12
2
3 Washington Pac-12
1
4 Boise State Mountain West
5
5 Portland West Coast
9
6 Washington State Pac-12
4
7 UCLA Pac-12
7
8 California Pac-12
6
9 San Francisco West Coast
11
10 Cal Poly Big West
12
11 Arizona State Pac-12
15
12 UC Santa Barbara Big West
8
13 Gonzaga West Coast
10
14 St. Mary’s (Calif.) West Coast
16
15 San Jose State Mountain West
14
Regional Championship History — Last Five Champions:
2015: Washington,
2014: Oregon, 2013: Stanford, 2012: Stanford, 2011: Stanford