NCAA DI Women’s XC Coaches’ Poll Partying Like It’s 2005

NCAA DI Women’s XC Coaches’ Poll Partying Like It’s 2005

By Tyler Mayforth, USTFCCCA

October 18, 2016   

NEW ORLEANS — Before the 2016 season began, Colorado coach Mark Wetmore made headlines when he said his current women’s team might be the best of that gender he’s ever had in his storied tenure in Boulder. That’s saying something, especially with how his 2004 squad rolled to a dominant 81-point win at NCAAs.

NCAA Division I National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Women

1)Stanford) 2)Stanford) 3)Stanford) 4)Stanford) 5)Stanford)
Colorado Washington NC State Providence Oregon
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Well, the 2016 Buffaloes just matched the 2004 and 2005 version in one regard: They’ve all be ranked No. 1 in the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Polls.

Colorado is the new No. 1 in the most recent poll, which was released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Buffs, who cruised to an easy win at the Pre-National Invitational, received eight of the 12 first-place votes and headline the poll for the first time since the 2005 preseason edition.

Those other four first-place votes went to Washington, the winner at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational. The Huskies moved up two spots to No. 2 — its second best billing since 2013 (No. 1) — and leapfrogged NC State in the process.

National PDFs: Summary | Week-by-Week 2016 | Week-by-Week All Time
Regional Rankings: Week 5 Summary | Men’s Recap | Women’s Recap

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Former No. 1 Providence didn’t impress in Wisconsin and slid three spots to No. 4.

Pre-National Invitational runner-up Oregon moved back into the top-5 at No. 5.

Let’s get back to Colorado, however, as Wetmore’s team raced against true competition for the first time this season and rolled in Terre Haute, Indiana. Led by individual runner-up Erin Clark, the Buffs put five runners in the top-40 (No other team had more than three) and tallied 93 points compared to the Ducks’ 154. Colorado’s 1-5 spread was a miniscule 43.6 seconds.

The Buffs had only done glorified time trials up to that point of the season, but they’ll be tested again soon enough. Colorado will next race at the Pac-12 Championships, followed by the NCAA Mountain Region Championships and finally the NCAA Championships.

Pac-12 foe Washington was equally as impressive in Madison, Wisconsin as the Buffs were in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Huskies put their entire lineup — all seven runners — in the top-50 and were led once again by Amy-Eloise Neal (4th) and Charlotte Prouse (5th). Washington ended up with 124 points, 44 fewer than the runner-up Wolfpack and 56 fewer than the Friars.

You’ll notice the common trend in this week’s poll is that the voting coaches rewarded those teams that stood out in Indiana and Wisconsin and punished those who underperformed. That was definitely expected, as each of the 30 teams that were ranked in the Week 4 poll were in action this past weekend, with the badger’s share in Madison (18 of 30).

Teams like the Ducks, Michigan (3rd at Pre-Nationals) and New Mexico (4th at Wisconsin) needed to prove they could rally around their low stick(s) and did so, some better than others.

Oregon followed freshman Katie Rainsberger’s lead once again (6th overall) and put four in the top-50. The Wolverines, who jumped from 13th to 6th, watched Erin Finn continue her reign of terror with another huge victory (13th fastest 6K time in the history of the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course) and had three in the top-50. The Lady Lobos are back in the top-10 at No. 7 after Sophie Connor (40th) gave them a better third to couple with Alice Wright (2nd) and Calli Thackery (9th).

Baylor and San Francisco continued their storybook seasons at Wisconsin, while Eastern Michigan did the same in Indiana. The Bears (5th) and Dons (6th) finished back-to-back in Madison and both surged more than five spots in the poll (Baylor went from No. 21 to No. 12 and San Francisco went from No. 19 to No. 13). The Eagles took 7th in Indiana, were closer to 6th-place Stanford than 8th-place California and improved upon its best ranking in program history (16th to 14th).

Four teams either returned to the poll or were brand new. Mississippi State (29th) and UCLA (23rd) were in the former group, while California (25th) and Villanova (22nd) went from receiving votes to ranked.

Next up on the NCAA DI Cross Country calendar are the conference championships, followed by NCAA Regionals and then finally, the Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Indiana.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2016 Week #5 — October 18

next poll: November 1
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Record^ Region (CR) Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 Colorado (8) 356 41-0 (8-0) Mountain (1) Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (22nd)
2
2 Washington (4) 351 42-0 (19-0) West (1) Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (15th)
4
3 NC State 329 61-2 (23-2) Southeast (1) ACC Laurie Henes (11th)
3
4 Providence 327 61-2 (23-2) Northeast (1) Big East Ray Treacy (33rd)
1
5 Oregon 313 48-2 (8-2) West (2) Pac-12 Robert Johnson (5th)
9
6 Michigan 286 95-6 (10-6) Great Lakes (1) Big Ten Mike McGuire (25th)
13
7 New Mexico 280 46-6 (19-6) Mountain (2) Mountain West Joe Franklin (10th)
11
8 Portland 272 73-3 (13-3) West (3) West Coast Ian Solof (15th)
5
9 Penn State 266 56-2 (8-2) Mid-Atlantic (1) Big Ten John Gondak (3rd)
8
10 Arkansas 245 63-4 (4-4) South Central (1) SEC Lance Harter (27th)
12
11 Stanford 232 41-5 (3-5) West (5) Pac-12 Elizabeth DeBole (1st)
7
12 Baylor 231 59-12 (17-8) South Central (2) Big 12 Todd Harbour (17th)
21
13 San Francisco 207 54-10 (15-10) West (4) West Coast Helen Lehman-Winters (14th)
19
14 Eastern Michigan 184 77-8 (9-8) Great Lakes (2) Mid-American Sue Parks (11th)
16
15 Iowa State 178 43-21 (10-15) Midwest (1) Big 12 Andrea Grove-McDonough (4th)
26
16 Mississippi 171 36-7 (3-7) South (1) SEC Ryan Vanhoy (4th)
25
17 Utah 170 49-11 (14-11) Mountain (3) Pac-12 Kyle Kepler (12th)
23
18 Oklahoma State 150 20-3 (0-2) Midwest (2) Big 12 Dave Smith (8th)
14
19 Notre Dame 146 47-15 (10-15) Great Lakes (3) ACC Matt Sparks (3rd)
28
20 BYU 126 35-9 (10-9) Mountain (4) West Coast Ed Eyestone (1st)
15
21 Yale 121 65-10 (10-10) Northeast (2) Ivy Amy Gosztyla (6th)
17
22 Villanova 110 51-17 (6-14) Mid-Atlantic (2) Big East Gina Procaccio (17th)
RV
23 UCLA 66 46-18 (7-18) West (6) Pac-12 Mike Maynard (5th)
RV
24 Penn 65 52-16 (6-14) Mid-Atlantic (3) Ivy Steve Dolan (5th)
26
25 California 56 47-15 (1-15) West (8) Pac-12 Shayla Houlihan (1st)
RV
26 Harvard 53 22-17 (3-17) Northeast (3) Ivy Jason Saretsky (11th)
29
27 Michigan State 46 49-19 (7-18) Great Lakes (4) Big Ten Walt Drenth (13th)
6
28 Boise State 36 44-22 (6-20) West (7) Mountain West Corey Ihmels (4th)
10
29 Mississippi State 33 77-20 (1-16) South (2) SEC Houston Franks (8th)
RV
30 SMU 32 25-17 (2-16) South Central (3) American Cathy Casey (12th)
24
Others Receiving Votes: West Virginia 29, Minnesota 19, Georgetown 16, Air Force 16, Syracuse 14, Cal Poly 13, Texas 11, Missouri 9, Virginia 6, Kansas 4, Cornell 4, Brown 1
Dropped out: No. 18 Georgetown, No. 20 Syracuse, No. 22 Virginia, No. 30 West Virginia
^ Win-loss record reflective of results in varsity competition of races 4500 meters or longer versus DI opponents starting September 9; records in () are results against ranked teams.
(* year as effective coach of that team in women’s cross country), CR – Coaches’ Regional Ranking