Two New Top-5 Teams In NCAA DI Women’s XC Coaches’ Poll

Two New Top-5 Teams In NCAA DI Women’s XC Coaches’ Poll

By Tyler Mayforth, USTFCCCA

October 4, 2016   

NEW ORLEANS — There were many questions entering this past weekend’s meets in NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country.

NCAA Division I National Coaches Poll Top 5 – Women

1)Stanford) 2)Stanford) 3)Stanford) 4)Stanford) 5)Stanford)
Providence Colorado NC State Washington Portland
View Complete Women’s National Coaches Poll

Well, those questions were answered and those answers had exclamation points at the end of them.

What was billed as a heavyweight fight between No. 1 Providence and former No. 1 New Mexico at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational instead turned into a first-round knockout. The Friars left their mark on the proceedings and in turn, snatched all five of the Lady Lobos’ first-place votes and took one from second-ranked Colorado as well.

So in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll, which was released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), Providence was the overwhelming favorite with 10 first-place votes and a 10.5-point lead over the Buffaloes. Colorado had the two other first-place votes and former No. 1 New Mexico fell all the way down to No. 11 after their disappointing fourth-place result in South Bend, Indiana.

National PDFs: Summary | Week-by-Week 2016 | Week-by-Week All Time
Regional Rankings: Week 4 Summary | Men’s Recap | Women’s Recap

MEN’S WEEK FOUR NATIONAL POLL

Even though the Friars didn’t run with 2015 XC All-Americans Samantha Jones or Catarina Rocha and their top finisher was ninth overall (Sarah Collins), they won by 32 points thanks to a concerted team effort. Providence’s next four runners (Millie Paladino, Brianna Ilarda, Abbey Wheeler and Katie Lembo) were 24th, 26th, 28th and 30th.

The Friars’ best competition proved to be NC State, a team that moved up to third in this week’s poll. This is the highest ranking for the Wolfpack since 2006 when they were second. NC State ran without either of the Frazier sisters (Ryen and Wesley), but were led by Erika Kemp (8th) and the duo of Rachel Koon (27th) and Megan Moye (31st). Who knows how close the team race would have been if Ryen Frazier, the individual champion from the 2015 edition of the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational went head-to-head with the leaders.

Let’s take a look to the west, where Washington won its own invitational over previous No. 4 Oregon and RV Harvard, among others. The Huskies dominated as they put six runners in the top-9, led by Charlotte Prouse‘s individual win. With its 24-57 victory over the Ducks, Washington jumped from No. 12 to No. 4 and tied its best ranking since 2013.

Portland continued its incredible rise and moved into the top-5 for the first time in program history. For those who don’t know, the Pilots won the team title at the Roy Griak Invitational in convincing fashion.

Perhaps the most notable team jump in this week’s poll belonged to Eastern Michigan. Behind a third-place finish at the Notre Dame Invitational, the Eagles went from receiving votes to No. 16. Jordan McDermitt (7th) and Natalie Cizmas (12th) both finished in the top-15 and saw their team earn a ranking for the first time since 1996.

Yale didn’t have time for third place — or second place, for that matter — as it posted a shocking victory at the Paul Short Run over Georgetown and Penn. The Bulldogs had three runners in the top-15 and won 92-119-127. Yale climbed 12 spots in the poll from No. 29 last week to No. 17 this week. This is the Bulldogs’ best rank since 2002 (Preseason No. 7).

There were three other new teams to poll — in addition to Eastern Michigan — as in they haven’t been ranked this season. Baylor comes in at No. 21, tying its best rank since 2014. Mississippi, fresh off its No. 1 ranking in the South Region, is billed at No. 25. This is the Rebels’ best ranking in program history. Finally, West Virginia returned to the poll after a short absence. It had been since Week 4 of 2015 that the Mountaineers were ranked.

All of these teams hope to punch their tickets to the 2016 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships held November 19 at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course in Terre Haute, Indiana.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I

Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll

2016 Week #4 — October 4

next poll: October 18
Rank Institution (FPV) Points Record^ Region (CR) Conference Cross Country Coach (Yr*)
Last Week
1 Providence (10) 357 33-0 (7-0) Northeast (1) Big East Ray Treacy (33rd)
1
2 Colorado (2) 346.5 — (—) Mountain (1) Pac-12 Mark Wetmore (22nd)
2
3 NC State 329 32-1 (6-1) Southeast (1) ACC Laurie Henes (11th)
5
4 Washington 312 12-0 (2-0) West (1) Pac-12 Greg Metcalf (15th)
12
5 Portland 302 36-0 (6-0) West (2) West Coast Ian Solof (15th)
7
6 Michigan State 282 37-1 (5-1) Great Lakes (1) Big Ten Walt Drenth (13th)
8
7 Stanford 269 6-0 (—) West (3) Pac-12 Elizabeth DeBole (1st)
6
8 Penn State 251 38-2 (7-2) Mid-Atlantic (1) Big Ten John Gondak (3rd)
11
9 Oregon 250 9-1 (1-1) West (5) Pac-12 Robert Johnson (5th)
4
10 Boise State 247 31-3 (3-3) West (4) Mountain West Corey Ihmels (4th)
9
11 New Mexico 245.5 19-3 (4-3) Mountain (2) Mountain West Joe Franklin (10th)
2
12 Arkansas 241 28-0 (—) South Central (1) SEC Lance Harter (27th)
10
13 Michigan 222 57-4 (2-4) Great Lakes (2) Big Ten Mike McGuire (25th)
14
14 Oklahoma State 195 4-1 (—) Midwest (1) Big 12 Dave Smith (8th)
13
15 BYU 192 12-0 (3-0) Mountain (3) West Coast Ed Eyestone (1st)
15
16 Eastern Michigan 175 43-2 (5-2) Great Lakes (3) Mid-American Sue Parks (11th)
RV
17 Yale 163 45-0 (4-0) Northeast (2) Ivy Amy Gosztyla (6th)
29
18 Georgetown 140 40-2 (4-2) Mid-Atlantic (2) Big East Julie Culley (1st)
19
19 San Francisco 120 29-5 (1-5) West (6) West Coast Helen Lehman-Winters (14th)
18
20 Syracuse 113 15-4 (3-4) Northeast (3) ACC Chris Fox (12th)
17
21 Baylor 112 31-5 (3-4) South Central (3) Big 12 Todd Harbour (17th)
NR
22 Virginia 92 9-3 (0-3) Southeast (2) ACC Todd Morgan (5th)
20
23 Utah 87 25-5 (2-5) Mountain (4) Pac-12 Kyle Kepler (12th)
28
24 SMU 85 11-1 (2-1) South Central (2) American Cathy Casey (12th)
21
25 Mississippi 68 19-6 (1-6) South (1) SEC Ryan Vanhoy (4th)
RV
26 Iowa State 59 20-14 (0-6) Midwest (3) Big 12 Andrea Grove-McDonough (4th)
23
26 Penn 59 35-3 (0-3) Mid-Atlantic (3) Ivy Steve Dolan (5th)
22
28 Notre Dame 42 25-7 (0-7) Great Lakes (5) ACC Matt Sparks (3rd)
16
29 Harvard 37 6-3 (0-3) Northeast (4) Ivy Jason Saretsky (11th)
RV
30 West Virginia 31 36-7 (1-6) Mid-Atlantic (4) Big 12 Sean Cleary (10th)
NR
Others Receiving Votes: Tulsa 30, Mississippi State 25, Minnesota 18, UCLA 16, Cornell 12, Butler 11, Cal Poly 7, California 6, Florida 6, Indiana 6, Vanderbilt 6, William and Mary 5, Princeton 3, Villanova 3, Dartmouth 2
Dropped out: No. 24 Vanderbilt, No. 24 Mississippi State, No. 26 Kansas, No. 26 Tulsa, No. 29 UCLA
^ 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