2017 NCAA DII Cross Country Women’s National Coaches’ Poll – Preseason

NEW ORLEANS – It’s never a given that the team that finishes with the championship hardware the year before is the automatic favorite out of the gate the following season.

It’s even less common when that team loses its best performer.

But that wasn’t stopping Grand Valley State from sitting atop the NCAA Division II Cross Country Women’s National Coaches Poll, announced the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday.

NCAA Division II National Coaches’ Poll Top 5 – Women

1)Syracuse) 2)Syracuse) 3)Syracuse) 4)Syracuse) 5)Colorado
Grand Valley State Adams State Western State Chico State Southern Indiana
View Complete Women’s National Coaches Poll


Despite losing 2016 NCAA Division II Cross Country individual champion Kendra Foley to graduation, the Lakers are slated to be strong once again heading into the 2017 campaign. The deep squad does return Stacey Metzger, who finished 15th (20:57.8) at nationals a year ago as the highest-finishing freshman. Because of this, GVSU garnered seven of the possible eight first-place votes in the preseason poll.

Week-by-Week Ranking PDFs
2017 | All-Time

Hot on the Lakers’ heels though are the Grizzlies from Adams State, followed by a strong contingent of teams in Western State, Chico State and Southern Indiana, all of whom finished in the top-5 at the national meet a year ago.

Adams State fell 23 points short of the title last year, but their top-six runners all finished in the top-80. Only two of those women return in Malena Grover (43rd – 21:38.8) and Kaylee Bogina (80th – 22:08.8). Western State loses Georgia Porter to graduation, but still has the likes of Alicja Konieczek – who finished 11th at the national meet last season – on its roster.

Chico State will hitch its wagon to star Karlie Garcia, who ran a 21:20.2 for sixth place at the NCAA Division II West Regionals a year ago. Southern Indiana has the highest finishing returner of all the aforementioned schools in Emily Roberts, whose fifth-place finish a year ago helped the Screaming Eagles to a program-best fifth-place finish.

U-Mary (sixth), Alaska Anchorage (seventh), Cal Baptist (eighth), Minnesota Duluth (t-9th) and Point Loma Nazarene (t-9th) round out the top-10.

U-Mary has a heavy hitter in Alexis Zeis returning. Zeis was the 2016 Central Regional champion and the NCAA Runner-Up for a team that finished seventh overall. Alaska Anchorage finished eighth, but Caroline Kurgat comes back after placing third a year ago in Saint Leo, Florida.

Two teams that did not compete at the 2016 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championship made it into the initial top-25 poll of the season in Cal State San Marcos (t-22nd) and Augustana (S.D.) Cal State San Marcos is in its first year in NCAA Division II, joining the ranks from the NAIA, while Augustana (S.D.) looks to return to the national championship scene after failing to qualify a year ago.

NCAA Division II
Women's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll

2017 Preseason - August 30th

1 grand-valley-state GRAND VALLEY STATE
Midwest Region (1)
Jerry Baltes (19th)
(7 fpv)
2 adams-state ADAMS STATE
South Central Region (1)
RMAC (1)
Damon Martin (30th)
(1 fpv)
3 western-state WESTERN STATE
South Central Region (2)
RMAC (4)
Jennifer Michel (11th)
183 3
4 chico-state CHICO STATE
West Region (1)
CCAA (1)
Gary Towne (22nd)
177 4
5 southern-indiana SOUTHERN INDIANA
Midwest Region (2)
GLVC (1)
Mike Hillyard (21st)
166 5
6 u-mary U-MARY
Central Region (1)
NSIC (1)
Dennis Newell (12th)
156 7
7 alaska-anchorage ALASKA ANCHORAGE
West Region (2)
GNAC (1)
Michael Friess (28th)
152 8
8 cal-baptist CAL BAPTIST
West Region (3)
PacWest (1)
Ben Gall (6th)
145 9
9 point-loma-nazarene POINT LOMA NAZARENE
West Region (4)
PacWest (5)
Jerry Arvin (25th)
129 12
9 minnesota-duluth MINNESOTA DULUTH
Central Region (2)
NSIC (2)
Joanna Warmington (8th)
129 10
11 colorado-mines COLORADO MINES
South Central Region (3)
RMAC (2)
Chris Siemers (6th)
115 13
12 cedarville CEDARVILLE
Midwest Region (3)
G-MAC (4)
Jeff Bolender (8th)
113 11
13 northern-michigan NORTHERN MICHIGAN
Midwest Region (4)
Jenny Ryan (11th)
101 14
14 simon-fraser SIMON FRASER
West Region (5)
GNAC (2)
Brit Townsend (18th)
85 6
15 hillsdale HILLSDALE
Midwest Region (5)
G-MAC (1)
Andrew Towne (7th)
83 17
16 queens-n-c QUEENS (N.C.)
Southeast Region (1)
SAC (1)
Kevin Licht (1st)
80 15
17 uc-colorado-springs UC-COLORADO SPRINGS
South Central Region (4)
RMAC (3)
Corey Kubatzky (3rd)
69 20
18 southwest-baptist SOUTHWEST BAPTIST
Central Region (3)
MIAA (3)
Corey McElhaney (10th)
60 21
19 saint-leo SAINT LEO
South Region (1)
Sunshine (2)
Kent Reiber (3rd)
43 25
20 csu-pueblo CSU-PUEBLO
South Central Region (5)
RMAC (7)
Matt Morris (5th)
39 16
21 stonehill STONEHILL
East Region (1)
Northeast-10 (1)
Karen Boen (20th)
34 22
22 shippensburg SHIPPENSBURG
Atlantic Region (1)
PSAC (2)
Steve Spence (20th)
30 24
22 cal-state-san-marcos CAL STATE SAN MARCOS
West Region (6)
CCAA (2)
Steve Scott (19th)
30 ---
24 augustana-s-d AUGUSTANA (S.D.)
Central Region (4)
NSIC (3)
Tracy Hellman (17th)
28 ---
25 lee-tenn LEE (TENN.)
South Region (2)
Gulf South (1)
Caleb Morgan (4th)
14 28

Also Receiving Votes: Malone 11, Cal Poly Pomona 10, Lewis 6, Dallas Baptist 4, Assumption 4, Bellarmine 4, Montevallo 3, Walsh 3, Seattle Pacific 2

USTFCCCA 2017 NCAA Division II Cross Country
Rankings & Polls Calendar

Weeks Region RankingsNational Coaches' Poll KEY DATES
PreseasonTue 8/29
Wed 8/30
Aug. 31: Earliest Contest
Week 1Tue 9/12
Wed 9/13
Sep. 14: First countable, at-large
Week 2Tue 9/19
Wed 9/20
Week 3Tue 9/26
Wed 9/27
Week 4Tue 10/3
Wed 10/4
Oct. 7: Pre-National
Week 5Tue 10/10
Wed 10/11
Oct. 20-22: Conference Champs
Week 6Tue 10/24
Wed 10/25
Nov. 4-5: NCAA Regionals
Week 7Wed 11/8
Nov. 18: NCAA Champs
FINAL ResultsSat 11/4
Sat 11/18

Week-by-Week Ranking PDFs
2017 | All-Time
REGIONAL: 2017 | All-Time