2017 NCAA DII Cross Country Women’s National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – The first week of the NCAA Division II Women’s National Coaches’ Poll, announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday, practically mirrored the preseason poll with the top-six teams remaining in place from two weeks ago.
Grand Valley State and Adams State held down the top two spots in the poll, although the Grizzlies stole a first-place vote from the Lakers after GVSU owned seven of the eight in the preseason rankings.
Both squads had strong openings to the season, with Adams State notching a perfect score at the Joe I Vigil Open behind a first-place finish from Malena Grover. Grand Valley State scored a victory at the Calvin College Knight Invitational and were led by third-place finisher Theresa Mueller.
Simon Fraser was the lone team on the week to make up significant ground in the polls, as the Clan moved up seven spots to seventh with a perfect race at the Ash Creek Invitational. Julia Howley paced the pack with a time of 16:24.6. While the program was ranked ninth in the final poll of the 2016 season, the seventh-place ranking is the highest for the Clan since coming in at sixth in the final poll of the 2014 campaign.
Western State, Chico State, Southern Indiana and U-Mary placed third through sixth, respectively, for the second-consecutive week.
Cedarville also made a jump into the top-10 on the week, moving up to ninth from 12th. The Yellow Jackets placed fourth out of seven teams at the Queen City Invitational on Sept. 2, but were the lone NCAA Division II program in the meet. Alaina Spears placed eighth on the day with a time of 18:03.5.
Cal Baptist saw itself in eighth once again, while Minnesota Duluth rounded out the top-10 with a one-spot slide to 10th. Alaska Anchorage slipped out of the top-10, falling four spots to 11th after losing to Simon Fraser at the Ash Creek Invitational.
Lee (Tenn.) also made a significant climb in the poll, jumping up six spots to 19th. The Flames placed third at the Furman XC Challenge behind NCAA Division I programs Furman and Clemson.
Five teams broke into the top-25 for the first time on the season in Cal Poly Pomona (18th), Malone (t-21st), Mount Olive (t-21st), Dallas Baptist (24th) and Winona State (25th).