2017 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country Region Rankings — Week 4
NEW ORLEANS – A big weekend on the cross country circuit has had major implications on the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Regional Rankings, announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday.
Strong performances at meets like the Greater Louisville Classic, the Joe Piane Invitational, the Sam Bell Invitational, the Paul Short Run, the Cowboy Jamboree and the Bill Dellinger Invitational shook up the rankings in most of the regions on the week.
For those who don’t know, the 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
Michigan won the Sam Bell Invitational, thanks to a second-place finish from Jamie Morriseey (20:36), to remain in first place in the Great Lakes Region. However, there was a lot of movement below the Wolverines.
Indiana (second), Wisconsin (third) and Ohio State (fourth) all advanced a spot in the rankings after impressive outings at the Sam Bell Invitational, the Greater Louisville Classic and the Joe Piane Invitational, respectively. Eastern Michigan moved to fifth from seventh after finishing just behind Ohio State at Notre Dame.
Villanova became the lone women’s team on the week to dethrone the top-team after placing second at the Paul Short Gold race. Nicole Hutchinson led the Wildcats with a second-place finish (19:47.7) at Lehigh. Penn State saw themselves outside of first place for the first time since the fourth week of the 2015 campaign after finishing as the runner-up at the Cowboy Jamboree.
Georgetown and West Virginia remained in third and fourth, respectively, while Princeton leapt to fifth after a fifth-place finish at the Paul Short Gold.
The Cowboy Jamboree played a big role in the reshaping of the Midwest Region this week. Missouri made a push back into the top-three in the Midwest Region after defeating Oklahoma State at the Cowboy Jamboree. Karissa Schweizer won the meet with a time of 19:56.5. Northwestern also moved into fifth for the first time since the third week of the 2013 campaign after finishing just behind OSU at the meet.
Minnesota held down the second spot in the region after placing fourth at the Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic. Bethany Hasz (16:46.7 – sixth), Madeline Strandemo (16:47.7 – seventh) and Megan Hasz (16:48.9 – eighth) all finished within the top-10 for the Golden Gophers.
Iowa State, the leader in the region, was idle this past weekend.
The top-five in the Mountain Region went unchanged, despite all five teams competing. Colorado picked up a victory at the Joe Piane Invitational after Dani Jones placed third for the Buffaloes. New Mexico, who was the runner-up to Colorado at Notre Dame, remained in second place thanks to first and second place finishes from Ednah Kurgat and Alice Wright, respectively.
Utah State, BYU and Utah rounded out the top-five.
The Northeast Region saw very little movement after seven of the top-nine teams were idle on the week. The lone change in the top-10 came in 10th place, where Connecticut moved up from 12th after a nice outing at the Paul Short Gold.
Providence, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth and Cornell owned the top-five spots in the region in that order.
Ole Miss picked up a victory at the Cowboy Jamboree to hold down the top spot in the South Region, and it’s probably a good thing it did seeing what the rest of the top-five in region accomplished to shake things up on the week.
Georgia moved up from sixth to second after a third-place finish at the Paul Short Gold. The Bulldogs regional ranking is the highest in program history. Florida State moved up one spot to a season-best third after an 11th-place finish at a highly competitive Joe Piane Invitational. And last, but not least, Samford moved up an astounding seven spots to fourth after a solid showing at the Cross Country Classic.
Vanderbilt dropped from second to fifth, while Auburn – who was unranked a week ago – moved into sixth after a surprisingly strong outing at the Cross Country Classic.
South Central Region
Arkansas won its own Chile Pepper Festival to remain in first place in the South Central Region, while also sending runners to the Joe Piane Invitational. Baylor also stayed in second after finishing 10th at Notre Dame.
Texas jumped SMU for third place after beating Notre Dame at its own meet, while Texas A&M held down fifth place after an idle weekend.
N.C. State and Furman each placed third at the Joe Piane Invitational and the Cross Country Classic, respectively, helping the two hold down the top-two spots in the Southeast Region once again.
Eastern Kentucky moved up to fourth after finishing sixth at the Cross Country Classic behind a second-place finish from Charlotte Imer (16:36.1). Virginia, although idle, also moved up one spot in th rankings to third, while Louisville slipped to fifth.
Much like the Northeast Region, the West Region went largely unchanged, with the top-nine spots holding down the fort. Oregon and Stanford went 1-2 at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, and remain in first and second, respectively, in the region. Oregon State was the only new team in the top-10 on the week, moving into 10th after finishing sixth at the same meet.
Washington (fourth) placed fourth at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, while Boise State (fifth) picked up a big win at the Cross Country Classic thanks to a victory by Allie Ostrander (16:28.2).
An idle San Francisco stayed put in third place.