2017 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country Regional Rankings — Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – Three NCAA Division I women’s cross country regions saw shuffling at the top of the rankings, including one region that had a program make its first appearance in the top spot in the past seven years.
The newest batch of NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Regional Rankings, as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday comes on the heels of a weekend that featured races with huge implications. Many of the team that moved either up or down in the rankings this week competed at the NCAA Division I Pre-Nationals meet, the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational or the Penn State National Open.
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
The Wolverines of Michigan continued to hold down the top spot in the Great Lakes Region, as they have done all season long after a sixth-place finish at the Pre-National meet, but Wisconsin gained some ground. The Badgers placed ninth at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational that allowed them to move into second place for the first time since week four of the 2015 campaign.
Michigan State jumped three spots to third after placing 11th at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, while Eastern Michigan rose one spot in the rankings to fourth.
Penn State reclaimed the top spot in the Mid-Atlantic Region after winning the Penn State National Open. Jillan Hunsburger and Kathryn Munks finished 2-3 at the meet, besting Villanova, who slipped to second in the region. Last week was the first time in the last 14 polls that the Nittany Lions were not first.
A fourth-place finish by Princeton in State College, Pennsylvania gave the Tigers it needed to jump two spots in the rankings to third.
Like Penn State, Minnesota recaptured the lead in the Midwest Region after sitting in second the last two weeks. The Golden Gophers used a 10th-place finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational to vault over Iowa State, who finished 13th at the same competition.
Oklahoma State and Northwestern also saw one-spot increases in their rankings. OSU placed sixth at the Penn State National Open, while the Wildcats bested Missouri – who sits fifth in the region – by 100 points at the Pre-National meet.
The Mountain Region went relatively unscathed on the week. Colorado held down the top spot after a second-place finish at the Pre-National Meet that saw Dani Jones place third with a time of 19:32.8.
New Mexico held down second place after winning the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational. Ednah Kurgat captured the individual title at that meet with a time of 19:23.2, while two other Lobos finished within the top-10. Utah State finished fourth at the Pre-National Meet to hold onto their third-place ranking in the region.
BYU remained in fourth place after finishing seventh at the Pre-National Meet, while Northern Arizona’s 10th-place finish at the same meet allowed them to rise three spots to fifth.
Providence did just enough to continue to hold onto first in the Northeast Region after placing fifth at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, but the rest of the region went through some shuffling.
A pair of Ivy League schools in Columbia and Dartmouth moved up one spot each to second and third, respectively, while an 18th-place finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational allowed Syracuse to move up two spots to fourth.
Yale slipped from second to fifth after finishing 20th in Wisconsin, while Cornell also fell one spot to sixth.
For the first time since at least 2010, Georgia sits in the top spot in the South Region thanks to a fifth-place finish at the Pre-National meet. Sisters Samantha and Jessica Drop finished 11th and 12th for the Bulldogs at the meet.
Ole Miss fell out of the top spot after a ninth-place finish at the Pre-National meet, marking the first time since week three of last year that the Rebels are not in the lead in the region. Florida State (third) and Vanderbilt (fifth) held down their respective spots in the region, while Georgia Tech used a four-spot push to move into fourth place after winning the Alabama Crimson Classic, with five runners in the top-19.
South Central Region
Arkansas and Baylor are 1-2 in the South Central Region again, with the Lady Razorbacks placing third at the Pre-National meet. Abilene Christian made a nice move into third after coming in sixth a week ago. ACU placed 18th at the Pre-National Meet.
SMU held down fourth-place in the region, while Texas slipped two spots to fifth.
NC State used a huge performance at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational to remain in first place in the Southeast Region. The Wolfpack finished third, behind just New Mexico and San Francisco to keep them just ahead of Furman, who is second in the region once again.
Eastern Kentucky moved up one spot to third after an eighth-place finish at the Pre-National Meet, while Virginia Tech’s 11th-place finish at the same meet allowed them to jump three spots to fourth.
Oregon’s win at the Pre-National Meet enabled them to keep the top spot in the West Region. The Ducks got a fourth-place finish out of Katie Rainsberger and a seventh-place finish from Lilli Burdon.
San Francisco jumped up one spot to second in the region thanks to a runner-up finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational. Charlotte Taylor paced the Dons with a third-place finish. Boise State also moved up in the rankings, jumping two spots to third after a fourth-place finish in Wisconsin. Allie Ostrander led the way for the Broncos over the weekend, placing ninth overall.