WEEKEND PREVIEW: NCAA Division III Conference Championships

Conference Championship Weekend is here in NCAA Division III Cross Country.

This weekend across the nation, teams will vie for conference glory and a chance for one final tuneup before they compete for the NCAA Division III Regional Cross Country Championships in two weeks.

QUICK LINKS: Conference Championship Central

There are three conferences with seven or more combined ranked teams between the men and women. We highlight them here.

NESCAC Championships

Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 6 Amherst   No. 4 Williams
No. 13 Williams   No. 8 Middlebury
No. 17 Middlebury   No. 14 Bates
No. 26 Connecticut College   No. 17 Tufts
No. 28 Bates    

UAA Championships

Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 9 Washington (Mo.)   No. 7 Washington (Mo.)
No. 12 Carnegie Mellon   No. 15 Chicago
No. 23 Chicago   No. 29 Emory
No. 29 NYU   No. 34 Case Western Reserve
No. 35 Emory    

WIAC Championships

Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 2 UW-La Crosse   No. 12 UW-La Crosse
No. 18 UW-Eau Claire   No. 19 UW-Eau Claire
No. 21 UW-Stout   No. 35 UW-River Falls
No. 31 UW-Platteville    

Many of those teams are quite familiar with each other, having raced several times this year already. The top-ranked teams are favored for a reason, but anything can happen when the calendar turns to October and November.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on the men’s race at the Centennial Conference Championships and the women’s race at the Liberty League Championships.

The men’s race for the Centennial Conference title pits No. 3 Haverford against No. 14 Johns Hopkins. The Fords have steadily climbed the National Coaches’ Poll and did so at the Blue Jays’ expense, so Bobby Van Allen’s team should be out for revenge. Both Haverford and Johns Hopkins last raced at the Paul Short Run where the Fords came in 17th place compared to the Blue Jays’ 35th.

Over in the Liberty League, you won’t see any top-15 teams in the women’s race, but a good battle is brewing between No. 23 RPI, No. 25 St. Lawrence and No. 27 Ithaca. It’s almost too easy to pencil in Taryn Cordani as the individual winner, yet there are many question marks in the team race. Can the Bombers help Cordani out and win a conference title? Or will the Engineers or Saints continue their dominance? RPI has won the last two conference titles, while St. Lawrence captured six in a row from 2009 until 2014.

Remember: We’ll release the next NCAA Division III Cross Country Regional Rankings on October 31 with the Men’s and Women’s National Coaches’ Polls due out the following afternoon.