2017 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 7
NEW ORLEANS – Three teams received first-place votes in the final NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll of the 2017 season that was released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
With the 2017 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships set for Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky, Northern Arizona, BYU and Syracuse all have a claim to the top spot in the nation according to the voters.
Northern Arizona remains the clear-cut favorite to win the team title in Louisville, Kentucky as it has nine of the 12 first-place votes. The Lumberjacks ran roughshod over the competition at the Mountain Region Championships to the tune of 49 points. That was no small task as there were four top-10 teams in the field.
BYU received two first-place votes and sits second in the poll behind NAU. The Cougars finished runner-up at the Mountain Region Championships and did so without Daniel Carney and Casey Clinger. Rory Linkletter and Connor McMillan finished second and fourth overall to hold down the fort for the Cougars.
Syracuse earned a first-place vote after dominating the proceedings at the Northeast Region Championships. The Orange scored just 28 points and put six runners in the top-15. Justyn Knight paced Syracuse with his third win of the season and his third individual region title.
Portland returned to the top-5 at No. 4 after winning the West Region. The Pilots edged Washington 63 to 65 thanks to the efforts of Emmanuel Roufolff-Levisse, Jeff Thies and Nick Hauger, who went 1-2-4. This is the highest Portland has been ranked this late in the season since 2009, when it was also fourth prior to NCAAs.
Colorado rounds out the top-5, just like it did in Week 6. The Buffs finished third as a team in the Mountain Region, one point out of second. Joe Klecker continued his strong sophomore campaign with a victory in Logan, Utah.
Furman, Colorado State, Virginia Tech and Michigan didn’t budge at all, just like Colorado. The Paladins won the Southeast Region and sit No. 7. The Rams finished fourth in the Mountain Region and come in at No. 8. The ninth-ranked Hokies rallied to finish second to Furman and the Wolverines, who finished runner-up in the Great Lakes Region, sit 10th.
Michigan State won the Great Lakes Region title and jumped four spots from Week 6. The Spartans haven’t been ranked this high, this late in the season since 1998 when they were fifth.
Other regional champs dot the poll as Midwest Region champ Iowa State is 13th, South Central Region champ Arkansas is 15th, South Region champ Middle Tennessee State is 22nd and Northeast Region champ Princeton is 28th.
The biggest jump from Week 6 to Week 7 was turned in by Washington. The Huskies went from 20th to 12th thanks to a sterling effort at the West Region Championships. Washington finished runner-up to Portland and put three runners in the top-10 led by Colby Gilbert.