2017 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll — Pre-Championship
NEW ORLEANS – Strong performances at the NCAA Division I Regionals last weekend shook up the Pre-Championship Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, released on Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
While Colorado and New Mexico remained in the top-two spots in the rankings, two Bay Area squads put on a show at the NCAA Division I West Regionals. San Francisco and Stanford each saw their stock rise after finishing 1-2 in Seattle, moving up to third and fourth, respectively.
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The Dons got three top-10 outings from their runners, including an individual championship from Charlotte Taylor (19:14.2), to notch 59 points. The Cardinal was right on San Francisco’s heels with just 76 points after Fiona O’Keeffe (19:31.7 – sixth) and Vanessa Fraser (19:40.2 – eighth) posted top-10 performances.
There were no surprises in the Mountain Region, where the Buffaloes took home the team title with a score of 62. Makena Morley (20:21.5 – seventh) led the way for Colorado, with Sage Hurta and Dani Jones finishing in a tie for 12th with identical times of 20:29.4. The Lobos gave Colorado a good fight, though, finishing just eight points shy in second place with three top-five finishes. Ednah Kurgat (20:01.4) won the individual championship, while teammates Weini Kelati (20:05.5- third) and Charlotte Prouse (20:15.3 – fifth) were not far behind.
Colorado owns eight of the 12 first-place votes on the week, while New Mexico garnered the other four.
NC State rounded out the top-five with a win at the Southeast Regionals. The Wolfpack was led by sensational freshman Dominique Clairmonte (20:23.3 – fifth).
The biggest mover in the top-10 on the week was Penn State, who jumped nine spots to 10th after winning the Mid-Atlantic Region title by 29 points. The Nittany Lions saw all five of its scorers finish within the top-10.
Providence also moved up one spot to ninth after claiming the Northeast Regional title with 84 points.
Oregon finds itself on the outside of the top-five for the first time this season in a tie with Arkansas for sixth place after finishing behind San Francisco and Stanford at the West Regionals. The Razorbacks won the South Central Regional championship thanks to 1-2 finishes from Nikki Hiltz (19:35.5) and Carina Viljoen (19:36.0).
Michigan held its ground to remain in eighth on the week after taking home the Great Lakes Region championship on the backs of Gina Sereno (20:38.9 – second) and Jamie Morrissey (20:39.5 – third).
Outside of the top-10, BYU, Iowa State and Michigan State all shot up in the rankings for a three-way tie at 14th. The Cougars moved up four spots while the Cyclones (six spots) and Spartans (seven spots) boosts gave them their highest rankings on the season.