MEET PREVIEW: NCAA DIII Cross Country Regional Championships

We’re about to find out who earns automatic bids to the 2017 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, which will be held November 18 in Elsah, Illinois.

That’s because this weekend is packed to the brim with Regional Championships.

QUICK LINK: REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL

Remember: The top-2 teams in each region automatically qualify for NCAAs. The remaining teams must rely on at-large points.

If you scroll through this post, you’ll see we listed every team in the most recent National Coaches’ Polls by region. We ranked the meets in order of importance to the next National Coaches’ Poll and added a note for historical context at the bottom.

New England Region

Location: Gorham, Maine | Host: Southern Maine
2016 Champions: MIT (Men), MIT (Women)
Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 6 Amherst   No. 2 MIT
No. 10 MIT   No. 4 Williams
No. 15 Middlebury   No. 8 Middlebury
No. 21 Bates   No. 13 Tufts
No. 29 Williams   No. 16 Bates
No. 33 Connecticut College   No. 31 WPI
    No. 35 Amherst

Note: Amherst’s men are looking for their first regional title since 2007, while MIT’s women could make it three titles in the past four years.

Midwest Region

Location: Rock Island, Illinois | Host: Augustana (Ill.)
2016 Champions: North Central (Ill.) (Men), Washington (Mo.) (Women)
Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 1 North Central (Ill.)   No. 5 Wheaton (Ill.)
No. 2 UW-La Crosse   No. 7 Washington (Mo.)
No. 9 Washington (Mo.)   No. 11 UW-Eau Claire
No. 17 UW-Stout   No. 14 UW-La Crosse
No. 20 UW-Eau Claire   No. 20 Chicago
No. 32 Chicago    
No. 34 UW-Platteville    

Note: Since 2008, North Central (Ill.) has won all but one of the regional titles. If Wheaton (Ill.)’s women capture the crown, it would be quite the rise for them as they finished 15th in 2016 and 11th in 2015.

Atlantic Region

Location: Houghton, New York | Host: Houghton
2016 Champions: SUNY Geneseo (Men), SUNY Geneseo (Women)
Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 4 SUNY Geneseo   No. 3 SUNY Geneseo
No. 8 RPI   No. 21 TCNJ
No. 22 St. Lawrence   No. 24 Ithaca
No. 25 Rowan   No. 27 St. Lawrence
No. 30 NYU   No. 30 RPI

Note: SUNY Geneseo swept the past two regional meets.

Mideast Region

Location: Newville, Pennsylvania | Host: Dickinson
2016 Champions: Johns Hopkins (Men), Johns Hopkins (Women)
Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 3 Haverford   No. 1 Johns Hopkins
No. 12 Johns Hopkins   No. 18 Elizabethtown
No. 16 Carnegie Mellon   No. 23 Dickinson
No. 23 York (Pa.)   No. 25 Haverford

Note: Three different men’s programs have won the team title over the past three years (Johns Hopkins, Haverford and Carnegie Mellon), while the Johns Hopkins women won the last nine in a row.

Central Region

Location: Northfield, Minnesota | Host: Carleton
2016 Champions: Loras (Men), St. Olaf (Women)
Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 7 Loras   No. 9 Carleton
No. 14 Wartburg   No. 17 Nebraska Wesleyan
No. 28 Carleton   No. 22 St. Olaf
No. 35 St. Olaf   No. 29 St. Thomas (Minn.)

Note: Loras ended St. Olaf’s four-meet win streak last year and can create a back-to-back opportunity of its own. No women’s team has repeated as champion since Wartburg in 2012 and 2013.

Great Lakes Region

Location: Powell, Ohio | Host: Ohio Wesleyan
2016 Champions: Calvin (Men), Calvin (Women)
Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 13 Calvin   No. 12 Hope
No. 18 Ohio Northern   No. 15 Otterbein
No. 31 DePauw   No. 28 Allegheny (Pa.)
    No. 32 Oberlin

Note: Calvin has won nine of the past 12 men’s titles. Hope’s women enter the top-ranked team and last won in 2015.

West Region

Location: Claremont, California | Host: Occidental
2016 Champions: CMS (Men), Whitworth (Women)
Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 5 Pomona-Pitzer   No. 6 CMS
No. 19 Occidental   No. 19 Whitworth
No. 27 CMS   No. 32 Linfield
    No. 34 Colorado College

Note: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps has won the last three men’s titles, so that streak could be in jeopardy if the rankings hold true. The CMS women haven’t won a team title since 2013.

South/Southeast Region

Location: Newport News, Virginia | Host: Christopher Newport
2016 Champions: Christopher Newport (Men), Emory (Women)
Men’s Teams   Women’s Teams
No. 11 Christopher Newport   No. 10 Trinity (Texas)
No. 24 Rhodes   No. 26 Emory
No. 26 Emory    

Note: Christopher Newport’s men can make it two in a row with a victory here. Trinity (Texas)’s women last won in 2013, which is right before Emory started a three-meet win streak.