2018 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Preseason

NEW ORLEANS – New Mexico, the defending NCAA Division I Cross Country champions, sit atop the 2018 Women’s Preseason National Rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday.

NCAA Division I National Coaches’ Poll Top 5 – Women

1) 2) 3)Syracuse) 4) 5)
New Mexico Colorado Stanford Oregon Boise State

The Lady Lobos were unanimously selected as the top team in the country to start off the season and it is easy to see why with the loaded roster they return from last year.

Leading the squad will be individual national champion and NCAA Championships record holder Ednah Kurgat, who went off to set the new record mark of 19:19.5 at the championship meet a year ago. She is joined by other top returners Weini Kelati (seventh at NCAAs) and Charlotte Prouse (12th).

The program also added talented transfers in Adva Cohen, Hannah Nuttall and Emily Martin, among others. In total, New Mexico has five runners from the top 110 at the 2017 National Championships on its roster.

As a program, the Lady Lobos have placed in the top-10 at NCAAs in eight consecutive seasons (the longest active streak in NCAA history) and is looking for its third national title in four years.

Region mate Colorado was picked second and returns a talented squad as well.

The Buffaloes welcome back six of their top-seven athletes from last year’s team that finished third overall at NCAAs. The unit gets back two All-Americans in Sage Hurta and Dani Jones as well as senior Mackenzie Caldwell who was an All-American in 2016.

Stanford comes in at No. 3 in the poll as the Cardinal return five from last year’s team that finished fourth at NCAAs. To go with its strong core, Stanford added a ton of talent with the freshman class that they are bringing in.

The group will be led by Fiona O’Keeffe (13th as an individual at last year’s NCAA meet), Elise Cranny (57th), Christina Aragon (67th) and Ella Donaghu (69th). Last season’s fourth-place showing was Stanford’s highest finish at NCAAs since a third-place performance in 2012.

Oregon is slotted right behind them in the No. 4 spot after the squad reloaded with talent. After losing a portion of their squad to transfer and graduation, the Ducks came back with the addition of Philippa Bowden and two more top-20 NCAA transfers. The new group will be led by returners Carmela Cardama Baez (34th at NCAAs) and Jessica Hull (93rd).

Boise State comes in as the No. 5. The Broncos will return five of seven from last year’s sixth-place NCAA team. The unit will be led by Allie Ostrander (4th at NCAAs) and Emily Venters (53rd). Clare O’Brien (77th), Alexis Fuller (122th) and Gracie Tostenson also look to be contributors.

NC State enters the season as the No. 6 team in the country after an eighth-place finish at last year’s NCAAs. The Wolfpack return five of its top seven athletes which will be led by Beth Taye, Dominique Clairmonte and All-American Elly Henes.

NC State added key transfers to go with their young and talented core to take another run at the national crown. The Wolfpack have advanced to NCAAs for the 31st time as a program last year, the most in NCAA history.

Wisconsin would love nothing more than to make some noise this cross country season as the year runs through Madison. The Badgers are slotted at No. 7 and return six of their top seven to go with six newcomers for a group that finished 10th at NCAAs in 2017. The unit will be led by Amy Davis (55th at NCAAs) and Shaelyn Sorensen (59th).

Villanova is slotted at No. 8 and will return its complete team from its 12th-place finishing unit at NCAAs to go with transfer Caroline Alcorta and talented incoming freshman Taryn O’Neill. Top returners include Bella Burda (65th at NCAAs) and Nicole Hutchinson (90th).

Arkansas comes in at No. 9 and returns five of its top seven athletes from the team which finished 13th at NCAAs one season ago. To go with their top talent, Abby Gray returns from a redshirt season and the program added Katrina Robinson from New Zealand. The squad will be led by top returners Carina Viljoen, Taylor Werner, Lauren Gregory, Sydney Brown and Ashton Endsley.

Utah State rounds out the top-10 and like most teams on this list returns a strong unit from the 2017 season including Alyssa Snyder who finished 25th at NCAAs during cross country and followed it with a fourth-place finishing during the outdoor season of track in the 10,000.

The 11-20 spots are littered with top programs from the Big East (Providence at No. 11), Big Ten (Penn State at No. 12, Michigan at No. 13 and Michigan State at No. 15), Southern Conference (Furman at No. 14), West Coast Conference (BYU at No. 16), the Big 12 (Iowa State at No. 17), the Pac-12 (Washington at No. 18 and California at No. 20) and the SEC (Georgia at No. 19).

It is the first time in program history that No. 14 Furman has started the year ranked. The Paladins finished second in last year’s Southeast Region and rode that momentum to a seventh-place performance at NCAAs. Furman returns five of its top seven along with adding key newcomers to the mix for a team with a young core.

Georgia will be a team to watch in the No. 19 spot. The Bulldogs took 17th at NCAAs a year ago and return all five scorers from last year’s team. All-American sisters Samantha Drop (30th at NCAAs) and Jessica Drop (31st), junior Yanley Gomez and seniors Hailey Branch and Grace Tavani all return. It was the best finish for the program at NCAAs since 2006.

Four teams that weren’t ranked in the final poll of the 2017 season join this one: Notre Dame at No. 23, Georgetown at No. 25, Texas at No. 27 and Ohio State at No. 29.

The Big Ten had the most teams ranked in the top-30 with seven, which is exactly half of the total amount of teams that the conference fields. The Pac-12 was behind them with five, although they did have three of the top four programs in the nation. The ACC, Big 12, Big East and Mountain West each had three top-30 selections. The Mountain West squads all placed in the top-10.

Also receiving votes were Portland, Virginia Tech, Colorado State, Florida State, Southern Methodist, Ole Miss, Utah and Princeton.

Make sure to check back in throughout the season as a lot will change leading up to the 2018 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 17 at the Thomas Zimmer Championships Cross Country Course is Madison, Wisconsin.

Women's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll

2018 Preseason - August 28th

1 new-mexico NEW MEXICO
Mountain Region (1)
Mountain West (1)
Joe Franklin (12th)
(11 fpv)
2 colorado COLORADO
Mountain Region (2)
Pac-12 (2)
Mark Wetmore (24th)
317 3
3 stanford STANFORD
West Region (1)
Pac-12 (3)
Elizabeth DeBole (3rd)
306 4
4 oregon OREGON
West Region (2)
Pac-12 (1)
Robert Johnson (7th)
287 5
5 boise-state BOISE STATE
West Region (3)
Mountain West (2)
Corey Ihmels (6th)
285 6
6 nc-state NC STATE
Southeast Region (1)
ACC (1)
Laurie Henes (13th)
284 8
7 wisconsin WISCONSIN
Great Lakes Region (1)
Big Ten (3)
Jill Miller (1st)
246 10
8 villanova VILLANOVA
Mid-Atlantic Region (2)
Big East (1)
Gina Procaccio (19th)
227 12
9 arkansas ARKANSAS
South Central Region (1)
SEC (1)
Lance Harter (29th)
222 13
10 utah-state UTAH STATE
Mountain Region (3)
Mountain West (4)
Artie Gulden (2nd)
218 14
11 providence PROVIDENCE
Northeast Region (1)
Big East (3)
Ray Treacy (35th)
209 16
12 penn-state PENN STATE
Mid-Atlantic Region (1)
Big Ten (4)
John Gondak (5th)
191 18
13 michigan MICHIGAN
Great Lakes Region (2)
Big Ten (1)
Mike McGuire (27th)
190 9
14 furman FURMAN
Southeast Region (2)
SoCon (1)
Robert Gary (7th)
189 7
15 michigan-state MICHIGAN STATE
Great Lakes Region (3)
Big Ten (2)
Walt Drenth (15th)
174 15
16 byu BYU
Mountain Region (4)
WCC (1)
Diljeet Taylor (3rd)
168 11
17 iowa-state IOWA STATE
Midwest Region (1)
Big 12 (1)
Amy Rudolph (1st)
165 20
18 washington WASHINGTON
West Region (4)
Pac-12 (4)
Maurica Powell (1st)
162 21
19 georgia GEORGIA
South Region (1)
SEC (4)
Petros Kyprianou (4th)
150 17
20 california CALIFORNIA
West Region (5)
Pac-12 (11)
Shayla Houlihan (3rd)
117 22
21 indiana INDIANA
Great Lakes Region (4)
Big Ten (5)
Ron Helmer (12th)
106 24
22 syracuse SYRACUSE
Northeast Region (2)
ACC (3)
Brien Bell (1st)
101 26
23 notre-dame NOTRE DAME
Great Lakes Region (5)
ACC (2)
Matt Sparks (1st)
90 ---
24 minnesota MINNESOTA
Midwest Region (3)
Big Ten (6)
Sarah Hopkins (6th)
82 19
25 georgetown GEORGETOWN
Mid-Atlantic Region (3)
Big East (2)
Julie Culley (3rd)
80 ---
26 oklahoma-state OKLAHOMA STATE
Midwest Region (2)
Big 12 (2)
Dave Smith (10th)
74 30
27 texas TEXAS
South Central Region (2)
Big 12 (5)
PattiSue Plumer (1st)
24 31
28 dartmouth DARTMOUTH
Northeast Region (3)
Ivy League (2)
Courtney Jaworski (5th)
20 29
29 ohio-state OHIO STATE
Great Lakes Region (6)
Big Ten (8)
Khadevis Robinson (3rd)
19 ---
30 san-francisco SAN FRANCISCO
West Region (6)
WCC (3)
Pat McCurry (1st)
17 2

Also Receiving Votes: Portland 16, Virginia Tech 16, Colorado State 11, Florida State 8, SMU 6, Ole Miss 4, Utah 2, Princeton 1

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Cross Country

2018 Rankings & Polls Calendar
Weeks Regional RankingsNational Coaches' Poll KEY DATES
PreseasonMon 8/27
Tue 8/28
Aug. 31: Earliest Contest
Week 1Mon 9/10
Tue 9/11
Sep. 7: First countable, at-large
Week 2Mon 9/17
Tue 9/18
Week 3Mon 9/24
Tue 9/25
Week 4Mon 10/1
Tue 10/2
Oct. 13: Pre-National
Week 5Mon 10/15
Tue 10/16
Oct. 25-28: Conference Champs
Week 6Mon 10/29
Tue 10/30
Nov. 9: NCAA Regionals
Week 7Sun 11/11
Mon 11/12
Nov. 17: NCAA DI Champs, Madison, Wis.
FINAL ResultsFri 11/9
Sat 11/17
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts

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