2018 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – As teams are still getting their legs under them early into the cross country season, there wasn’t much movement in Week One of the NCAA Division I Women’s National Coaches’ Poll that was released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The top seven teams in the nation remained in their preseason slots and just 10 of the top-30 teams had any type of movement in general in regards to their ranking.
With the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational (September 28) and Pre-National Invitational (October 13) just around the corner more changes are expected as teams start to run their full teams at larger national meets as we get into the heart of the season.
New Mexico, the defending NCAA Division I champions, remained atop the rankings unanimously for the second week in a row after receiving all 11 first-place votes. The last time the Lobos started off the year in the top spot for consecutive weeks was back in 2016 when it was ranked No. 1 for the first three polls.
New Mexico got its season underway with a second-place finish at the Lobo Invitational. They did not run their full squad at the meet. The Lobos will run a unit again at New Mexico State’s Lori Fitzgerald Open on September 15.
Holding down the No. 2 spot is Mountain Region rival Colorado who got its year started with a victory at the Wyoming Invite. Senior Val Constien led the Buffaloes with a second-place finish as the unit showed in the race what could be some great depth throughout their roster.
Colorado won’t race again until Nuttycombe.
Slotting in at No. 3 is Stanford who got its campaign started with a victory at the USF Invite. The Cardinals raced a small, veteran-packed squad in a unit that included All-Americans Christina Aragon (individual champion), Fiona O’Keeffe (second) and Elise Cranny (third).
Stanford will return to the course when it hosts the Stanford Invitational on September 29.
The No. 4 spot belongs to Oregon, who got the season started with a second-place finish at the Oregon Preview despite not running its top lineup. The Ducks started a good mix of veterans and new faces in the race. Susan Ejore had a breakout performance as she won the individual title by nearly 30 seconds.
Oregon hosts the Bill Dellinger Invitational on September 21.
Rounding out the top-five is No. 5 Boise State who has been impressive to start the year with an opening victory at the Sundoger Invitational. Allie Ostrander won the individual crown and was followed up by strong performances from the rest of the lineup as the Broncos placed five in the top-seven.
They will not race again until Nuttycombe.
The No. 6 spot remained with NC State who still has yet to open its season. With the cancellation of the Wolfpack’s first scheduled race at the Adidas XC Challenge due to inclement weather, NC State won’t run for the first time in competition until Nuttycombe.
Staying in No. 7 is Wisconsin who also still has not raced this year. The Badgers open with the Badger Open on September 14 which will serve as their first race preview of the Zimmer Championship Course which hosts NCAAs in November.
Improving one spot to No. 8 is Arkansas who placed third at the Hurricane Invitational. The two-mile course served as a tune-up for the squad who will next race again at the Missouri Southern Stampede on Saturday, September 15.
Flip-flopping with the Razorbacks is No. 9 Villanova who still has yet to run this year. The Wildcats get their season underway with the Main Line Invitational on Friday, September 14.
No. 10 Utah State made up the rest of the top-ten and remained in its spot after winning the Sagebrush Invitational. The Aggies used the race as a rust buster and will race again at the BYU Autumn Classic on Saturday, September 15.
No. 16 Washington was the biggest mover as it improved two spots from the preseason after a third-place showing at the Sundodger Invitational. The Huskies raced a lot of new faces at the meet and will go again at the Stanford Invitational.
The only other changes involved No. 12 Michigan and No. 20 Indiana improving one spot while No. 13 Penn State, No. 17 BYU, No. 18 Iowa State and No. 21 California all dropped one spot from their preseason rankings.
Virginia Tech, Ohio State, SMU, Florida State, Utah, San Francisco and Nevada also received votes.
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.