2018 NCAA DIII Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 3
NEW ORLEANS – As the NCAA Division III Cross Country season enters its second full month, the Women’s National Coaches’ Poll is beginning to evolve.
Twenty-five teams that were ranked in the Week 2 version of the ballot swapped spots in the Week 3 installment that was released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
There weren’t any changes to the top-3 as Johns Hopkins is still the unanimous No. 1, followed by No. 2 Washington (Mo.) and No. 3 SUNY Geneseo.
MIT broke out of a fourth-place tie with UW-La Crosse after a huge win this past weekend at the Purple Valley Classic hosted by Williams. The Engineers, who beat the host Ephs by 14 points, were led by Leandra Zimmerman (third place, 22:38.7) and Izzi Gengaro (fourth place, 22:40.5). MIT has been a rock in the top-5 of the National Coaches’ Poll, as it makes its 21st consecutive appearance among the nation’s best teams.
Speaking of Williams, Pete Farwell’s team jumped two spots from No. 8 to No. 6 after its runner-up effort at the Purple Valley Classic. The Ephs put three runners in the top-15, led by Emma Hermann and Emily Harris, who finished seventh and eighth, respectively. Williams is getting awfully close to making it 13 consecutive years with a top-5 appearance in the National Coaches’ Poll.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps was the only new addition to the top-10 this week as it climbed from No. 11 to No. 7. The Athenas competed at the Coyote Challenge this past weekend against a number of NCAA DII programs and beat several of them. CMS finished runner-up behind Cal State San Marcos and put three runners in the top-15. This is the first time the Athenas have been ranked in the top-10 since Week 8 of the 2016 season.
Tufts is within shouting distance of the top-10 at No. 11. The Jumbos finished third as a team at the Purple Valley Classic. Natalie Bettez, who earned the individual title at the meet, was named National Athlete of the Week for her efforts. This marks the third time this season that Tufts has been ranked No. 11 in the nation.
Dickinson improved its billing two spots from Week 2. The Red Devils are ranked 14th after a strong performance at the Long-Short Invitational, which saw them win by 29 points over NCAA DII Shippensburg and the ‘B’ team from Johns Hopkins.
There was only one addition to the top-35 this week as Vassar comes in at No. 33. This is the first time the Brewers have been ranked since the 2014 season.
Be sure to check back throughout the season as there will be more changes ahead of the 2018 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, set to take place Saturday, November 17 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Where Is The Nation Racing This Weekend?
Here are the meets with the largest contingents of ranked teams…
Paul Short Run (6)
No. 1 Johns Hopkins (Gold Race), No. 13 Middlebury (Gold Race), No. 19 TCNJ (Brown Race), No. 21 Carnegie Mellon (Brown Race), No. 30 Swarthmore (Brown Race), t-No. 33 Wesleyan (Brown Race)
Blugold Invitational (5)
No. 8 Carleton, No. 10 UW-Eau Claire, No. 17 Wheaton (Ill.), No. 27 North Central (Ill.), No. 29 St. Olaf
Saratoga Invitational (4)
No. 6 Williams, No. 15 RPI, No. 18 St. Lawrence, t-No. 33 Vassar
Loyola Lakefront Invitational (3)
No. 2 Washington (Mo.), No. 5 UW-La Crosse, No. 23 U of Chicago