2018 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – Big changes reverberated through the most recent NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll that was released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Even though the top-3 teams remained the same from the previous week, each and every team that is listed in the top-30 in Week 5 saw their standing change in some form or fashion.
For example: Take top-ranked Northern Arizona. The Lumberjacks, who headline the poll for the 19th consecutive week, aren’t unanimous any longer. NAU hauled in nine of 11 possible first-place votes following its dominant effort in the Cardinal Race at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational, where it put all seven runners in the top-21 and scored just 41 points.
BYU snagged the two other first-place votes after crushing the competition in the White Race at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational. The Cougars, led by Rory Linkletter’s individual win, scored 29 points and won by 77 points over Washington. This is the second year in a row that BYU has earned first-place votes in the National Coaches’ Poll.
Stanford leapfrogged Portland this week after the results from the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational. The Cardinal is now ranked No. 4 following a runner-up effort in the Cardinal Race, which was won by Northern Arizona. Grant Fisher took home the individual title to pace Stanford. The Pilots dropped to fifth after their “B” team finished ninth in the White Race.
Washington jumped five spots from No. 12 in Week 4 to No. 7 in Week 5. The Huskies, who finished runner-up in the White Race in Madison, Wisconsin, have never been ranked higher in the past 21 years. This tops the former high-water mark of eighth set twice in 2016.
Colorado worked its way back into the top-10 at No. 8. The Buffs were third in the Cardinal Race at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational as Joe Klecker and Ryan Forsyth both placed in the top-10 individually.
There are four new faces in the top-15 this week: No. 12 UCLA, No. 13 Wyoming, No. 14 Virginia and No. 15 Notre Dame.
The Bruins soared 13 spots following a fourth-place showing in the White Race at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational. UCLA hasn’t been in the top-15 since Week 6 of last year.
The Cowboys surprised everybody with a fifth-place finish in the Cardinal Race at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational. This is the first time Wyoming has been ranked in program history.
The Cavaliers won the Penn State National Open this past weekend and climbed five spots from the previous iteration. This marks the fifth year in a row that Virginia has been in the top-15.
The Irish turned in a strong effort this past weekend at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational, where it finished fifth in the White Race. This is the first time Notre Dame has been ranked in the National Coaches’ Poll in the past six years.
Furman was welcomed back to the National Coaches’ Poll, coming in at No. 23. The Paladins dropped out in Week 4, but gained favor following their eighth-place finish in the Cardinal Race in Wisconsin.
Gonzaga is ranked nationally for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs received votes in Week 4 and then took the next step this past weekend after it finished ninth in the Cardinal Race at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational.
There will be another two-week break before the next National Coaches’ Poll is released following Conference Championship Weekend.