2018 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country Regional Rankings – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – The biggest weekend of the cross country regular season rocked the ensuing NCAA Division I Men’s Regional Rankings that were released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Each of the nine regions saw some kind of change in its hierarchy, some more pronounced than others. And seven of the nine regions have a new-look top-5.
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts
The USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Rankings are determined subjectively by a single member coach in each respective region. The regional representative is tasked with weighing returning teams’ strength with current season results (if applicable) in determining predicted team finishes at the NCAA Regional Championships. This year, the NCAA Regional Championships will be held on Friday, November 9, eight days ahead of the NCAA Championships in Madison, Wisconsin.
Great Lakes Region
Teams from the Great Lakes Region, minus top-ranked Wisconsin, went head to head in the White Race at the Pre-National Invitational this past weekend and the results from that 8K effort fall in line with what you see today.
Notre Dame was the best of the bunch as it placed fifth in Madison, Wisconsin. The Irish jumped four spots between Week 4 and Week 5 and come in ranked second. This is the first time since Week 1 of the 2013 season that Notre Dame has been ranked in the top-2.
Purdue finished seventh this past weekend and slid one spot from No. 2 to No. 3. Indiana was right behind Purdue in eighth and comes in ranked fourth, while Michigan dropped two spots to fifth after an 11th-place showing in the Cardinal Race this past weekend.
Princeton and Villanova went toe to toe this past weekend at the Princeton Cross Country Invitational and to the victor go the spoils. The Tigers topped the Wildcats by a score of 37 to 47 and surged to the top of the Mid-Atlantic Region. This is the fourth time this season alone that Princeton has been ranked No. 1 in the region.
With the Tigers jumping two spots, it pushed Georgetown and Villanova down one spot each to No.2 and No. 3, respectively.
Penn jumped one spot from No. 5 to No. 4, while Penn State fell from No. 4 to No. 5.
Nothing changed at the top of the Midwest Region as Iowa State and Oklahoma State sit No. 1 and No. 2 for the fifth week in a row. The Cowboys tuned up for their showdown against the Cyclones at the Big 12 Championships with a runner-up finish at the Arturo Barrios Invitational hosted by Texas A&M.
Bradley was the big gainer this week as it jumped three spots from No. 7 to No. 4, right behind Tulsa. The Braves match their best ranking in program history following a victory at their own Pink Classic this past weekend over NCAA DII powerhouse Grand Valley State and Illinois.
Minnesota rounds out the top-5 in fifth after falling two spots from Week 4.
Don’t expect any changes to the top of the Mountain Region after what Northern Arizona and BYU showed this past weekend. Both the Lumberjacks and the Cougars steamrolled their way to team titles at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational.
Colorado answered the bell as well and jumped two spots from Week 4 to Week 5. The Buffs finished third in the Cardinal Race in Madison, Wisconsin and put two runners in the top-10.
Wyoming opened a lot of eyes this past weekend and soared five spots from No. 9 to a program-record No. 4. The Cowboys finished fifth in the Cardinal Race, ahead of a number of region foes. Paul Roberts led Wyoming’s charge with a 12th-place finish.
Colorado State rounds out the top-5 after falling two spots from Week 4.
Syracuse remains No. 1, but there is a new No. 2 team.
Harvard jumped six spots to a program-record No. 2 this week following its strong showing at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational. The Crimson finished 13th in the White Race as Hugo Milner led the way in 21st place.
Army West Point and Stony Book remain cemented in third and fourth, while Dartmouth jumped one spot from No. 6 to No. 5. Former No. 2 Iona is ranked sixth this week.
There weren’t any changes to the top-5 this week in the South Region.
Ole Miss remains No. 1, followed by No. 2 Tennessee, No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Belmont and No. 5 Florida State. We’ll see those top-3 teams go head to head to head in two weeks at the SEC Championships.
South Central Region
Arkansas and Texas sit No. 1 and No. 2 for the fifth week in a row.
UTRGV jumped eight spots from Week 4 to Week 5. The Vaqueros finished fifth at the Arturo Barrios Invitational this past weekend and toppled several region foes in the process. This is the first time in UTRGV program history that it has been ranked in the top-10, let alone the top-3.
Texas A&M slid one spot from No. 3 to No. 4, while Lamar remained at No. 5.
Virginia and Eastern Kentucky continue to lead the charge in the Southeast Region. The Cavaliers and the Colonels were tied at the hip this past weekend as they both competed at the Penn State National Open. Virginia snagged the all-important meet title with 61 points, while EKU finished a game runner-up with 77 points.
Furman bounced back this past weekend with a strong effort at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational. The Paladins finished eighth in the Cardinal Race and jumped two spots to No. 3.
North Carolina finished sixth at the Penn State National Open this past weekend and moved up five spots from Week 4 because of it. The Tar Heels are now ranked No. 4 in the region, their best billing since Week 1 of 2015 when they were third.
Wake Forest surged from No. 11 to No. 6 this week. That is the best ranking in program history for the Demon Deacons.
Nothing changed in the top-5 of the West Region between Week 4 and Week 5.
Top-ranked Portland, second-ranked Stanford, third-ranked Washington and fifth-ranked Oregon all ran at the Wisconsin Pre-National Invitational this past weekend to varying degrees of success. The Pilots’ “B” team finished ninth in the White Race, while full-strength Cardinal and Husky squads were distant runner-ups in the Cardinal Race and White Race, respectively. The Ducks were fourth as a team in the Cardinal Race, led by James West.