2018 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country Regional Rankings – Week 6
NEW ORLEANS – Conference Championship Weekend rolled through the NCAA Division I Cross Country landscape this past weekend and lightly affected the newest Men’s Regional Rankings that were released Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Only one new team jumped into the driver’s seat of a region, while six of the nine regions saw minimal movement in the top-5. Three others saw no movement in the top-5 whatsoever.
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
Four of the top-5 teams in the Great Lakes Region in the last Regional Rankings squared off at the Big Ten Championships this past weekend. Things pretty much went according to plan.
Wisconsin captured the team title and is still ranked No. 1. The Badgers put three runners in the top-4 led by individual champion Morgan McDonald and scored a meager 38 points. This was McDonald’s second conference title in three years (He won in 2016 and redshirted 2017).
Purdue, Indiana and Michigan finished second, third and fourth at the Big Ten Championships and come in third, fourth and fifth in the Regional Rankings.
The No. 2 spot, however, belongs to Notre Dame, which won its first conference title in the ACC this past weekend. The Irish held off Syracuse 57-61 and put three runners in the top-10. Notre Dame was led by Yared Nuguse, who finished third overall.
The Mid-Atlantic Region is headlined by a pair of conference champions: Ivy League winner Princeton at No. 1 and Big East champion Georgetown at No. 2.
Both teams easily handled business at their respective conference championships as the Hoyas and Tigers each put four runners in their respective top-10s and won by 13 and 31 points, respectively.
Big East runner-up Villanova sits third behind Princeton and Georgetown, while Penn and Penn State round out the top-5.
The best of the Midwest Region squared off at the Big 12 Championships this past weekend as No. 1 Iowa State went toe to toe with No. 2 Oklahoma State.
When the dust settled in Ames, Iowa, it was the Cyclones who stood tall with a 32-40 victory over the Cowboys. Iowa State only finished five runners, but pulled in the individual title from Edwin Kurgat and a fifth-place effort by Andrew Jordan. Oklahoma State fought valiantly as its top-3 runners finished second, third and fourth overall.
American Athletic Conference champion Tulsa sits third, followed by Missouri Valley Conference champ Bradley in fourth and Iowa in fifth.
The Mountain Region still belongs to Northern Arizona and BYU. Nothing changed there from the results from Conference Championship Weekend.
The top-ranked Lumberjacks rolled to the team title in the Big Sky. NAU nearly swept the proceedings as it took the top-4 places in the race with Matthew Baxter earning the individual title and Tyler Day finishing four seconds behind him.
The Cougars waltzed to the team title in the West Coast Conference. BYU put each of its seven runners in the top-11 with six of them in the top-8. Connor McMillan finished runner-up to Portland’s Nick Hauger.
Colorado finished runner-up at the Pac-12 Championships and sits third, while Mountain West runner-up Air Force sits fourth, followed by Colorado State.
Nothing changed at the top of the Northeast Region between Week 5 and Week 6 as Syracuse and Harvard still find themselves favored to secure automatic bids to Madison, Wisconsin.
The Orange finished runner-up to Notre Dame at the ACC Championships. Syracuse definitely ran as a pack at Franklin Park with four of its runners finishing between eighth and 13th place, but they lacked a true low stick.
The Crimson finished runner-up at the Ivy League Championships to Princeton. Harvard’s Kieran Tuntivate picked up the individual win and Hugo Milner finished third overall.
Metro Atlantic Conference champ Iona jumped three spots from No. 6 to No.3, while Patriot League champ Army West Point sits fourth and Dartmouth rounds out the top-5.
There weren’t any changes to the top of the South Region between Week 5 and Week 6 as Ole Miss and Tennessee remain No. 1 and No. 2 for the second week in a row.
The Rebels let their yell be heard loud and clear this past weekend at the SEC Championships. Ole Miss captured its first conference title in program history as it knocked off Arkansas 36-44 behind a stout team effort. The Rebels didn’t have a runner in the top-3, but put five in the top-11 led by Waleed Suliman in fourth place.
The Volunteers finished fourth at the SEC Championships behind Ole Miss, Arkansas and Kentucky.
Ohio Valley Conference runner-up Belmont sits third, followed by Florida State and Alabama.
South Central Region
There weren’t any changes to the top-4 teams of the South Central Region: Arkansas is No. 1, followed by No. 2 Texas, No. 3 UTRGV and No. 4 Texas A&M.
The Razorbacks finished runner-up at the SEC Championships behind Ole Miss. Arkansas was led by individual champion Gilbert Boit, who covered the course in 22:20.2.
The Longhorns finished third at the Big 12 Championships as they put two runners in the top-10: Alex Rogers (seventh) and Sam Worley (eighth).
UT Arlington moved up one spot from No. 6 to No. 5 after capturing the Sun Belt Conference title this past weekend in Mobile, Alabama.
The Southeast Region saw a lot of changes between Week 5 and Week 6.
Eastern Kentucky took over the top spot after steamrolling the field at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships. The Colonels put their top-7 runners in the top-15 led by individual champion James Sugira, who won by 36 seconds. This is the first time EKU has been ranked No. 1 in the Southeast Region since Week 4 of 2016.
Furman won the team title in the Southern Conference and moved up from No.3 to No. 2. The Paladins had an easy go of it as they put their top-7 runners in the top-10, led by individual champion Aaron Templeton.
NC State jumped three spots from No. 6 to No. 3 following a third-place finish at the ACC Championships.
Former No. 1 Virginia dropped three spots to No.4, while Wake Forest rounds out the top-5.
Nothing changed to the top-5 between Week 5 and Week 6, which leaves us with a fuzzy picture that can only be cleared up over a 10K tract at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex on November 9.
West Coast Conference runner-up Portland remains No. 1, followed by Pac-12 champ Stanford at No. 2, Pac-12 runner-up Washington at No. 3, Mountain West champ Boise State at No. 4 and Pac-12 fourth-place team Oregon at No. 5.
Both the Pilots and Cardinal had an individual champion on their roster as Nick Hauger won for the former and Grant Fisher went back to back for the latter.