2018 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country Regional Rankings – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – The biggest weekend up to this point in cross country has shaken up the NCAA Division I Women’s Regional Rankings released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday.
Each of the nine regions saw some kind of movement and two new No. 1 were crowned in the Great Lakes and South Regions. To go with that eight of the nine regions have a new look to their top-five.
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts
The NCAA Division I Regional Championships will be held around the country on November 9 while the NCAA National Championships will take place Saturday, November 17 in Madison, Wisconsin.
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.
Great Lakes Region
There’s a new No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region as the women from Michigan take over the top spot after an impressive showing at Pre-Nationals.
The Wolverines finished second overall just behind defending NCAA National Champion New Mexico in the white race at the meet. Avery Evenson (20:15.3) and Hannah Meier (20:33.6) led the way for the Wolverines in eighth and 12th place, respectively.
It is a one-spot improvement since the previous rankings and is the first time this season that Michigan has taken over the top spot in the region. The Wolverines were ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes for all seven rankings last year.
Jumping up one to No. 2 is Indiana who finished third at Pre-Nationals in the Cardinal race. The group was paced by by Katherine Receveur who came in 15th overall (20:33.8).
Also improving one to No. 3 is Michigan State after a second-place finish at the Penn State National Open this past weekend. The Spartans were led by Maggie Farrell (20:32) and Annie Fuller (20:39) who placed in second and third.
No. 4 belongs to Wisconsin after a sixth-place finish at Pre-Nationals. The Badgers used the meet as way to prepare for the upcoming championship season and ran all of their athletes in a controlled pack. The group had just a 29 second gap between their first and fifth athlete.
Remaining at No. 5 is Notre Dame who came in fourth at Pre-Nationals. Jackie Gaughan was the top athlete for the Fighting Irish as she finished in 13th overall (20:34.18).
The top-three teams in the Mid-Atlantic Region all remained the same from the previous rankings.
Villanova holds the No. 1 spot for the fourth-straight week after picking up a team title at the Princeton Invitational this past weekend. The Wildcats were led by individual champion Caroline Alcorta (20:23.9) and placed five-scoring athletes in the top-eight.
Penn State holds at No. 2 after collecting a championship at its National Open. Julia Paternain paced the Nittany Lions as she won the individual title (20:29.9).
Princeton stays at No. 3 after splitting the squad between the Penn State National Open and the Princeton Invitational. Melia Chittenden led the Tigers to a fourth-place finish at Penn State as she came in 17th as an individual (21:02).
Jumping up two spots to No. 4 is West Virginia after a sixth-place finish at the Penn State National Open. The Mountaineers were led by Hayley Jackson in 13th overall (20:59) in what was her season debut.
Georgetown rounds out the top-five after taking finishing 13th at the Penn State Open. The group was paced by Paige Hofstad in 11th (20:57).
In what will be a developing trend the top-three teams also remained the same in the Midwest Region.
Iowa State holds at No. 1 like they have all season after winning the Bradley Pink Classic this past weekend. The group was paced by individual champion Cailie Logue (20:32.6) and had three athletes in the top-eight of the meet.
Minnesota stays at No. 2 as the group split its team between Pre-Nationals and the Tori Neubauer Invite. The A team took seventh at Pre-Nats and were led by Bethany Hasz (fifth/20:18.3) and Megan Hasz (14th/20:31.1).
Standing pat at No. 3 is Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls finished second in the team race at the Arturo Barrio Invitational hosted by Texas A&M and placed four runners in the top-25 at the meet.
Improving oe to No. 4 is South Dakota after a second-place performance at the Bradley Pink Classic. Madeline Huglen led the charge with a new personal best time to finish 13th overall (21:07.4).
Northwestern makes up the rest of the top-five in No. 5 as the ‘Cats placed third in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals. The standout of the meet for Northwestern was Aubrey Roberts who came in third (20:10.0).
One might have been able to guess the trend continued for at least one more region as the top-three teams also remained the same in the Mountain rankings.
Colorado holds the top-spot in the region for the second consecutive week. The Lady Buffaloes came in 10th overall in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals as the group only raced its B-Team at the meet.
Slotting in behind them at No. 2 is New Mexico despite picking up the team title in the white race at Pre-Nationals. Impressive sophomore Weini Kelati (19:33.3) continued her strong season as she collected the individual title. The Lobos also had Ednah Kurgat (19:45.5) as the meet’s runner up and Charlotte Prouse came in ninth (20:18.35).
Remaining at No. 3 is BYU after a fourth-place finish in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals. All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis placed fourth overall as an individual with a career-best time (20:12.2).
Improving two spots to No. 4 is Southern Utah after taking eighth as a team in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals. The unit was led by Angie Nickerson in 15th-place (20:37.9).
Joining the top-five for the first time this season is No. 5 Northern Arizona who shot up four spots after taking ninth in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals. The Lumberjacks are a team that has flown under the radar for much of the season as the roster is composed of a very young but talented core of athletes.
Time will tell if the youngsters will have it all together for a run at regionals. It is the highest rank for the program since Week 2 of the 2015 season.
Columbia remains atop the Northeast Region for the second-straight week after a second-place finish at the Princeton Invitational. Erin Gregoire, Libbyy Kokes and Alexandra Hays finished side-by-side in fourth fifth and sixth places.
After a three-spot improvement Syracuse moves into the No. 2 spot for the second time this season. The Orange finished eighth in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals and were paced by Laura Dickinson in 29th (20:52.2). The program is still without top-returner Shannon Malone.
Falling one to No. 3 is Yale after an 11th-place finish in the white race at Pre-Nationals. The group was led by Andrea Masterson in 27th (20:52).
Also falling one to No. 4 is Dartmouth after the group took fifth at the Penn State National Open. Their leader was Georgia Fear who came in 23rd overall (21:11).
Completing the top-five is big gainer Harvard who shot up five spots from its previous rank. Its A-Team was at Pre-Nationals and came in 15th overall. The group also had athletes running at the Western New England Invitational as well.
There’s a new No. 1 in the South Region as Georgia returns to the top spot in the rankings.
The Bulldogs took ninth as a team in the white race at Pre-Nationals and were led by Jessica Drop who posted a season-best time in 11th place (20:22.6).
Falling one to No. 2 is Ole Miss after finishing in 12th in the cardinals race at Pre-Nationals. The unit was paced by Clio Ozanne-Jaques who came in 37th (20:59.6).
Remaining in its previous rank is No. 3 Georgia Tech after the team placed third at the Penn State National Open. The group was led by Hana Herndon in eighth (20:50).
Florida saw one of the biggest jumps in the poll as it improves seven spots to take No. 4 in the region. The Gators are fresh off a win at the Arturo Barrios Invitational where they were paced by Elisabeth Bergh in sixth-place (20:04.3).
Falling three but still staying in the top-five is No. 5 Florida State. The Seminoles experienced the slight fall after finishing 14th in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals.
South Central Region
The top spot in the South Central Region belongs with Arkansas for the sixth-straight ranking after the program picked up the team title at Pre-Nationals. Katrina Robinson led the way with a second-place finish (20:09.4) as the Razorbacks placed their entire scoring lineup in the top-25.
Up one to No. 2 is Texas after the Longhorns placed fourth overall at the Texas A&M Invitational. They were led by Destiny Collins in fourth (20:30.3).
Trading spots with Texas to No. 3 is SMU after a seventh-place finish at the Arturo Barrios Invitational.
Rounding out the top-five is No. 4 LSU and No. 5 UTRGV. Both programs saw huge jumps as LSU improved four spots and UTRGV went up five.
LSU finished eighth at the Arturo Barrios Invitational while UTRGV took 10th at the same meet.
The mark is the best received in UTRGV’s program history.
The top-two teams in the Southeast Region remain the same as NC State still holds the No. 1 spot while No. 2 stays with Furman.
The Wolfpack took fifth overall in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals while the Paladins came in seventh in the white race. Elly Henes was the top-finisher for NC State in ninth (20:23.7) while Furman’s top athlete was Savannah Carnahan in seventh (20:14.1).
Moving up three spots to No. 3 is Eastern Kentucky after finishing 11th at the Penn State National Open this past weekend. It ties the best mark received for the program in school history.
Rounding out the top-five is No. 4 Virginia Tech and No. 5 Duke. Virginia Tech came in 12 at the Penn State National Open while Duke took 18th in the cardinal race at Pre-Nationals.
The top teams in the West Region saw no movement from the previous ranking. In fact the top-eight teams in the region all remained the same.
Boise State remains at No. 1 for the second-straight week after a perfect showing at the Inland Empire Championships this past weekend. The Broncos took the team title with 15 points and were paced by individual champion Claire Graves.
It was the second perfect score victory posted by Boise State this season.
Oregon stays in the No. 2 spot after capturing second place in the Cardinal race at Pre-Nationals. The Ducks had the individual champion in Jessica Hull (20:03.2) and placed all five scoring athletes in the top-22 of the race.
The No. 3 spot belongs to Stanford after the Cardinal raced at Pre-Nationals. The group took third overall in the white race and were paced by Elise Cranny (20:06.9) and Fiona O’Keefee (20:06.9) who came in fourth and fifth as individuals.
Washington and Portland round out the top-five as both had strong showings at Pre-Nationals as well.
Washington took fourth as a team in the white race and were led by Katie Rainserger in 10th overall (20:20) while Portland came in sixth in the Cardinal race and had Lauren Larocco pace the group with a seventh-place finish.