2018 NJCAA DI Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 3
NEW ORLEANS – We are less than a month away from the running of the 2018 NJCAA Cross Country Championships and with that comes some movement in the latest NJCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s National Coaches’ Polls released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday.
The men’s and women’s side saw a number of teams produce new program-best marks including some big improvement by teams who ran this past weekend to gear up for the upcoming championships season.
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts
The top teams in the nation will spend the season battling for eventual podium spots at the 2018 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships on Saturday, November 10, in Garden City, Kansas, hosted by Garden City Community College.
Central Arizona remained the No. 1 team in the nation after receiving all eight first-place votes.
The Vaqueros finished sixth out of 20 teams in the Invitational race at the Santa Clara University Bronco Invitational this past weekend. Central Arizona was the only junior college in the race and the school knocked off a number of Division I programs with its strong performance.
Also staying it its previous rank is No. 2 Iowa Central CC after picking up two first-place votes. The Tritons are fresh off a win at the Tori Neubauer/Jim Drews Invitational this past weekend against a field that included Division II and III teams.
It is the third-straight rankings that Central Arizona and Iowa Central have held in their spots.
El Paso CC improved two spots from its previous rank to take over the No. 3 position after it finished fifth overall against a field of NCAA Division I, II and III programs at the UC Riverside Highlander Invitational. It is a new best mark for the program.
The biggest gain of the poll belonged to Southern Idaho after a nine-spot improvement pushed them up to No. 4. The Golden Eagles took seventh at the Inland Empire Challenge this past weekend and defeated a number of Division II schools in the process. It is also a program-best rank for Southern Idaho.
No. 5 Cloud County (Kan.) CC dropped just one to round out the top-five. The T-Birds were off from competition and will return to the course for the NJCAA Cross Country Championships.
Also seeing a big improvements was No. 11 Lansing (Mich.) CC who shot up six spots.
Two new teams entered the rankings in No. 18 Muskegon (Mich.) CC and No. 25 Glendale (Ariz.) CC. It was a new program best for Muskegon.
The top-five teams all remained in position with just two teams swapping places from the previous poll.
The No. 1 spot stayed with Iowa Central CC after receiving six first-place votes. The Tritons took first at the Tori Neubauer/Jim Drews Invitational this past weekend in a race that included Division II and III programs.
Also staying put was No. 2 El Paso CC with four first-place votes. The Tejanos placed fourth against a field of NCAA Division I, II and III programs at the UC Riverside Highlander Invitational.
Iowa Central CC and El Paso CC have sat in the same position all season.
Southern Idaho improved one to take over the No. 3 spot after an eighth-place finish at the Inland Empire Championships. The field included six NAIA four-year schools, eight NCAA four-year programs and two junior colleges.
No. 4 Cowley (Kan.) dropped a spot despite finishing 11th of 16 teams at the Fort Hays State Tiger Open this past weekend against a field of all NCAA four-year programs.
No. 5 Central Arizona stayed put and completed the top-five after finishing 10th out of 20 teams at the Santa Clara University Bronco Invitational.
Just because the top teams remained intact doesn’t mean that the rest of the poll didn’t see heavy movement.
The biggest improvements came from a nine-spot jump by No. 10 Trinidad State (Colo.) JC and a eight-spot leap by No. 9 Lansing (Mich.) CC. It was new program best for Trinidad State.
No. 11 Hawkeye (Iowa) CC, No. 18 Muskegon (Mich.) CC and No. 21 Colby (Kan.) CC also improved four. It was the best mark received in school history by Hawkeye and Muskegon.
New teams to the poll this week were No. 23 NMMI and No. 24 Sauk Valley (Ill.) CC. It is the first time in program history that NMMI has been ranked.