2018 NCAA DII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 7
NEW ORLEANS – While the top-5 teams in the country might have remained in place for the second week in a row, the rest of the rankings experienced heavy change in the latest edition of the NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday.
When you take the top-5 teams out of the equation, 17 of the 20 remaining top-25 programs experienced some kind of movement from the previous poll after the conclusion of Conference Championships Weekend.
For the eighth consecutive week, Adams State remains atop the nation in the No. 1 spot after it received all eight first-place votes. The Grizzlies are fresh off a win at the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Championships with a 30-point performance. Sydney Gidabuday won the individual crown and Adams State placed four runners in the top-10. They will next race at South Central Regional Championships.
Remaining at No. 2 was Colorado Mines after a fourth-place finish against a strong field at the RMAC Championships. The Orediggers were paced by Luc Hagen who came in fourth overall. Colorado Mines will go again at the South Central Regional Championships.
Grand Valley State held at the No. 3 spot after it picked up its 17th consecutive Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships with 19 points. Zach Panning led the charge and won the individual title and the Lakers had five athletes finish in the top-seven. Grand Valley State will be back in action at the Midwest Regional Championships.
Also staying put was No. 4 Chico State as the program won its 17th-straight California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Championships with a 19-point showing. The group had 10 runners finish in the top-12 at the meet which included all five of their scored athletes in the top-six and the individual champion in Eddie King. The Wildcats will next be at West Regional Championships.
Completing the top-five was No. 5 Western State who also experienced no movement in the poll. The Mountaineers came in second overall at the RMAC Championships and were paced by Taylor Stack in fourth. They will toe the line again at the South Central Regional Championships.
The top-5 has remained the same for two consecutive polls.
The movement started with No. 6 Queens (N.C.) with a one spot jump from its previous ranking. The Royals claimed their third South Atlantic Conference Championship in program history with a 19-point showing. Queens had five of its scored athletes in the top-six including individual title-winner Daniel Wallis. The group will race next at Southeast Regional Championships.
Leaping four spots to No. 7 was Alaska Anchorage after the Seawolves won the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) title. Alaska Anchorage had the individual champion in Wesley Kirui and placed three in the top-seven. They will next be at West Regional Championships.
Climbing one spot was No. 8 Mount Olive after its seventh-straight victory at the Conference Carolinas Championships. The Trojans posted a perfect scored of 15 and had the individual championship winner in Christian Duran. Mount Olive had the top-11 athletes at the conference meet and will next go at the Southeast Regional Championships.
Ascending five spots to No. 9 was Sioux Falls after a win at the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Championships. The Cougars were led by individual champion Steven Brown and had four athletes finish in the top-five on way to 32 points. Sioux Falls will take to the course again at Central Regional Championships.
Rounding out the top-10 was No. 10 Saginaw Valley State who experienced no change from the previous poll. The Cardinals placed second at the GLIAC Championships with a 40 points. The group was led by third-place finisher Tom Goforth and will race again at Midwest Regional Championships.
The biggest improvement in the poll was split between No. 15 Western Washington and No. 16 UC-Colorado Springs. Each program shot up six spots from their previous rank. The Vikings placed third at the GNAC Championships while the Mountain Lions came in fifth at the RMAC Championships.
There were four new teams to the poll this week in No. 21 Southern Connecticut, No. 22 Cal State San Marcos, No. 23 Embry-Riddle (Fla.) and No. 25 West Texas A&M. The rank was the first time Cal State San Marcos has appeared in the top-25 in program history. It was also the first time Southern Connecticut has been ranked since the 2011 season.
Edinboro, UNC Pembroke, Western Oregon, Southern Indiana, Stonehill, Tarleton State, Mississippi College and Charleston (W. Va.) also received votes.