2018 NCAA DIII Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 8
NEW ORLEANS – Welcome to the final week of the 2018 NCAA Division III Cross Country season.
By the end of the day on Saturday, we will know which one of the 32 women’s teams that qualified for the running of the 2018 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships in Winneconne, Wisconsin, will take home the national title.
If the Women’s National Coaches’ Poll is any indication of how things might go at the Lake Breeze Golf Course, Johns Hopkins is the unanimous favorite to three-peat for the second time in the past seven years. For those who don’t know, the Blue Jays won three national titles in a row from 2012 to 2014 and captured each of the past two crowns.
Johns Hopkins made it look easy this past weekend at the Mideast Region Championships. The Blue Jays put three runners in the top-5 (Felicia Koerner, first; Sam Levy, second; Therese Olshanski, fifth) and won by 43 points, their third consecutive victory by 40 or more points.
Washington (Mo.) enters the meet ranked second, fresh off a team title at the Midwest Region Championships. The Bears were the only team to put three runners in the top-10 as Paige Lawler (second), Sophie Watterson (sixth) and Aly Wayne (seventh) led the way. This is the 17th time that WashU has advanced to the NCAA meet in program history and the team is looking for its second national title in the past eight years.
SUNY Geneseo won the team title at the Atlantic Region Championships and enters NCAAs ranked third. The Knights are hoping that Elise Ramirez and Genny Corcoran continue their strong seasons at the top of the scoring lineup. This past weekend, Ramirez won the individual title, while Corcoran finished third overall. SUNY Geneseo has advanced to the NCAA meet 25 times in program history and is looking to make the podium for the fourth time.
MIT returns to NCAAs for the 11th year in a row and is ranked fourth in the final National Coaches’ Poll. The Engineers rolled to the team title at the New England Region Championships and will be looking for a strong team effort to return to the podium, a place they have been three of the past four years.
Middlebury rounds out the top-5 after a runner-up finish at the New England Region Championships. The Panthers have now advanced to the NCAA meet 24 times in program history and earned a spot on the podium 13 times, which includes six national titles.
Other teams that won regional titles this past weekend were on the move: Central Region champion Carleton went from No. 12 to No. 10, West Region champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps went from No. 15 to No. 12, Great Lakes Region champion Baldwin Wallace soared from the Land of the Not Ranked to an all-time program-high No. 18; South/Southeast Region champion Emory dropped six spots from No. 19 to No. 25.
Other than the Yellow Jackets, there were two new additions to the National Coaches’ Poll: No. 19 Allegheny (Pa.) and No. 32 Centre College.
The 2018 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships get underway on Saturday at 11:15 am CT with the Women’s 6K and an hour later with the men’s 8K at 12:15 pm CT.