2018 NJCAA DI Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – The 2018 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships are finally here, which means it’s time for one last look at the Men’s and Women’s National Coaches’ Polls. The Pre-Championship Edition of the polls were released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
While the rankings on the men’s and women’s side of things didn’t change much from the previous poll, this is the best indication of where teams are likely to finish when they take to the course this Saturday, November 10, in Garden City, Kansas.
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts
The top teams in the nation will meet at the 2018 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships this Saturday, November 10, in Garden City, Kansas, hosted by Garden City Community College.
Iowa Central CC enters as the favorites to win the men’s team title this weekend after the program held in the No. 1 spot for the second poll in a row after receiving seven first-place votes this week. The Tritons are fresh off a team title at the Region XI Cross Country Championships in which they won the meet with 20 points. It was the program’s sixth regional championship in a row.
Iowa Central is the defending national champion and has taken home the NJCAA DI title in three of the past four seasons.
Central Arizona held in the No. 2 spot after collecting its ninth-straight Region I Championships over the weekend. The Vaqueros ran well as a unit to record 21 points in the victory. Central Arizona picked up three first-place votes with the effort.
Central Arizona last won the national title in 2016 and also earned the sport’s top honor in 2012 and 2013. It has won six national championships in program history.
Remaining at No. 3 was El Paso CC after the program won the Region V/WJCAC Championships with a 23-point performance.
Also experiencing no change were the teams from No. 4 Hutchinson CC and No. 5 Southern Idaho. Hutchinson remained it its previous rank after a victory at the Region VI Championships while Southern Idaho did not compete at a regional event and was off from competition this past weekend.
El Paso CC, Hutchinson CC and Southern Idaho are all vying for its first national title.
Only four previously ranked teams saw any kind of movement from the last poll. No. 12 Louisburg (N.C.) and No. 14 Mesa (Ariz.) CC each improved one spot while No. 22 Grand Rapids (Mich.) CC had the largest movement of any program this week with a two-spot improvement.
No. 15 Hawkeye (Iowa) CC was the only other team in the entire poll to experience a change as the program fell just a single spot from last week.
No. 23 Wallace State (Ala.) CC and No. 25 Southwestern (Iowa) CC were new to this edition of the poll. It was the first time being ranked in program history for Wallace State while Southwestern tied its season-high for best mark received this year.
Iowa Central CC will also be the team to beat on the women’s side this weekend after the program picked up all 10 first-place votes. The Tritons are coming off a team title at the Region XI Championships after a perfect 15-point showing. They have held in the top spot for all five polls this year.
Iowa Central is also the defending national champion on the women’s side. The Tritons have captured the team title in six of the past 11 seasons which includes four of the past seven years.
No. 2 belonged with El Paso CC a team that saw no change from the previous poll after the program collected a win at the Region V/WJAC Championships with 22 points. El Paso will be looking for its second national championships in program history and its first since 2014.
No. 3 Cowley County (Kan.) CC also saw no movement after the group won the Region VI/Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division Championship. It was the third-straight conference title for the Tigers. Cowley has captured one national title in school history, back during the 2010 season.
No. 4 Southern Idaho and No. 5 Central Arizona traded placed from the previous poll. Southern Idaho improved one spot after being off from competition this past weekend with no regional meet on its schedule. Central Arizona fell one spot despite a victory at the Region I Championships.
Southern Idaho will be after its first national title while Central Arizona won it all in 2005 and 2009.
In total 11 of the top-25 teams saw some kind of movement in the latest poll. No. 10 Lansing (Mich.) CC, No. 12 Trinidad State (Colo.) JC and No. 21 North Iowa Area CC tied Southern Idaho for largest improvement as each had a one-spot increase.
No. 24 NMMI was the only new team to the poll this week after being unranked in previous editions. It is the second time NMMI has been ranked in school history, slotting just behind the No. 23 spot earn back in the Week Three poll of this season.