2019 NCAA DIII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – It didn’t take long for things to tighten up at the top of the NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll.
North Central (Ill.) is no longer the unanimous favorite to win the national title come November 23 in Louisville, Kentucky. The three-time defending champion Cardinals, who own five of the possible eight first-place votes, are still No. 1 for the 23rd week in a row – but not by much.
NCAA Division III — Men's Cross Country
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Those three remaining first-place votes now belong to No. 2 Williams, as it inched closer to top-ranked North Central (Ill.). The Ephs recently dominated the proceedings at the Little 3 Cross Country Meet, sending eight runners across the finish line before the first runner from another program completed the 6K course. The spread between the first three runners for Williams was 18 seconds (Aidan Ryan won it in 18:53.0), while the next five runners all finished between three seconds of each other.
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps jumped a whopping 12 spots between the Preseason and Week 1. The Stags are now slotted in at a program-record No. 6 behind No. 3 Washington (Mo.), No. 4 Wartburg and No. 5 UW-La Crosse. Just this past weekend, CMS finished fifth as a team at the NCAA Division I-dominated UCR Invitational and was led by Kyril van Schendel’s 10th-place individual effort.
Five other teams climbed multiple spots in Week 1: No. 8 Calvin (up three from No. 11), No. 16 Bates (up four from No. 20), No. 20 Emory (up nine from No. 29), No. 23 UC Santa Cruz (up four spots from No. 27) and No. 30 Dickinson (up three spots from No. 33).
Emory flew those nine spots primarily due to its efforts at the JSU Struts Cross Country Season Opener back on August 30. The Eagles defeated NCAA Division I Auburn at the meet thanks to the performances of individual champion Jack Whetstone and three other athletes who finished in the top-7 overall (Spencer Moore, 4th; Matt Dillon, 6th; Brett Lucas, 7th).
Three new programs joined the top-35 this week: No. 24 John Carroll, No. 27 Rochester (N.Y.) and No. 32 Connecticut College. This is the best ranking in program history for the Blue Streaks and the best spot the Yellowjackets have had in the poll since 2013.
The next NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll will be released next Wednesday, September 25.