2019 NCAA DIII Conference Championships Weekend Preview

Did you know that 16 different conferences have a women’s team ranked in the most recent NCAA Division III National Coaches’ Polls, while 15 conference have a top-35 men’s team?

That information comes in handy these next few days, especially, since it’s finally Conference Championships Weekend!

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Conference Championships Central
NCAA DIII National Coaches’ Polls (Week 6): Men’s | Women’s

With that known, it’s time to look at which conferences have the most ranked teams, because those are the results that could really shift the national landscape going into the final weeks of the season.

2019 UAA Cross Country Championships

Date: Saturday, November 2 | Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Men’s 8K Race – 11 am ET | Women’s 6K Race – Noon ET

Men’s Teams

Women’s Teams

No. 4 Carnegie Mellon
No. 2 Washington (Mo.)
No. 7 UChicago
No. 7 UChicago
No. 9 Washington (Mo.)
No. 24 Rochester (N.Y.)
No. 20 Case Western Reserve
No. 26 Carnegie Mellon
No. 22 Emory
No. 34 Emory
No. 28 NYU
No. 35 NYU

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No conference has more depth in the National Coaches’ Polls than that of the University Athletic Association (UAA).

When the UAA Championships take place on Saturday, there will be 12 nationally-ranked programs competing between the men’s and women’s race, including five top-10 squads.

The men’s race has the most depth with three top-10 teams: No. 4 Carnegie Mellon, No. 7 UChicago and No. 9 Washington (Mo.). The Bears have won a share of the past three conference titles and the last two outright, while the Tartans are looking for their first since 2016 and the Maroons are looking for their first since 2004.

The women’s race features a grudge match between No. 2 Washington (Mo.) and No. 7 UChicago, who have combined to win each of the past 10 titles with the former capturing eight during that span. Earlier this season, the Maroons toppled the Bears at the Wheaton Gil Dodds Invitational to take them out of the top spot in the National Coaches’ Poll. Then two weeks ago, WashU crushed the field, including UChicago, at the Kollege Town Sports Invitational.

2019 NESCAC Cross Country Championships

Date: Saturday, November 2 | Location: Williamstown, Massachusetts
Men’s 8K Race – Noon ET | Women’s 6K Race – 1 pm ET

Men’s Teams

Women’s Teams

No. 2 Williams
No. 4 Williams
No. 18 Colby
No. 6 Tufts
No. 24 Bates
No. 16 Bates
No. 25 Middlebury
No. 18 Middlebury
No. 32 Amherst
No. 31 Wesleyan (Conn.)

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Dating back to 2010, four different men’s teams have won conference titles at the NESCAC Championships compared to just two women’s teams.

One of those men’s teams is favored to walk away with the title in 2019, just like it did in 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. That team is none other than No. 2 Williams, because so far this season, Pete Farwell’s squad has shown a great ability to dispatch conference foes left and right.

Williams romped to the team title at both the Purple Valley Classic and the Connecticut College Invitational facing off against several NESCAC opponents. If you only scored NESCAC teams at both of those meets, the Ephs would have posted a perfect score at the former and won the latter with a grand total of 19 points.

If history shows us anything, it should be a strong battle for the women’s title between No. 4 Williams and No. 6 Tufts. The Ephs and the Jumbos got the better of each other the two times they competed this season. Williams topped Tufts in the standings at the Connecticut College Invitational, while the Jumbos beat the Ephs for the team title at the Purple Valley Classic.

There have only been five instances of one school sweeping the team titles in the past 20 years: Williams in 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018; Middlebury in 2010.

Other Meets Of Interest

Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC)

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There are only two conferences with top-10 matchups between men’s teams this weekend. The SCIAC is one of those conferences with No. 3 Pomona-Pitzer squaring off against No. 8 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Sagehens have been on the rise recently, jumping six spots in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll after finishing runner-up at the Kollege Town Sports Invitational. Pomona-Pitzer won each of the past two conference titles, while CMS rolled off five in a row between 2012 and 2016.

Over in the women’s race, No. 10 Pomona-Pitzer and No. 13 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps will tango. If the Sagehens win the conference title, it will be their first since 1991. The Athenas have been pretty good at the conference level over the years, having won 22 of the past 25 league titles, including each of the past nine.

Centennial Conference

Johns Hopkins comes in with the top-ranked men’s and women’s teams in the field this year. That’s not much of a surprise on the women’s side, as the Blue Jays are usually ranked No. 1 nationally, but on the men’s side it’s a bit of a change.

We’ll start with the women’s race, where top-ranked Johns Hopkins will look to win its 12th consecutive conference title, while fifth-ranked Dickinson, winner of eight in a row from 2000 to 2007, will look to play spoiler.

On the men’s side, the fifth-ranked Blue Jays are hoping to win their first conference title since 2013 and just their second in program history. Joining Johns Hopkins from the national top-35 in the men’s race will be No. 23 Haverford and No. 31 Dickinson. The Fords have been the Class of the Centennial since its formation in 1993, winning 23 conference titles, including each of the past five.

Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC)

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It’s a bit of a down year for the WIAC, but there are still six nationally-ranked programs in the mix. The men’s race features No. 16 UW-La Crosse, No. 21 UW-Stevens Point, No. 34 UW-Stout and No. 35 UW-Eau Claire, while the women’s race has No. 11 UW-Eau Claire and No. 23 UW-La Crosse.

If you go by what the National Coaches’ Poll projects, UW-La Crosse’s men could win their 35th conference title in program history and the women from UW-Eau Claire could make it a three-peat and match their rank with their 11th conference title in program history.

Then again, this is championship racing in the WIAC: Anything can happen.