2019 NCAA DIII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 8
NEW ORLEANS – There is a new No. 1 team in the NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll for the first time since Week 5 of the 2016 season.
Williams took over sole position of the top spot in the nation just four days ahead of the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, which are set to begin this Saturday at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.
NCAA Division III — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
North Central (Ill.)
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
The Ephs had chipped away at North Central (Ill.)’s stronghold all season long and finally broke through thanks to their performance at the New England Region Championships this past weekend. It was in Bowdoin, Maine, where Williams put six runners in the top-10 – led by a 1-2 finish by Aidan Ryan and Ryan Cox – and scored just 24 points to beat five other nationally-ranked programs, including now-No. 17 MIT and now-No. 20 Amherst.
Don’t worry: The Cardinals haven’t fallen too far, as they sit second with three first-place votes to their credit. You’ll have to go all the way back to 2012 to find the last time Al Carius’ team was ranked second entering NCAAs. That season didn’t turn out too bad for it as it won its second of what have been six national titles this decade.
North Central (Ill.) is a definite threat to win yet another national title this year and proved it this past weekend at the Midwest Region Championships. The Cardinals put six of their runners in the top-15 as they won by 42 points over now-No. 8 UW-La Crosse.
The only other change in the top-5 came once again in the guises of Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The rivals swapped spots once again as the Sagehens captured the West Region title over the Stags, which sent the former to No. 3 and the latter to No. 5.
Further down you’ll find two of the five programs that climbed five or more spots from the previous week: No. 13 Carleton and No. 15 Colby.
The 13th-ranked Knights fought valiantly in a runner-up effort to now-No. 9 Wartburg in the Central Region. Matthew Wilkinson gave Carleton the all-important low stick with the individual title as the squad put three runners in the top-5 and only lost by four points.
Then you have the 15th-ranked Mules, which finished a surprising runner-up at the New England Region Championships. Colby saw Tyler Morris and Eli Decker finish third and fifth, respectively, and then the rest of the scoring lineup clumped well behind them at 23rd, 30th and 32nd. This is the best Colby has been ranked since 2016.
Emory flew 11 spots from No. 30 to a near program-best No. 19 after winning the team title in the South/Southeast Region. The Eagles, who were ranked 18th in Week 3, toppled now-No. 27 Berea (Ky.) by a score of 41-94 and had four runners finish in the top-11.
There were no new additions to the National Coaches’ Poll this week as it only features those 32 teams that qualified for NCAAs.
Be sure to check back later this week as we’ll have much more on the biggest meet of the season in NCAA Division III Cross Country!