2020 NJCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
Can Iowa Central CC become just the second women’s program to capture four consecutive team titles at the NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships? If you pose that question to the division’s coaches, that answer would come back a resounding “Yes!”
The three-time defending champion Tritons earned all but one first-place vote in the Week 1 edition of the National Coaches’ Poll, which was released on Wednesday afternoon. This is the fourth year in a row that Iowa Central CC has headlined the first National Coaches’ Poll of the season.
NJCAA Division I — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Iowa Central CC
New Mexico JC
Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Hutchinson (Kan.) CC
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
If the Tritons make it four in a row, they’d join Ricks (Idaho) from 1995 to 2001 as the only women’s programs to string together that many crowns. Iowa Central CC opened up its season in dominant fashion this past weekend, winning the Grand View Open by 34 points. The Tritons put three runners in the top-4, led by individual champion Chloe Lenoir in 18:40.0.
New Mexico JC hauled in the other first-place vote and sit No. 2 to begin the season. The T-Birds finished runner-up at the NJCAA Championships last year and return five athletes who helped them achieve that placement: Flomena Asekol (sixth overall), Britnie Dixon (28th overall), Doris Kitony (40th overall), Gladys Koech (24th overall) and Abigael Murgor (39th overall). Asekol most recently starred at the NJCAA Indoor Championships earlier this year, where she won three individual events (800, 1000, mile) and anchored the winning DMR.
Cloud Country (Kan.) CC is ranked third to begin the season. The T-Birds didn’t record a team finish at the NJCAA Championships last year, but kicked things off in 2020 with a big victory at the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic. Patricia Koma led Cloud County (Kan.) with a runner-up finish, while three other athletes finished in the top-10 alongside her.
Vincennes (Ind.) sits a program-high fourth in Week 1. The Trailblazers are looking to build off a 2019 campaign where they finished 25th as a team at the NJCAA Championships. Look for VU to open the season on Friday, September 18 at the Heartland CC Open in Normal, Illinois.
Hutchinson (Kan.) CC owns the final spot in the top-5. The Blue Dragons ended up 20th as a team at the NJCAA Championships last year and will look to improve on that result. Hutchinson CC recently finished third as a team at the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic and was led by newcomer Louise Cocking, who took fourth place individually.
Here are the rest of the top-10 programs: No. 6 Dodge City (Kan.) CC, No. 7 Western Texas College, No. 8 Jacksonville (Texas) CC, No. 9 Barton (Kan.) CC, No. 10 Central Wyoming College.