2020 NJCAA DII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
History will be made in 2020.
That’s because, for the first time in the past 17 years, a men’s team champion will be crowned at the NJCAA Division II level in cross country.
NJCAA Division II — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
North Iowa Area CC
Hawkeye (Iowa) CC
Allen (Kan.) CC
Daytona State (Fla.)
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
If the National Coaches’ Poll in Week 1 has any indication of what’s to come this year, then North Iowa Area CC could hoist the championship trophy high above its heads come November in Fort Dodge, Iowa. The Trojans earned the unanimous spot atop the nation as they hauled in all four first-place votes in the most recent poll, released Wednesday afternoon.
Just this past weekend, North Iowa Area CC opened the season at the Grand View Open. The Trojans finished runner-up to NJCAA DI favorite Iowa Central CC by a score of 25-56. North Iowa Area CC had two runners in the top-5, led by Melvin Kipkemboi in third place.
Hawkeye (Iowa) CC is expected to give North Iowa Area CC a run for its money in 2020. The RedTails, who sit second to begin the season, also competed at the Grand View Open this past weekend, finishing third. Sam Mickelson was the top finisher for Hawkeye CC in fourth place.
Allen (Kan.) CC enters the season ranked third. The Red Devils won the team title at the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic this past weekend thanks to putting four runners in the top-10. Brig Merritt was the lone Allen CC athlete in the top-5, while Owen Taylor, Henos Andebrhan and Raymon Gonzalez finished seventh, eighth and ninth, respectively.
Cowley (Kan.) CC holds down the No. 4 spot in Week 1. The Tigers finished a close runner-up this past weekend at the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic, posting a score of 57. Xoel Rodriguez-Abad led the way for Cowley CC in fourth place overall, while three other athletes finished clumped in the top-15.
Daytona State (Fla.) College owns the final spot in the top-5. The Falcons have a deep roster with 12 athletes, featuring an even split between freshmen and sophomores. DSC opened its season with a victory this past weekend at the Florida Horse Park Invitational, led by individual champion Andy Martinez, who won by 59 seconds over the closest competitor.
Here are the rest of the teams in the top-10: No. 6 Lake Sumter (Fla.) State College, No. 7 Grand Rapids (Mich.) CC, No. 8 Metropolitan (Kan.) CC, No. 9 Marion Military Insititute and No. 10 Jackson (Mich.) CC.