2021 NCAA DIII Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Preseason

NEW ORLEANS – As much as things change, they stay the same.

Eight of the top-10 teams from the last time NCAA Division III held a national championship in cross country reside in the preseason top-10 of the 2021 NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll. In fact, the top-3 teams from the 2019 meet held steady in the first installment of the index, which was released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

NCAA Division III — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Johns Hopkins
Washington (Mo.)
Williams
Wartburg
Tufts
1
Johns Hopkins
2
Washington (Mo.)
3
Williams
4
Wartburg
5
Tufts
Cross Country Polls & Rankings

Defending champion Johns Hopkins sits atop the National Coaches’ Poll for the 25th time in the past four years. This is also the third time in the past four years that the Blue Jays headlined the preseason edition. It won’t be the same team that won the national title two years ago, as Johns Hopkins has since graduated its top-5 runners from that squad, including its three All-Americans from 2019 (Rebecca Grusby, Ariel Keklak and Sam Levy). Rest assured that the Blue Jays won’t go for want, as they’ll feature Ella Baran, Katherine Priu and Alex Ross, among others. Baran finished runner-up in both the 1500 and 5000 at the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while Priu was runner-up at the Mideast Regional in 2019 and Ross took 11th place in the 10,000 meters this past May.

Washington (Mo.) sits second to begin the season, the same place it kicked off two of the past three years. The Bears, who finished runner-up in 2019, welcome back three of their top-7 runners from that squad – Ella Behrens, Sophie Young and Gabby McGinn. Look for that trio, as well as Zarya DeSouza, Julia Thigpen and Emma Walter to handle most of the heavy lifting for WashU in 2021. Walter has the best PR over 5000 meters from the group at 17:27.

Williams comes in at No. 3, making this the fifth time in the past six years in the preseason top-5. The Ephs will have a young team, though, as they have since graduated five of the seven runners who competed for them at NCAAs in 2019. Eva Borton is the top returner for Williams after finishing 22nd overall as a freshman two years ago. Borton will be flanked by Genna Girard, who had a standout freshman year on the track. Girard took sixth place in the 10,000-meter final at the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships and went 17:24.88 over 5000 meters earlier in the season.

Wartburg holds it down at No. 4, earning a spot in the national top-5 for the first time since the 2013 season. The Knights, who finished sixth in 2019, were able to race four times last fall and romped to victory each time out. Wartburg was especially dominant at the American Rivers Championships, putting all seven runners in the top-15. The Knights have a potent 1-2 punch at the top of their lineup with 2020 A-R-C champion Aubrie Fisher and Carina Collet. Fisher also captured the steeplechase crown at the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships and finished 10th in the 10,000-meter final, as part of a strong double.

Tufts, ranked fifth, owns its best preseason billing since 2016 when it was also fifth. The Jumbos, who ended up eighth in 2019, are looking for their first podium finish in program history. Tufts has the front-end depth to do so, led by a trio of talented returners – Meghan Davis, Danielle Page and Anna Slager. Both Davis and Page starred on the track in 2021, as the former finished 11th in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the latter posted two top-6 finishes in both the 5000 and 10,000.

Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in the preseason: No. 6 MIT, No. 7 UChicago, No. 8 Amherst, No. 9 Dickinson and No. 10s Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Middlebury.

Three teams outside of the top-10 received their best ranking in program history (since at least 2009): No. 22 WPI, No. 29 Trine and No. 34 Misericordia.

The 2021 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, November 13, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III
Women's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll

2021 Preseason - August 25th

RANK TEAM & INFOPTS2020
FINAL
1 johns-hopkins JOHNS HOPKINS
Mid-Atlantic Region (1)
Centennial (1)
Bobby Van Allen (22nd)
350
(10 fpv)
---
2 washington-mo WASHINGTON (MO.)
Midwest Region (1)
UAA (1)
Jeff Stiles (21st)
337 ---
3 williams WILLIAMS
Mideast Region (1)
NESCAC (1)
Pete Farwell (22nd)
328 ---
4 wartburg WARTBURG
Midwest Region (2)
American Rivers (1)
Ryan Chapman (6th)
321 ---
5 tufts TUFTS
East Region (1)
NESCAC (2)
Kristen Morwick (22nd)
308 ---
6 mit MIT
East Region (2)
NEWMAC (1)
Halston Taylor (15th)
292 ---
7 chicago CHICAGO
Midwest Region (3)
UAA (2)
Chris Hall (21st)
285 ---
8 amherst AMHERST
Mideast Region (2)
NESCAC (5)
Cassie Funke-Harris (10th)
278 ---
9 dickinson DICKINSON
Mid-Atlantic Region (2)
Centennial (2)
Don Nichter (32nd)
275 ---
10 middlebury MIDDLEBURY
Mideast Region (3)
NESCAC (3)
Nicole Wilkerson (11th)
261 ---
10 claremont-mudd-scripps CLAREMONT-MUDD-SCRIPPS
West Region (1)
SCIAC (1)
Marina Muncan (2nd)
261 ---
12 uw-la-crosse UW-LA CROSSE
North Region (1)
WIAC (1)
Derek Stanley (10th)
234 ---
13 suny-geneseo SUNY GENESEO
Niagara Region (1)
SUNYAC (1)
Dan Moore (7th)
232 ---
14 hope HOPE
Great Lakes Region (1)
MIAA (1)
Mark Northuis (34th)
217 ---
15 rochester-n-y ROCHESTER (N.Y.)
Niagara Region (2)
UAA (7)
Eddie Novara (7th)
202 ---
16 carleton CARLETON
North Region (2)
MIAC (2)
Donna Ricks (29th)
191 ---
17 rpi RPI
Mideast Region (4)
Liberty League (2)
John Lynch (11th)
176 ---
17 colorado-college COLORADO COLLEGE
West Region (2)
SCAC (1)
Alex Nichols (2nd)
176 ---
19 john-carroll JOHN CARROLL
Great Lakes Region (2)
OAC (1)
Kyle Basista (8th)
170 ---
20 swarthmore SWARTHMORE
Metro Region (1)
Centennial (4)
Peter Carroll (22nd)
163 ---
21 uw-eau-claire UW-EAU CLAIRE
North Region (3)
WIAC (2)
Dan Schwamberger (15th)
156 ---
22 wpi WPI
East Region (3)
NEWMAC (5)
Brian Chabot (14th)
146 ---
23 wesleyan-conn WESLEYAN (CONN.)
Mideast Region (5)
NESCAC (9)
Leo Mayo (1st)
128 ---
24 pomona-pitzer POMONA-PITZER
West Region (3)
SCIAC (2)
Kirk Reynolds (33rd)
105 ---
25 carnegie-mellon CARNEGIE MELLON
Mid-Atlantic Region (3)
UAA (3)
Tim Connelly (7th)
98 ---
26 loras LORAS
Midwest Region (4)
American Rivers (2)
Bob Schultz (17th)
96 ---
27 emory EMORY
South Region (1)
UAA (4)
Linh Nguyen (3rd)
94 ---
27 ithaca ITHACA
Niagara Region (3)
Liberty League (3)
Erin Dinan (10th)
94 ---
29 trine TRINE
Great Lakes Region (3)
MIAA (3)
Zach Raber (9th)
85 ---
30 st-olaf ST. OLAF
North Region (4)
MIAC (1)
Erica Maker (4th)
65 ---
31 bates BATES
East Region (4)
NESCAC (4)
Jay Hartshorn (17th)
60 ---
32 otterbein OTTERBEIN
Great Lakes Region (4)
OAC (5)
Dara Ford (8th)
28 ---
33 washington-and-lee WASHINGTON AND LEE
South Region (2)
ODAC (2)
Mike Dager (8th)
23 ---
34 misericordia MISERICORDIA
Mid-Atlantic Region (4)
MAC (1)
Chris Wadas (16th)
22 ---
35 rowan ROWAN
Metro Region (2)
NJAC (3)
Derick "Ringo" Adamson (15th)
20 ---

Also Receiving Votes: St. Lawrence 19, UC Santa Cruz 4



Week-by-Week Ranking

Only showing those with a season-best ranking in the top 25.
TeamPreseasonWeek #1Week #2Week #3Week #4Week #5Week #6Week #7Week #8FINAL
Johns Hopkins1111111111
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps10944442222
SUNY Geneseo1311121310109983
Wartburg4322224334
Washington (Mo.)2256335445
Chicago7433557766
Williams31485666657
Tufts55111117171414118
Hope141317181616810129
Pomona-Pitzer24211599935910
UW-La Crosse1212141488118711
MIT6667121212111412
St. Olaf30303232303023192513
Middlebury10101315232316151014
Wellesley242615
Bates31221010141515161716
CalvinRV1616111113131617
Carnegie Mellon25232223171717171518
Emory27252121141418222019
Brandeis293131353524262320
Carleton16201817212122202221
UW-Eau Claire21192222202020181822
John Carroll19182424191926231923
Haverford322727323228272824
Case Western ReserveRV242329252425
Dickinson97787710121326
Colorado College1735RVRVRV30292927
Trine2931343427322728
Smith34283029
Allegheny (Pa.)222221213030
Amherst88912131319302131
Lynchburg34292932313232
UW-Oshkosh32
Elmhurst34
UW-Stevens Point2535
WPI2232252526263335
Trinity (Texas)RVRV
St. LawrenceRVRV30RVRV
Washington and Lee33RV
RIT2626272731
Loras26343335333335
Central (Iowa)RV
George Fox1619192525
Wesleyan (Conn.)232829332828
Rochester (N.Y.)151530293131
RPI17172020RV
UC Santa CruzRV262828
Swarthmore202734RV
Ithaca272435RV
ElizabethtownRVRV
Misericordia34RV
Otterbein32
Rowan35

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III Cross Country

2021 Rankings & Polls Calendar
Weeks Regional RankingsNational Coaches' Poll KEY DATES
PreseasonTue 8/24
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 8/25
MEN | WOMEN
Sep. 1: Earliest Contest
Week 1Tue 9/14
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 9/15
MEN | WOMEN
Week 2Tue 9/21
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 9/22
MEN | WOMEN
Sep. 25: 'Late-Season' begins
Week 3Tue 9/28
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 9/29
MEN | WOMEN
Week 4Tue 10/5
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 10/6
MEN | WOMEN
Week 5Tue 10/12
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 10/13
MEN | WOMEN
Week 6Tue 10/19
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 10/20
MEN | WOMEN
Oct. 30-31: Conference Champs
Week 7Tue 11/2
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 11/3
MEN | WOMEN
Nov. 13: NCAA Regionals
Week 8Tue 11/16
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 11/16
MEN | WOMEN
Nov. 20: NCAA DIII Championships
(Louisville, Ky.)
FINAL ResultsSat 11/13
MEN | WOMEN
Sat 11/20
MEN | WOMEN