2021 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 4
NEW ORLEANS – You better believe that when double-digit top-30 programs race each other, the ensuing National Coaches’ Poll will change.
Here is the newest edition of the NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll for Week 4 of the 2021 season, which was released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA)! Even though the top-9 teams remained the same as Week 3, the rest of the top-30 completely shifted around as teams hit new program highs.
NCAA Division I — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Nothing changed among the top-5 teams: Northern Arizona held firm at No. 1, followed by No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 Oklahoma State and No. 5 BYU. Out of those teams, only the Irish and Cardinal raced and chose to showcase their depth. Expect all five of those teams to race at full strength in two weeks at either the Pre-National Invitational or the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational.
Slightly further down is where you’ll find Furman checking in at No. 10. This is the first time that the Paladins have been ranked among the nation’s top-10 programs since Week 7 of the 2017 season. Furman took the Joe Piane Invitational by storm this past weekend in Notre Dame, Indiana, as they captured the team title with 129 points, thanks to putting four runners in the top-30 (Furman was the only team to accomplish that feat and was only one of four to have two in the top-20).
Wisconsin won the team title at the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic this past weekend and jumped from No. 14 to No. 11. The Badgers saw all five of their scoring athletes finish in the top-10 with Olin Hacker and Bob Liking leading the way in second and third, respectively.
Michigan made one of the biggest jumps between Week 3 and Week 4, improving 10 spots from No. 25 to No. 15. This is the second season in a row that the Wolverines appeared in the top-15 at some point during the season. Michigan finished a clear runner-up to Furman at the Joe Piane Invitational and used a meager 13.9-second spread between their first and fifth runner to do so (Devin Meyrer finished 24th in 24:02.9; Nick Foster finished 38th in 24:16.8).
North Carolina topped the podium at the Paul Short Run this past weekend and saw its stock improve from No. 23 to No. 18. The Tar Heels, who own their best ranking since 2013, had to work for that title in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, because Villanova pushed them to the brink. The winning margin between those two teams? Try just one point. UNC won 56-57.
Florida State and Southern Utah hitched a ride together as they climbed the National Coaches’ Poll. The Seminoles, who finished fourth at the Joe Piane Invitational, charged nine spots from No. 29 to No. 20 for their best ranking since 2014. The T-Birds, who finished fifth at the Joe Piane Invitational, went from receiving votes to No. 20, their sixth consecutive season among that group of ranked teams.
Air Force and Charlotte joined the top-30 after receiving votes in Week 3.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 20, because that’s when the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida.