2021 NCAA DII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 7
NEW ORLEANS – Did everybody have fun on Regional Championships Saturday?
Well, the impact of the weekend was certainly felt on the final installment of the NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Twenty of the top-25 teams shifted spots, including another swap at the tip-top.
NCAA Division II — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Colo. School of Mines
Grand Valley State
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Colorado School of Mines enters the 2021 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships next Saturday in Saint Leo, Florida, as the consensus favorite and defending champion. The Orediggers tunneled under former No. 1 Grand Valley State into the driver’s seat this week and nabbed seven first-place votes following their strong effort at the South Central Region Championships this past weekend in Lubbock, Texas. Led by individual champion Dillon Powell, Colorado School of Mines put six runners in the top-15 and beat three current top-10 programs by at least 12 points: No. 3 Adams State was second; No. 6 Colorado Christian was a distant third; No. 9 UC-Colorado Springs was fourth. All four punched tickets to the NCAA Championships.
Don’t worry about the Lakers, though: GVSU stated its continued claim of the top spot by steamrolling the field at the Midwest Region Championships. The Lakers, who held onto one first-place vote from the previous week, sent three runners across the finish line in the top-10 and beat current No. 14 Lewis by 69 points. Tanner Chada is a certified low stick every time he steps on the course, which should bode well for GVSU in Saint Leo, Florida. Caleb Futter and Jacob Lee provide the Lakers with consistent depth at the top of the lineup, too.
Four regional champions occupy four of the next five spots of the poll: Augustana (S.D.) held steady at No. 4 after cruising to a team title at the Central Region Championships; Wingate didn’t budge from No. 5 following its win at the Southeast Region Championships; Chico State remained at No. 7 after a dominant effort at the West Region Championships; Lee (Tenn.) jumped two spots from No. 10 to No. 8 following its hard-fought victory at the South Region Championships over conference rival and current No. 11 Alabama-Huntsville.
Missouri Southern parlayed a runner-up finish at the Central Region Championships into a seven-spot jump from No. 17 to No. 10.
Four teams climbed three or more spots since Week 6: Walsh went from No. 22 to No. 16 and earned its fourth consecutive appearance at the NCAA Championships; Michigan Tech went from No. 25 to No. 17 and captured just its second berth to the NCAA Championships since 1971; West Texas A&M went from No. 27 to No. 23 and will toe the starting line at the NCAA meet for the eighth year in a row; Wayne State (Mich.) went from No. 30 to No. 27 and snapped a 12-year drought in the process (The Warriors hadn’t been the NCAA meet since 2008).
Nebraska-Kearney was one of five new teams to join the National Coaches’ Poll. The Lopers, who are now ranked No. 24, were joined by No. 26 Cedarville, No. 28 Cal Poly Pomona, No. 29 Southern Connecticut and No. 30 Edinboro in that regard. This will be the Fighting Scots’ 42nd appearance at the NCAA Championships, which is third-most all-time behind former NCAA DII powerhouse South Dakota State (45) and Minnesota State (43).
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 20, because that’s when the 2021 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be held at Abbey Golf Course in Saint Leo, Florida!