2021 NJCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – Only two programs didn’t change places in the Pre-Championships edition of the NJCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The biggest mainstay was right at the top as Iowa Central CC continued as the unanimous No. 1 selection for the fourth week in a row. Elsewhere, regional action from the past weekend shook things up as teams are ready to line up for the 2021 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, which are set for Saturday, November 13 at Pole Green Park near Richmond, Virginia.
NJCAA Division I — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Iowa Central CC
Colby (Kan.) CC
Iowa Western CC
New Mexico JC
Northwest Kansas Tech
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Iowa Central CC won the Region XI Championships with its usual recipe that started with a blistering 1-2 combination of freshman Aspel Kiprob and defending national champion Kelvin Bungei. The Tritons, who haven’t lost to another JUCO team all year, will be seeking a repeat title at the NJCAA Division I Championships.
Colby (Kan.) CC moves back to No. 2 after an impressive victory in the Region VI Championships that featured the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 teams from the previous poll. Freshman Ricardo Barbosa leads the Trojans.
Jumping three spots to No. 3 is Iowa Western CC, which gave Iowa Central its closest battle of the season at the Region XI meet. The Reivers had a strong team effort led by freshman Nicholas Kiprotich, who finished a close third in a memorable individual race as the top three all broke the course record by over 15 seconds in running sub-24 for 8k.
New Mexico JC also leaped three positions, landing at No. 4. That’s the highest for the T-Birds since opening the season at No. 1. NMJC had their best race of the season in winning the the Region V Championships over five other ranked programs as freshman Evans Polotet was the individual runner-up.
No. 5 is Northwest Kansas Tech, down one spot. The Mavericks were runner-up in the top-loaded Region VI meet, which had former No. 2 Cloud County in third place. Vincent Nchogu, the current National Athlete of the Week, led the squad with his third individual win of the season.
Finishing out the top-10 are No. 6 El Paso (Texas) CC, No. 7 Cloud County (Kan.) CC, No. 8 Trinidad State (Colo.) JC, No. 9 College of Southern Idaho and No. 10 Central Arizona. Trinidad State moved up six places after winning the Region IX Championships.