2021 NJCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – The only top-5 change was a big one in the Pre-Championships edition of the NJCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The new No. 1 is Iowa Central CC, moving up from No. 3 and switching positions with season-long rankings leader College of Southern Idaho as regional championship competition provided plenty of resume building opportunities.
A season-high four teams earned first-place votes in the latest poll, which only adds to the anticipation for the 2021 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships set for Saturday, November 13 at Pole Green Park near Richmond, Virginia.
NJCAA Division I — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Iowa Central CC
Iowa Western CC
Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
No. 1 is new for this year’s Iowa Central CC squad. The Tritons were No. 1 all of last year but missed a chance for a fourth-straight national title due to COVID concerns within the program. Iowa Central earned five of the eight first-place votes in this poll after edging previous No. 2 Iowa Western to win the Region XI Championships. Chloe Garcia Grafing was individual runner-up for the Tritons.
Iowa Western CC is No. 2 for the fourth week in a row. The Reivers were just four points behind rival Iowa Central CC in the thrilling Region XI meet and were led by freshman Mercy Biwott, who won the individual title in dominating fashion by 42 seconds.
College of Southern Idaho is No. 3 and earned a first-place vote. The Golden Eagles, members of Region XVIII, competed in Region IX as guests and once again displayed impressive depth along with tightness. CSI’s top-5 span was 42.1 seconds and sported a top-7 gap of just 44.2 seconds. Brooke Reed was CSI’s third runner to be team leader this year, joining Audrey Camp and Natalya Babcock.
Cloud County (Kan.) CC also earned a first-place vote and remains No. 4 after winning the strong Region VI Championships over 10 programs which have been ranked at least once this season. The T-Birds were led by Ludjenie Mondesir, the squad’s third No. 1 runner this year along with Lucy Ndungu and Melody Ochana.
No. 5 Central Arizona had a perfect score of 15 points to win the Region I Championships. The Vaqueras were led by Beatrice Keditukei, who won the individual crown by 36 seconds.
The rest of top-10 had plenty of jostling, led by No. 6 El Paso (Texas) CC, No. 7 Trinidad State (Colo.) JC, No. 8 Dodge City (Kan.) CC, No. 9 New Mexico JC and No. 10 Hutchinson (Kan.) CC. Trinidad State was the fourth team in this week’s poll to receive a first-place vote.