2017 NCAA DI Cross Country Women’s Region Rankings – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – It looks like those NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Preseason Regional Rankings were pretty accurate.
With two weekends in the books on the cross country circuit, there hasn’t been a tremendous amount of jockeying in the nine NCAA Division I regions on the women’s side of the rankings. All nine programs that held down the top regional spots in the preseason poll remained put, while there were minor shifts in the rankings below them.
For those who don’t know, the USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Rankings are determined subjectively by a single member coach in each respective region. The regional representative is tasked with weighing returning teams’ strength with current season results (if applicable) in determining predicted team finishes at the NCAA Regional Championships.
Great Lakes Region
Michigan won the Indiana State John McNichols Memorial this past weekend with Gena Sereno leading the pack, and opened the season on Sept. 1 with a convincing performance over Eastern Michigan at the 2017 Michigan Open. Notre Dame remained in second place after Annasophia Keller, Kaitlin Frei and Claudia Magnussen each finished in the top-10 at the 2017 Crusader Classic Invitational two weeks ago.
The big jump in the region came from Indiana, who moved up four spots to third. The Hoosiers won the meet over the likes of Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Miami (Ohio), and were led by Margaret Allen and Brenna Calder, who finished 2-3 in Bloomington.
The Nittany Lions of Penn State have competed twice on the young season already, winning both the Lock Haven Dolan Duels and the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational, with Jillian Hunsberger pacing the field in both meets.
Georgetown climbed one spot to second after putting three runners in the top-10 at the aforementioned Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational, knocking Villanova –who has yet to race – down to third.
Missouri and Minnesota remained in the top-two spots, despite not running their top athletes over the last few weeks. The lone shift in the top-five in the region was caused by Iowa State, who jumped Oklahoma State, for third. Led by Cailie Logue, the Cyclones swept the Hawkeye Invitational to open the 2017 campaign.
Colorado, New Mexico and BYU are still in the top-three spots, despite the latter of the trio having yet to make its season debut. However, there was a change in the bottom of the top-five in the region, as Utah State overtook fourth-place from in-state rival Utah. Alyssa Snyder and Tavia Dutson went 1-2 at the Utah State Invitational to lead the Aggies to a victory over the Utes on Sept. 2.
Without five of their top eight runners, Providence remained in first after a second-place finish at the Bryant Invitational. Harvard and Yale round out the top-three in the region.
Syracuse and Columbia each moved up a spot from a week ago to fourth and fifth, respectively. The Orange defeated West Virginia and put up tough fights with Penn State and Georgetown at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational, while Columbia defeated Cornell at the Columbia Invitational.
The top-10 in the South Region went unscathed, including Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Alabama and Florida State holding down the top-five spots for the second-consecutive week. North Florida jumped into the rankings at 14 after defeating Jacksonville at the North Florida Invitational. UT Martin slipped to 15th.
South Central Region
The South Central Region was the lone region that saw a decent shakeup in the top-five. While Arkansas stayed in first place, Baylor and SMU each moved up two spots to second and third, respectively, after strong showings at the Bear Twilight.
Texas fell one spot to fourth after placing second at the Texas A&M Opener, while Abilene Christian dropped to fifth.
N.C. State (No. 1) remained idle, but Furman gained ground in the top-five after a strong showing by Allie Buchalski and Gabrielle Jennings, among others, at the Furman XC Classic this past weekend. The Paladins moved up to second, knocking Louisville down to third.
Eastern Kentucky made a two-spot jump to fourth after defeating Kentucky, and others, at the 2017 Kentucky Bluegrass Invitational. Wake Forest remained in fifth on the week.
Many of the teams in this region were affected by the wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon (No. 1), Boise State (No. 5), Portland (No. 6) and Oregon State (No. 12) did not compete as scheduled last weekend.
Stanford, who has yet to compete on the season, remained in second, while San Francisco and Washington held down the third and fourth spots, respectively.