2018 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – Changed continued after one of the biggest weekends in cross country up to this point of the year in the latest edition of the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll released Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
While the top-four teams in the country might have remained the same, 22 of the top-30 teams saw some kind of movement which included 17 of the 19 teams ranked in the No. 11-30 spots.
Colorado remains atop the nation in the No. 1 spot for the second week in a row with nine first-place votes. The Lady Buffaloes came in 10th overall in the Cardinal Race at Pre-Nationals this past weekend as the group only raced its “B” team at the meet. Brianna Schwartz led the way with a 23rd-place finish.
The next time we’ll see Colorado as a full unit will be on Friday, October 27 at the Pac-12 Championships.
Holding at No. 2 is Boise State for the second week in a row. The Broncos are coming off a perfect showing at the Inland Empire Championships this past weekend. The group took the team title with a perfect score of 15 points and were paced by individual champion Claire Graves.
It was the second perfect score posted by Boise State this season. Next up for the Broncos will be the Mountain West Championships on October 26.
New Mexico also holds pat for the second week in a row despite picking up the team title in the White Race at the Pre-National Invitational over the weekend. Sophomore Weini Kelati continued her strong season as she collected the individual title. The Lady Lobos also had Ednah Kurgat as the meet’s runner up and Charlotte Prouse came in ninth for a squad as they had three in the top-10.
Joe Franklin’s team did receive the other two first-place votes available, but were still just a single point shy of overtaking Boise State, a team they will match up against at the MWC Championships.
Staying in the No. 4 spot is Oregon after it finished runner-up in the Cardinal Race at Pre-Nationals. The Ducks had the individual champion in Jessica Hull and placed all five scoring athletes in the top-22.
Oregon matches up with Colorado – and others – at the Pac-12 Championships on October 26.
Moving into the top-5 for the first time this season is No. 5 Arkansas after an impressive showing at Pre-Nationals.
The Razorbacks knocked off higher ranked Oregon at the meet to capture the team title in the White Race. Katrina Robinson led the way with a second-place finish as Arkansas placed its entire scoring lineup in the top-25.
It is the highest rank for the Razorbacks since the last poll of the 2015 season.
Falling one spot is No. 6 Stanford after it raced at Pre-Nationals this past weekend. The Cardinal took third overall in the white race and were paced by Elise Cranny and Fiona O’Keefee who came in fourth and fifth, respectively.
Stanford will get the opportunity to host the Pac-12 Championships on October 26.
Improving three spots is No. 7 Michigan after the Wolverines placed second in the White Race at Pre-Nationals. They finished behind defending NCAA National Champion New Mexico by a 53-point margin. Avery Evenson and Hannah Meier led the way with eighth and 12th-place finishes as individuals.
Dropping two spots is No. 8 Villanova despite no real fault of its own after a team victory at the Princeton Invitational this past weekend. The Wildcats were led by individual champion Caroline Alcorta and placed all five scoring athletes in the top-eight.
Villanova will race next at the Big East Championships on Saturday, October 27.
Holding steady at No. 9 is BYU who saw no change from the week before in its positioning. The Cougars are fresh off a fourth-place finish in the Cardinal Race at Pre-Nationals. Erica Birk-Jarvis placed fourth overall at the meet to lead the charge.
BYU will have the West Coast Conference Championships on Saturday, October 27.
Rounding out the top-10 is No. 10 Indiana which shot up one spot from the previous poll. It is the first time the program has ever appeared in the top-10 in the country to set a school record for best mark.
The Hoosiers took third in the Cardinal Race at Pre-Nationals and were paced by Katherine Receveur, who finished 15th overall.
While Indiana does have the Illini Open on its schedule for October 19, the program’s top athletes won’t take to the course again until the Big Ten Championships on October 28.
The biggest gain in the poll belongs to No. 13 Penn State who saw a six-spot improvement. The Nittany Lions won the team title at its National Open this past weekend. Julia Paternain paced the group as she took home the meet’s individual crown.
No. 18 Notre Dame, No. 19 Portland, No. 22 Georgia Tech and No. 24 Georgia all had big improvements as well as each team shot up four spots.
It was the highest mark received by Portland since the 2016 season.
New to the poll this week is No. 23 Southern Utah, No. 25 Syracuse and No. 28 Northern Arizona.
It is the first time in program history that Southern Utah has been nationally-ranked. Northern Arizona enters the top-30 for the first time this season while Syracuse returned to the poll after a two-week absence. The Orange sat in the No. 22 spot for the first three polls of the year.
Oklahoma State, Florida, Yale, Air Force, Oregon State, Texas, UCLA, Dartmouth, Georgetown, Cal Poly and Utah also received votes.