2019 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country Regional Rankings – Preseason

NEW ORLEANS – Every year 18 men’s teams automatically qualify for the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships by finishing in the top-2 at their respective regional meets.

Want an idea of what could happen come Friday, November 15? You’re in luck.

Here are the first NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country Regional Rankings of the 2019 season, which were released on Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Sixteen of those 18 teams, including each of the nine regional champions, that punched automatic tickets to NCAAs last year are expected to make a return trip in 2019 when the meet is held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Indiana.

SEE ALSO: Preseason Women’s Regional Rankings

Great Lakes Region

Wisconsin bounced back in a big way last year to win its second regional title in the past three years. The Badgers are projected to continue their run at the top of the Great Lakes Region and enter the season ranked No. 1 for the 10th time in the past 11 years. Wisconsin returns four of its top-5 runners from that regional championship team, led by Olin Hacker (5th) and Oliver Hoare (6th). The Badgers also add Jackson Sharp, who was the 2017 Australian U18 cross country champion.

Notre Dame opened a lot of eyes last year with its runner-up finish at the regional meet and enters the 2019 season ranked in the same place. The Irish, who own their best preseason ranking since at least 2009, return each of its top-5 runners from last year. Yared Nuguse is the leader of the pack as he had an outstanding sophomore campaign with a third-place finish at the regional meet, anchored the Notre Dame DMR team to the national title indoors and won the 1500 crown outdoors.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Indiana and Michigan as well as Purdue.

Mid-Atlantic Region

There is a pretty clear-cut top-2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region to begin the 2019 season.

Princeton and Villanova, the top-2 teams at last year’s regional championship meet, enter the season ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

The Tigers return all seven of its runners from last year’s regional title-winning team. Princeton had a strong afternoon in State College, Pennsylvania, as Matt Grossman, Conor Lundy and Gannon Willcutts all finished in the top-10.

The Wildcats also return a healthy number of those athletes who competed at the regional meet last year. Defending individual champ Casey Comber and Andrew Marston (fifth place) lead the way for six returners for Villanova.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Georgetown, Penn and Temple.

Midwest Region

For the second year in a row, Iowa State leads the charge into the season as the No. 1 team in the Midwest Region. The Cyclones return a wealth of talent, which includes three of its top-5 runners from a team that won the regional title last year led by individual champ Edwin Kurgat, who also placed third at the NCAA meet one week later. Other returners include Chad Johnson and Milo Greder, among others.

Oklahoma State is ranked No. 2 in the preseason for the second year in a row. The Cowboys are ready to ride with Isai Rodriguez and Ashenafi Hatte leading the way. Rodriguez was a surprise fourth-place finisher at NCAAs last year after finishing runner-up at the regional meet, while Hatte was 27th overall following a fifth-place finish at regionals. Sukhi Khosla had a strong outdoor season with a PR of 14:18.92 over 5000 meters.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Tulsa, Minnesota and Bradley.

Mountain Region

Northern Arizona is the No. 1 team in the Mountain Region until proven otherwise. The Lumberjacks own the top spot in the region for the 22nd consecutive week dating back to 2016. NAU might have lost three of its top runners from last year’s regional-winning and national title-winning team, but return three of its six All-Americans from 2018 – Geordie Beamish, Blasie Ferro and Luis Grijalva. The Lumberjacks also brought in several key additions.

BYU is ranked No. 2 to begin the season as it returns four of its top-6 runners from the regional runner-up last year. The Cougars welcome back Conner Mantz (sixth place), Clayson Shumway (15th place) and Jacob Heslington (18th) from that group. BYU has incredible depth, which is evident when you remember that they put six men into the 10,000-meter final at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Colorado, Colorado State and Wyoming. This is the second year in a row that the Buffaloes have been ranked third, while the Cowboys have their best preseason regional rank since at least 2009.

Northeast Region

Syracuse has been a mainstay atop the Northeast Region for quite some time. In fact, if you want to find the last time the Orange weren’t ranked No. 1 in the region, you’d have to go back to Week 6 in 2013. That trend atop the region continued in 2019 as Syracuse brings six athletes back from the team that won the regional title last year, including Aidan Tooker (6th), Dominic Hockenbury (7th) and Joe Dragon (8th).

Iona is ranked No. 2 in the preseason for the sixth time in the past seven years. The Gaels return all but one of the runners from their top-7 last year that propelled them to a runner-up finish at the regional meet. Ehab El-Sandali is the top returner for Iona, as he finished fourth at the regional meet and clocked a PR of 26:19.15 over 10,000 meters outdoors.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Army West Point, Harvard and Dartmouth. This is the best preseason ranking for the Black Knights and Crimson since at least 2009.

South Region

For the fourth time in the past five years, Ole Miss begins the season ranked No. 1 in the South Region. The Rebels return six of their top-7 runners that made up their regional-winning team last year, including Farah Abdulkarim (3rd place) and Waleed Suliman (6th). Suliman had a tremendous sophomore year for Ole Miss as he placed 36th at NCAA XC and turned in a PR of 3:38.72 (1500) on the track this past outdoor season. Look out for Mario Garcia Romo, as well, after he finished 13th in the region as a freshman and hit 14:28.91 on the track in the 5000.

Florida State is ranked No. 2 to begin the season, which is the same spot it finished in the region last year. This is the first time the Seminoles have been ranked No. 2 in the preseason since 2016. Florida State returns a strong core, led by rising sophomore Caleb Pottorff (9th place last year) and added two transfers in the offseason in Kasey Knevelbaard (Southern Utah) and Silas Griffith (Lipscomb).

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Alabama, Middle Tennessee State and Georgia Tech. The Crimson Tide and the Blue Raiders could both make a lot of noise as the season progresses.

South Central Region

There have only been two times in the past seven years that the Arkansas Razorbacks weren’t ranked No. 1 in the South Central Region. This is not one of those two times. Arkansas enters the 2019 season atop the South Central Region for the 48th time in the past 50 weeks. The Razorbacks must replace a few pieces, but return three of its top-5 runners from last year’s regional title-winning team, including Gilbert Boit (5th place) and Ryan Murphy (12th).

Texas is ranked No. 2 to begin the season for the seventh year in a row. The Longhorns return three of its top-4 runners from last year, including John Rice (6th) and Sam Worley (9th). Rice and Worley both had strong track seasons, which saw them finish ninth in the 1500 at NCAAs and PR in the steeplechase at 8:38.29, respectively.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Texas A&M, Rice and North Texas. This is the best preseason ranking for the Owls since at least 2009.

Southeast Region

For the first time since 2014, NC State is the preseason favorite in the Southeast Region. The Wolfpack won the regional title last year and return four athletes who finished in the top-25 of the 2018 regional meet. NC State also added Will Anderson, a transfer from Bradley, who finished 33rd in the Midwest Region last year.

Virginia is ranked No. 2 to begin the season for the fourth year in a row. The Cavaliers return four runners who finished in the top-25 of the regional meet last year and are hungry to make a return trip to NCAAs after missing out last year.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Eastern Kentucky, Virginia Tech and Furman. This is just the second time in the past five years that the Colonels have been ranked in the top-3 during the preseason (No. 1 in 2016).

West Region

Welcome to the No. 1 spot, Washington!

For the first time in recorded history, the Huskies are ranked No. 1 in the West Region. Washington had a remarkable run in 2018 – its first season under the direction of Andy Powell – and ended up finishing runner-up at the regional meet and sixth at NCAAs.

The Huskies return two athletes who finished with All-Region honors last year – Talon Hull (12th place) and Tibebu Proctor (24th place) – and a plethora of athletes who starred on the track circuit. Proctor and Gavin Parpart are two of those athletes who impressed on the oval with 10,000-meter PRs of 28:54.33 and 29:17.39, respectively.

Two-time defending regional champion Portland starts the season ranked No. 2. The Pilots lost five of its top-7 runners from last year’s team that also finished third at NCAAs – but it’s more of a reload than rebuild. Portland does have two-time All-American Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse (21st in 2018) and three athletes who went sub-29:20 on the track for 10,000 meters outdoors (Evert Silva, Michael Teran-Solano and Caleb Webb).

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Oregon, Stanford and UCLA. This is the first time since the 2013 season that the Cardinal has not been ranked in the preseason top-3.

NCAA Division I
Men's Cross Country
USTFCCCA Regional Coaches' Rankings

2019 Preseason - August 26th

About this Product
The USTFCCCA Regional Cross Country Coaches’ 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 a rank-order of squad potential. Only USTFCCCA member programs are eligible to receive a ranking. Teams with provisional status within the region may be ranked.

Great Lakes Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1wisconsinWISCONSIN
Big Ten (1)
 1
2notre-dameNOTRE DAME
ACC (2)
 2
3michiganMICHIGAN
Big Ten (3)
 3
3indianaINDIANA
Big Ten (2)
 5
5purduePURDUE
Big Ten (4)
 4
6michigan-stateMICHIGAN STATE
Big Ten (7)
 6
7butlerBUTLER
Big East (3)
 7
8miami-ohioMIAMI (OHIO)
Mid-American (2)
 9
9central-michiganCENTRAL MICHIGAN
Mid-American (5)
 13
10akronAKRON
Mid-American (4)
 14
11eastern-michiganEASTERN MICHIGAN
Mid-American (1)
 15
12ohio-stateOHIO STATE
Big Ten (11)
 21
13bowling-greenBOWLING GREEN
Mid-American (8)
 10
14cincinnatiCINCINNATI
American (4)
 12
15youngstown-stateYOUNGSTOWN STATE
Horizon (3)
 11

Mid-Atlantic Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1princetonPRINCETON
Ivy League (3)
 1
2villanovaVILLANOVA
Big East (1)
 2
3georgetownGEORGETOWN
Big East (2)
 3
4pennPENN
Ivy League (1)
 4
5templeTEMPLE
American (2)
 6
6penn-statePENN STATE
Big Ten (5)
 5
7la-salleLA SALLE
Atlantic 10 (1)
 7
8navyNAVY
Patriot (2)
 8
9pittsburghPITTSBURGH
ACC (11)
 9
10saint-josephsSAINT JOSEPH'S
Atlantic 10 (2)
 10
11duquesneDUQUESNE
Atlantic 10 (8)
 11
12bucknellBUCKNELL
Patriot (5)
 12
13monmouthMONMOUTH
Metro Atlantic (4)
 13
14mount-st-marysMOUNT ST. MARY'S
Northeast (3)
 14
15lehighLEHIGH
Patriot (4)
 15

Midwest Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1iowa-stateIOWA STATE
Big 12 (1)
 1
2oklahoma-stateOKLAHOMA STATE
Big 12 (2)
 4
3tulsaTULSA
American (1)
 3
4minnesotaMINNESOTA
Big Ten (8)
 5
5bradleyBRADLEY
Missouri Valley (1)
 2
6illinoisILLINOIS
Big Ten (9)
 11
7kansasKANSAS
Big 12 (4)
 6
8nebraskaNEBRASKA
Big Ten (6)
 8
9iowaIOWA
Big Ten (10)
 7
10missouriMISSOURI
SEC (7)
 13
11eastern-illinoisEASTERN ILLINOIS
OVC (3)
 12
12south-dakota-stateSOUTH DAKOTA STATE
Summit League (1)
 10
13drakeDRAKE
Missouri Valley (2)
 15
14illinois-stateILLINOIS STATE
Missouri Valley (6)
 9
15loyola-chicagoLOYOLA-CHICAGO
Missouri Valley (4)
 16

Mountain Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1northern-arizonaNORTHERN ARIZONA
Big Sky (1)
 1
2byuBYU
WCC (1)
 2
3coloradoCOLORADO
Pac-12 (1)
 3
4colorado-stateCOLORADO STATE
Mountain West (2)
 4
5wyomingWYOMING
Mountain West (3)
 6
6air-forceAIR FORCE
Mountain West (5)
 7
7southern-utahSOUTHERN UTAH
Big Sky (4)
 5
8utah-stateUTAH STATE
Mountain West (1)
 8
9weber-stateWEBER STATE
Big Sky (2)
 9
10new-mexicoNEW MEXICO
Mountain West (6)
 10
11montana-stateMONTANA STATE
Big Sky (3)
 11
12idaho-stateIDAHO STATE
Big Sky (8)
 12
13northern-coloradoNORTHERN COLORADO
Big Sky (5)
 14
14utah-valleyUTAH VALLEY
WAC (1)
 15
15montanaMONTANA
Big Sky (11)
 16

Northeast Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1syracuseSYRACUSE
ACC (1)
 1
2ionaIONA
Metro Atlantic (1)
 2
3army-west-pointARMY WEST POINT
Patriot (1)
 3
4harvardHARVARD
Ivy League (2)
 11
5dartmouthDARTMOUTH
Ivy League (8)
 4
6stony-brookSTONY BROOK
America East (1)
 9
7columbiaCOLUMBIA
Ivy League (4)
 8
8brownBROWN
Ivy League (7)
 5
9umass-lowellUMASS LOWELL
America East (2)
 6
10buffaloBUFFALO
Mid-American (3)
 7
11providencePROVIDENCE
Big East (5)
 20
12boston-universityBOSTON UNIVERSITY
Patriot (3)
 15
13cornellCORNELL
Ivy League (6)
 16
14northeasternNORTHEASTERN
Colonial (2)
 10
15vermontVERMONT
America East (3)
 13

South Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1ole-missOLE MISS
SEC (1)
 1
2florida-stateFLORIDA STATE
ACC (6)
 2
3alabamaALABAMA
SEC (2)
 6
4middle-tennesseeMIDDLE TENNESSEE
Conference USA (1)
 ---
5georgia-techGEORGIA TECH
ACC (9)
 5
6tennesseeTENNESSEE
SEC (9)
 3
7belmontBELMONT
OVC (2)
 4
8north-floridaNORTH FLORIDA
ASUN (3)
 8
9etsuETSU
SoCon (2)
 9
10floridaFLORIDA
SEC (6)
 11
11tennessee-techTENNESSEE TECH
OVC (9)
 7
12samfordSAMFORD
SoCon (3)
 10
13georgiaGEORGIA
SEC (11)
 12
14vanderbiltVANDERBILT
SEC (10)
 13
15lipscombLIPSCOMB
ASUN (1)
 14

South Central Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1arkansasARKANSAS
SEC (3)
 1
2texasTEXAS
Big 12 (3)
 2
3texas-amTEXAS A&M
SEC (5)
 3
4riceRICE
Conference USA (3)
 4
5north-texasNORTH TEXAS
Conference USA (6)
 5
6utrgvUTRGV
WAC (3)
 6
7incarnate-wordINCARNATE WORD
Southland (6)
 7
8ut-arlingtonUT ARLINGTON
Sun Belt (4)
 8
9lamarLAMAR
Southland (1)
 9
10mcneese-stateMCNEESE STATE
Southland (4)
 12
11houstonHOUSTON
American (8)
 14
12central-arkansasCENTRAL ARKANSAS
Southland (7)
 10
13stephen-f-austinSTEPHEN F. AUSTIN
Southland (5)
 11
14lsuLSU
SEC (8)
 15
15texas-stateTEXAS STATE
Sun Belt (5)
 ---

Southeast Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1nc-stateNC STATE
ACC (8)
 1
2virginiaVIRGINIA
ACC (4)
 3
3eastern-kentuckyEASTERN KENTUCKY
OVC (1)
 2
4virginia-techVIRGINIA TECH
ACC (3)
 8
5furmanFURMAN
SoCon (1)
 4
6wake-forestWAKE FOREST
ACC (5)
 5
7dukeDUKE
ACC (7)
 13
8charlotteCHARLOTTE
Conference USA (2)
 7
9north-carolinaNORTH CAROLINA
ACC (10)
 11
10william-and-maryWILLIAM AND MARY
Colonial (1)
 14
11charleston-southernCHARLESTON SOUTHERN
Big South (2)
 22
12libertyLIBERTY
ASUN (2)
 6
13kentuckyKENTUCKY
SEC (4)
 12
14louisvilleLOUISVILLE
ACC (12)
 9
15richmondRICHMOND
Atlantic 10 (7)
 15

West Region -- Men

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1washingtonWASHINGTON
Pac-12 (5)
 2
2portlandPORTLAND
WCC (2)
 1
3oregonOREGON
Pac-12 (2)
 5
4stanfordSTANFORD
Pac-12 (3)
 4
5uclaUCLA
Pac-12 (4)
 6
6boise-stateBOISE STATE
Mountain West (4)
 3
7gonzagaGONZAGA
WCC (3)
 9
8cal-polyCAL POLY
Big West (1)
 10
9washington-stateWASHINGTON STATE
Pac-12 (6)
 7
10san-franciscoSAN FRANCISCO
WCC (5)
 11
11arizona-stateARIZONA STATE
Pac-12 (9)
 14
12loyola-marymountLOYOLA MARYMOUNT
WCC (6)
 13
13uc-santa-barbaraUC SANTA BARBARA
Big West (3)
 16
14pepperdinePEPPERDINE
WCC (7)
 15
15california-baptistCALIFORNIA BAPTIST
WAC (2)
 ---

USTFCCCA NCAA Division I Cross Country

2019 Rankings & Polls Calendar
Weeks Regional RankingsNational Coaches' Poll KEY DATES
PreseasonMon 8/26
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 8/27
MEN | WOMEN
Aug. 30: Earliest Contest
Week 1Mon 9/16
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 9/17
MEN | WOMEN
Sep. 13: At-large Countable Period Begins
Week 2Mon 9/23
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 9/24
MEN | WOMEN
Week 3Mon 9/30
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 10/1
MEN | WOMEN
Week 4Mon 10/7
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 10/8
MEN | WOMEN
Oct. 19: Pre-National
Week 5Mon 10/21
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 10/22
MEN | WOMEN
Oct. 31-Nov. 3: Conference Champs
Week 6Mon 11/4
MEN | WOMEN
Tue 11/5
MEN | WOMEN
Nov. 15: NCAA Regionals
Week 7Mon 11/18
MEN | WOMEN
Mon 11/18
MEN | WOMEN
Nov. 23: NCAA Champs (Terre Haute, Ind.)
FINAL ResultsFri 11/15
MEN | WOMEN
Sat 11/23
MEN | WOMEN
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts

>> REGIONAL RANKINGS
MEN: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | All Years
WOMEN: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | All Years

>> NATIONAL COACHES' POLL
MEN: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | All Years
WOMEN: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | All Years