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

NEW ORLEANS – Every year 18 women’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 Women’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). Thirteen of those 18 teams that punched automatic tickets to NCAAs last year, including five regional champions, 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 Men’s Regional Rankings

Great Lakes Region

For the second year in a row and the just the third time since 2009, Wisconsin begins the season as the top-ranked team in the Great Lakes Region. The Badgers, who finished runner-up in the region last year, return a strong majority of athletes who competed on that team. Alicia Monson is the top returner as she was the regional champion and had a tremendous outing at the ensuing NCAA Championships, not to mention during the indoor season where she won a national title in the 3000. Amy Davis is another talented returner for Wisconsin, as she finished 11th at the regional meet in 2018.

Michigan enters the season ranked No. 2 for the third time in the past four years. The Wolverines return just four of the seven athletes from their regional title-winning team in 2018, but two of those finished in the top-15 – Anne Forsyth (3rd) and Camille Davre (14th) – to lead a potent attack. Plus, Michigan landed a strong recruiting class in the offseason that has several talented freshman and transfers who could make an impact.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State.

Mid-Atlantic Region

Penn State might have finished third in the Mid-Atlantic Region last year, but its depth and experience pushed it to its fourth year in a row as the preseason favorite. The Nittany Lions return six of their top-7 runners from last year, including regional top-10 finishers Alison Willingmyre (sixth) and Danae Rivers (seventh). Kathryn Munks and Moria O’Shea also finished in the top-25 last year at the regional meet.

Princeton, last year’s runner-up, starts the season ranked No. 2. The Tigers lost a significant portion of their roster from last year, but return eighth-place regional finisher Sophie Cantine and bring in four talented freshmen who can make an immediate impact. This is the best preseason ranking for Princeton since 2012.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Penn, Villanova and West Virginia.

Midwest Region

For the second year in a row and the seventh time since 2010, Iowa State is the top-ranked team to begin the season in the Midwest Region. The Cyclones return four athletes who competed in the NCAA postseason last year, namely rising junior Cailie Logue. She won the regional title last year by 10 seconds and finished 53rd at NCAAs. Logue had a strong outdoor season in which she set PRs in the 5000 (15:40.33) and 10,000 (33:36.00).

Oklahoma State is ranked second to begin the season for the sixth time since 2010. The Cowgirls, who finished runner-up at the regional meet last year, return four of their top-7 athletes from that team. Taylor Somers is the top returning after Sinclaire Johnson turned professional after the outdoor season. Somers finished 24th at the regional meet in 2018.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Minnesota, Illinois and Northwestern. This matches the best regional ranking received by the Fighting Illini since the 2012 season.

Mountain Region

Big things are expected from New Mexico in 2019 as Joe Franklin’s team enters the year ranked No. 1 in the Mountain Region. The Lady Lobos, who have been the top team entering the season in four of the past five years, have a stacked roster with Weini Kelati and Ednah Kurgat leading the way. Kelati finished runner-up at NCAAs last year, while Kurgat finished fifth overall, not to mention their regional accomplishments. New Mexico got even stronger as Adva Cohen got her feet wet in the NCAA system and hit PRs of 15:31.01 (5000) and 9:44.41 (steeplechase) on the track.

2018 national champion Colorado sits second regionally to begin the season. It is the fourth time in the past five years that the Buffaloes opens the season in that spot. Colorado only returns two of its seven athletes from last year’s regional meet, but one of them is Tabor Scholl, who finished eighth at that meet and then placed 15th at NCAAs. The Buffs also added two dynamic transfers in the offseasion: Emily Venters (Boise State) and Rachel McArthur (Villanova).

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by BYU, Utah and Air Force. This matches the best preseason ranking received by the Utes since the 2011 season.

Northeast Region

It’s expected to be a battle atop the Northeast Region this season.

Columbia earned just its fourth No. 1 ranking in the Northeast Region since 2010 – and for good reason. The Lions return four athletes from the team that romped to the regional title last year by a score of 41-88 over Dartmouth. Columbia put five athletes in the top-15 last year and three of them return in 2019: Katie Wasserman (eighth), Maria Kogan (ninth) and Alexandra Hays (13th).

Dartmouth sits second to begin the season and has five of its top-7 runners from the team that finished runner-up at the regional meet last year. The Big Green put four athletes in the top-20 and they all return: Glendora Murphy (10th), Lauren Sapone (11th), Georgia Fear (14th) and Julia Stevenson (16th).

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Boston College, Iona and Syracuse. The Eagles were called “probably the most improved team in the region” and it shows since they earned their best regional ranking since 2014.

South Region

For just the second time in program history, Ole Miss is ranked No. 1 in the South Region to open the season. The Rebels, who finished third at the regional meet last year, have a strong top-3 with Clio Ozanne-Jaques, Lisa Vogelgesang and Madeleine King, and have depth with Victoria Simmons and Ylva Traxler, among others.

Florida State has its own 1-2-3 punch at the top of the lineup with Elizabeth Funderburk, Megan Mooney and Maudie Skyring, not to mention depth with Jodie Judd and Jennifer Lima. The second-ranked Seminoles also added Villanova transfer Lauren Ryan and a few talented freshmen who could make a difference. This is the second year in a row that Florida State has been ranked No. 2 to begin the season.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Georgia Tech, Florida and Vanderbilt. This is the best preseason ranking received by the Yellow Jackets in program history and the best preseason ranking the Gators have received since the 2013 season.

South Central Region

For the eighth year in a row and the 50th consecutive week, the Arkansas Razorbacks are ranked No. 1 in the South Central Region. Arkansas enters the season with six of the seven athletes it brought to the regional championship meet last year. Those same athletes who helped the Razorbacks score just 21 points as Katrina Robinson, Taylor Werner, Lauren Gregory and Carina Viljoen went 1-2-3-4 with Micah Huckabee and Maddy Reed not too far behind in 13th and 14th place, respectively.

Texas is ranked second to begin the season for the fourth time in the past five years. The Longhorns finished runner-up at the regional meet last year and return two of their top-3 athletes from that performance, including Destiny Collins (seventh) and Abby Guidry (20th).

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Texas A&M, Rice and Texas State. This is the best ranking in program history for the Bobcats.

Southeast Region

NC State enters the 2019 season as the favorite in the Southeast Region. The Wolfpack return six of its top-7 runners from last year, including Elly Henes and Dominique Clairmonte, who finished second and fifth at the regional meet. They’ll be flanked by a strong core, including Savannah Shaw, who earned valuable racing experience this past March at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships with Team USA.

Furman is ranked second to begin the season and it returns all seven of its runners from last year’s regional runner-up team. The Paladins are led by Savannah Carnahan, who finished third at the regional meet, and expect big things from Emma Grace Hurley (11th) and Gabrielle Jennings (16th) as they enter their senior years.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Duke, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech.

West Region

For the first time since the 2010 season, Washington is ranked No. 1 to begin the season in the West Region. The Huskies return six of the seven athletes from a team that finished fourth at the deep regional meet last year and jumped from 21st to 9th place at NCAAs between 2017 and 2018, including a formidable top-2 in Katie Rainsberger and Lilli Burdon.

Boise State must find a way to replace its top-end depth, but our regional ranker doesn’t think that should be an issue. The Broncos are ranked No. 2 to begin the season, tying its best preseason billing in the past eight years. Clare O’Brien is expected to be the leader for Boise State in 2019 after a strong junior year in which she finished sixth at the regional meet in cross country and then double qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary Rounds in the 5000 and 10,000.

The preseason top-5 is rounded out by Stanford, Oregon and UCLA. This is just the second time in the past nine years that the Ducks were ranked outside of the top-2 in the preseason.

NCAA Division I
Women'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 -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1wisconsinWISCONSIN
Big Ten (2)
 2
2michiganMICHIGAN
Big Ten (3)
 1
3notre-dameNOTRE DAME
ACC (3)
 4
4michigan-stateMICHIGAN STATE
Big Ten (1)
 3
5ohio-stateOHIO STATE
Big Ten (5)
 7
6indianaINDIANA
Big Ten (8)
 5
7eastern-michiganEASTERN MICHIGAN
Mid-American (1)
 6
8purduePURDUE
Big Ten (11)
 8
9toledoTOLEDO
Mid-American (4)
 9
10miami-ohioMIAMI (OHIO)
Mid-American (3)
 11
11butlerBUTLER
Big East (1)
 10
12daytonDAYTON
Atlantic 10 (3)
 12
13xavierXAVIER
Big East (5)
 13
14bowling-greenBOWLING GREEN
Mid-American (10)
 15
15central-michiganCENTRAL MICHIGAN
Mid-American (12)
 16

Mid-Atlantic Region -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1penn-statePENN STATE
Big Ten (4)
 3
2princetonPRINCETON
Ivy League (4)
 2
3pennPENN
Ivy League (3)
 5
4villanovaVILLANOVA
Big East (2)
 1
5west-virginiaWEST VIRGINIA
Big 12 (3)
 6
6templeTEMPLE
American (3)
 4
7georgetownGEORGETOWN
Big East (3)
 7
8la-salleLA SALLE
Atlantic 10 (1)
 11
9george-washingtonGEORGE WASHINGTON
Atlantic 10 (2)
 14
10pittsburghPITTSBURGH
ACC (14)
 9
11rutgersRUTGERS
Big Ten (14)
 12
12duquesneDUQUESNE
Atlantic 10 (7)
 15
13lehighLEHIGH
Patriot (5)
 13
14bucknellBUCKNELL
Patriot (2)
 8
15marylandMARYLAND
Big Ten (12)
 10

Midwest Region -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1iowa-stateIOWA STATE
Big 12 (4)
 1
2oklahoma-stateOKLAHOMA STATE
Big 12 (1)
 2
3minnesotaMINNESOTA
Big Ten (7)
 3
4illinoisILLINOIS
Big Ten (6)
 4
5northwesternNORTHWESTERN
Big Ten (13)
 5
6tulsaTULSA
American (1)
 8
7wichita-stateWICHITA STATE
American (2)
 10
8missouriMISSOURI
SEC (3)
 11
9bradleyBRADLEY
Missouri Valley (2)
 9
10iowaIOWA
Big Ten (9)
 12
11nebraskaNEBRASKA
Big Ten (10)
 14
12south-dakotaSOUTH DAKOTA
Summit League (2)
 6
13kansasKANSAS
Big 12 (6)
 7
14northern-illinoisNORTHERN ILLINOIS
Mid-American (2)
 15
15loyola-chicagoLOYOLA-CHICAGO
Missouri Valley (1)
 16

Mountain Region -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1new-mexicoNEW MEXICO
Mountain West (1)
 1
2coloradoCOLORADO
Pac-12 (4)
 2
3byuBYU
WCC (1)
 3
4utahUTAH
Pac-12 (3)
 11
5air-forceAIR FORCE
Mountain West (2)
 5
6northern-arizonaNORTHERN ARIZONA
Big Sky (1)
 6
7utepUTEP
Conference USA (3)
 13
8utah-stateUTAH STATE
Mountain West (5)
 7
9colorado-stateCOLORADO STATE
Mountain West (4)
 9
10southern-utahSOUTHERN UTAH
Big Sky (3)
 4
11nevadaNEVADA
Mountain West (8)
 10
12weber-stateWEBER STATE
Big Sky (4)
 8
13montana-stateMONTANA STATE
Big Sky (5)
 14
14utah-valleyUTAH VALLEY
WAC (2)
 15
15texas-techTEXAS TECH
Big 12 (5)
 19

Northeast Region -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1columbiaCOLUMBIA
Ivy League (1)
 1
2dartmouthDARTMOUTH
Ivy League (8)
 2
3boston-collegeBOSTON COLLEGE
ACC (7)
 9
4ionaIONA
Metro Atlantic (1)
 5
5syracuseSYRACUSE
ACC (5)
 6
6providencePROVIDENCE
Big East (4)
 10
7yaleYALE
Ivy League (5)
 3
8harvardHARVARD
Ivy League (2)
 8
9brownBROWN
Ivy League (7)
 7
10cornellCORNELL
Ivy League (6)
 4
11maristMARIST
Metro Atlantic (2)
 11
12albanyALBANY
America East (4)
 14
13umass-lowellUMASS LOWELL
America East (6)
 15
14connecticutCONNECTICUT
American (4)
 12
15new-hampshireNEW HAMPSHIRE
America East (1)
 27

South Region -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1ole-missOLE MISS
SEC (2)
 3
2florida-stateFLORIDA STATE
ACC (2)
 1
3georgia-techGEORGIA TECH
ACC (10)
 4
4floridaFLORIDA
SEC (11)
 2
5vanderbiltVANDERBILT
SEC (6)
 6
6georgiaGEORGIA
SEC (8)
 5
7southern-missSOUTHERN MISS
Conference USA (2)
 11
8lipscombLIPSCOMB
ASUN (1)
 10
9middle-tennesseeMIDDLE TENNESSEE
Conference USA (1)
 9
10alabamaALABAMA
SEC (5)
 8
11tennesseeTENNESSEE
SEC (4)
 7
12auburnAUBURN
SEC (10)
 12
13belmontBELMONT
OVC (3)
 14
14north-floridaNORTH FLORIDA
ASUN (4)
 18
15chattanoogaCHATTANOOGA
SoCon (6)
 16

South Central Region -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1arkansasARKANSAS
SEC (1)
 1
2texasTEXAS
Big 12 (2)
 2
3texas-amTEXAS A&M
SEC (9)
 4
4riceRICE
Conference USA (4)
 5
5texas-stateTEXAS STATE
Sun Belt (4)
 3
6baylorBAYLOR
Big 12 (7)
 7
7smuSMU
American (9)
 6
8utrgvUTRGV
WAC (6)
 9
9houstonHOUSTON
American (8)
 12
10texas-am-corpus-christiTEXAS A&M-CORPUS CHRISTI
Southland (3)
 10
11north-texasNORTH TEXAS
Conference USA (7)
 14
12stephen-f-austinSTEPHEN F. AUSTIN
Southland (2)
 13
13mcneese-stateMCNEESE STATE
Southland (7)
 15
14tcuTCU
Big 12 (10)
 16
15incarnate-wordINCARNATE WORD
Southland (5)
 19

Southeast Region -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1nc-stateNC STATE
ACC (1)
 1
2furmanFURMAN
SoCon (1)
 2
3dukeDUKE
ACC (9)
 3
4wake-forestWAKE FOREST
ACC (6)
 4
5virginia-techVIRGINIA TECH
ACC (4)
 5
6virginiaVIRGINIA
ACC (11)
 6
7richmondRICHMOND
Atlantic 10 (4)
 8
8kentuckyKENTUCKY
SEC (7)
 10
9eastern-kentuckyEASTERN KENTUCKY
OVC (1)
 7
10north-carolinaNORTH CAROLINA
ACC (8)
 14
11louisvilleLOUISVILLE
ACC (12)
 11
12clemsonCLEMSON
ACC (13)
 9
13libertyLIBERTY
ASUN (2)
 13
14high-pointHIGH POINT
Big South (1)
 12
15george-masonGEORGE MASON
Atlantic 10 (6)
 16

West Region -- Women

RANK TEAM
CONFERENCE
2018
FINAL
1washingtonWASHINGTON
Pac-12 (2)
 4
2boise-stateBOISE STATE
Mountain West (3)
 2
3stanfordSTANFORD
Pac-12 (1)
 3
4oregonOREGON
Pac-12 (5)
 1
5uclaUCLA
Pac-12 (8)
 7
6oregon-stateOREGON STATE
Pac-12 (7)
 6
7cal-polyCAL POLY
Big West (3)
 8
8california-baptistCALIFORNIA BAPTIST
WAC (1)
 ---
9san-franciscoSAN FRANCISCO
WCC (3)
 10
10portlandPORTLAND
WCC (2)
 5
11cal-state-fullertonCAL STATE FULLERTON
Big West (1)
 11
12san-jose-stateSAN JOSE STATE
Mountain West (7)
 9
13arizonaARIZONA
Pac-12 (6)
 ---
14californiaCALIFORNIA
Pac-12 (9)
 13
15washington-stateWASHINGTON STATE
Pac-12 (10)
 12

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
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WOMEN: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | All Years

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