2019 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – The newest edition of the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, released today by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), had some shifts in the national leaderboard since the preseason polls came out in August.
The top four teams remained in their respective slots, while 19 teams had movement with their rankings between the preseason poll and the first poll of the regular season. The biggest move in Week 1 came from Ohio State.
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Defending champion Colorado remained in the top spot after receiving five first-place votes. The last time the Buffaloes were ranked first in consecutive weeks was in 2017, when it was ranked No. 1 for the first five polls.
Colorado opened up the season with a second place finish at the Wyoming Invite. They are slated to compete at the Joe Paine Invitational on October 4.
The No. 2 spot belongs to the New Mexico, which received two first-place votes. The Lady Lobos will meet Colorado in South Bend, Indiana, at the Joe Paine Invitational next month.
Washington remains slotted at No. 3 after opening up their season with a victory at the Washington/Seattle U Dual Meet. This is the first time the Huskies have been ranked in the top-5 nationally to start the season for consecutive weeks since 2012, when they were ranked second and first in the preseason and Week 1 polls.
Michigan remained at No. 4 after getting their season started at the Michigan Open. Ericka VanderLende had a strong collegiate debut, winning the 5K race in 16:57.3 to pace the Wolverines.
The newest addition to the top-5 is Arkansas, jumping up three spots from No. 8 to No. 5 with its effort from the Hurricane Preview. Abby Gray, Isabel Van Vamp, and Quinn Owen swept the top three places at the meet for the Razorbacks.
No. 6 BYU remained steady in their position from the preseason. The Cougars started the year with consecutive victories at the Big Wave Invitational and the BYU Autumn Classic.
Both Arkansas and BYU received the remaining first-place votes.
No. 7 NC State moved up three spots from their preseason ranking. The Wolfpack will begin their competition schedule on Friday at the adidas XC Challenge.
Stanford dropped three spots to No. 8. The Cardinal will get their season underway on Saturday at the John McNichols Invitational.
No. 9 Wisconsin dropped two places, while No. 10 Oregon dropped one spot to round out the top-10.
The aforementioned Buckeyes were the biggest movers in the poll, jumping up five spots from the preseason. This is the best ranking for the Buckeyes since 2014 when they were ranked No. 19 in Week 5 and Week 6. Ohio State posted two solid outings to start the season, including this past weekend where it finished a close runner-up to No. 15 Ole Miss at the Commodore Classic in Nashville, Tennessee.
There were two teams that jumped into the national rankings after receiving votes in the preseason: Georgia Tech and Indiana. Both teams are back in the top-30 for the first time since Week 7 of last year.
The Yellow Jackets began the 2019 season by winning the Bulldog Invite and placed seven in the top-10. The Hoosiers opened their season with a team title at the Miami Open over Ohio State and a third-place finish at the Commodore Classic.
Be sure to check back throughout the season as a lot will change between now and November 23, when the 2019 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Indiana.