2019 NCAA DII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 4
NEW ORLEANS – A pair of meets this past weekend stirred up the NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Wednesday afternoon.
Nine teams continued to rise in the rankings from a week ago and one of them is making their debut in the coaches’ poll as we get into the thick of the cross country season.
NCAA Division II — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Colo. School of Mines
Grand Valley State
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
The unanimous No. 1 team is Colorado School of Mines for the fourth consecutive week.
The Orediggers confirmed why they are the top ranked team in NCAA DII, as they finished second in the team standings at the Chile Pepper Festival which turned into a competitive cross-divisional battle. Mines placed second to Texas (No. 24 in NCAA DI) and defeated Oklahoma State (No. 14 in NCAA DI).
Adams State climbed up three positions to assume the No. 2 spot in the poll for their highest rank this season. The Grizzlies placed third in the Gold section of the Paul Short Classic behind a pair of NCAA DI schools.
No. 3 Chico State (fell one from No. 3), No. 4 Grand Valley State, and No. 5 Western Colorado (fell two from No. 3) make up the remaining top-5 like they have continued to all season. The Mountaineers turned in a fourth-place team finish at Chile Pepper and was the second NCAA DII team in the field led by Taylor Stack. The junior was named National Athlete of the Week after placing fifth overall and as the third collegian in 23:55.1 behind runners from Oklahoma State and Arkansas.
No. 6 Augustana (S.D.) shifted up one spot ahead of now-No. 7 Missouri Southern. The Vikings are following their team title performance in the Maroon section of the Roy Griak Invitational on September 28.
No. 10 West Texas A&M was another team that made one of the biggest climbs this week, moving up three spots from No. 13 a week ago to achieve their highest placement since 2015. The Buffs was the top NCAA DII school in the Gold section at the Louisville Classic, led by Ezekiel Kipchirchir’s seventh place finish in 23:47.6 as the top DII runner in the field.
Northwest Missouri continues to climb the national leaderboard. The Bearcats registered the program’s best ranking during the regular season for the second time this year, climbing up two spots to No. 13. Their previous best ranking was No. 14 in Week 2. Northwest Missouri finished third among NCAA DII schools at the Chile Pepper Festival behind Mines and Western Colorado and placed seventh overall in the team standings. Jhordan Ccope placed sixth overall and was the fourth best collegian behind Stack.
No. 19 Alabama-Huntsville reached an all-time high in the national poll, moving up one spot form No. 20. The Chargers did not race this weekend; however, rolled to a win at their home invitational two weekends ago.
No. 21 Mount Olive (up two from No. 23) and No. 24 Southern Connecticut (up one from No. 24) also improved on their positions after competing at the Paul Short Run.
The newest team to the coaches’ poll is No. 25 Wayne State (Mich.), moving up from previously receiving votes the last two weeks for their first top-25 appearance this season.
One of the meets to be on the watch for this weekend is the Fifth Annual Lewis Crossover Cross Country Invitational that will feature many NCAA DII programs and some head-to-head competition between nationally-ranked programs. Competing teams include Grand Valley State, Augustana (S.D.), Missouri Southern, No. 8 Southern Indiana, No. 11 Michigan Tech, No. 12 Lee (Tenn.), No. 17 Walsh, No. 18 Cal State San Marcos, Alabama-Huntsville, No. 22 Saginaw Valley State, and Wayne State (Mich.).
The weather this weekend will make for some interesting race conditions. The current forecast for Romeoville, Illinois is predicting a quarter of an inch of rain on Friday and a high of 51 degrees for Saturday. Times will be impacted; however, the competition level of the meet could still have implications on national positioning we we begin to head into the postseason.
The next National Coaches’ Poll will be released on October 16.
Be sure to check back throughout the season until November 23, when the 2019 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be held at Haggin Oaks Golf Complex in Sacramento, California.