2019 NCAA DIII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 4
NEW ORLEANS – There is a new No. 1 team in the NCAA Division III Men’s National Coaches’ Poll for the first time in the past 26 weeks.
Don’t worry: North Central (Ill.) isn’t going anywhere. The Cardinals just had to make room in their nest for a purple-and-gold-colored cow.
NCAA Division III — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
North Central (Ill.)
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
For the first time since Week 4 of the 2016 season, we have co-No. 1 programs in the Men’s National Coaches’ Poll. Back then, it was North Central (Ill.) and SUNY Geneseo. Three years later, those same Cardinals are joined by Williams.
The Ephs, who are ranked No. 1 for the first time in program history, had loosened North Central (Ill.)’s grasp on the top spot over the past few weeks. Williams earned three first-place votes in Week 1, two first-place votes in Week 2 and then one first-place vote in Week 3, before nabbing half of the eight possible first-place votes here in Week 4.
It’s clear that what the Ephs did a few weeks ago at the Purple Valley Classic (31 points with six runners in the top-15) was more impressive to the voting coaches than what the Cardinals accomplished this past weekend at the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic (85 points with three runners in the top-15). Both North Central (Ill.) and Williams faced off against fields that were loaded with nationally-ranked programs.
Wartburg jumped one spot from No. 4 to No. 3 after winning a tough, rain-soaked battle at its own Dan Huston Invitational this past weekend. The Knights, led by individual champion Sam Pinkowski and runner-up Joe Freiburger, toppled former No. 3 Washington (Mo.) by a score of 37-39. That front-end talent was able to hold off the now fifth-ranked Bears despite them putting six of their runners in the top-15.
SUNY Geneseo is one of eight teams to climb four or more spots between Week 3 and Week 4. The Knights, who galloped nine spots from No. 13 to No. 4, ran well in the Men’s College Gold 8K at the Paul Short Run as they finished 17th out of 44 teams.
You won’t have to go much further down to find Otterbein at its program-record No. 10 ranking. The Cardinals finished third in the Men’s Silver 8K Race behind North Central (Ill.) and now-No. 8 Johns Hopkins at the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic and were one of just three programs to put multiple athletes in the top-20.
John Carroll soared eight spots between Week 3 and Week 4 thanks to its best race of the season to date. The Blue Streaks were sixth at the de facto Pre-National Invitational and the spread between its top-4 runners was a meager 21 seconds.
Sitting right below John Carroll are three programs that improved four or more spots: No. 18 St. Olaf (up 11), No. 19 Amherst (up five) and up eight spots into a program-record No. 20 is Berea (Ky.).
There were five additions to the National Coaches’ Poll this week: No. 31 UW-Oshkosh, No. 32 NYU, No. 33 Trine and No. 34 Ramapo. This is a milestone day for the Thunder as it has never been ranked in program history before today.