2020 NJCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
For the first time since 2017, Iowa Central CC is the Week 1 favorite to win the men’s team title at the upcoming NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
That bodes well for the Tritons, who won the team title the last time they were an early No. 1.
NJCAA Division I — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Iowa Central CC
New Mexico JC
Hutchinson (Kan.) CC
Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Iowa Central CC, last year’s third-place squad, earned all 10 first-place votes from the coaches when they released their Week 1 poll on Wednesday afternoon. The Tritons opened up their season last weekend at the Grand View Open where they won by 31 points over host North Iowa Area CC thanks to a 1-2 finish by Kelvin Bungei and Pur Biel.
Big things are expected out of New Mexico JC in its second year of existence as a program. While the Thunderbirds finished 15th at the NJCAA Championships last year, they return a number of athletes who gained valuable experience and feature seven sophomores on its roster. Victor Kibet, who finished 21st overall last year, is the leading returner for New Mexico JC.
Hutchinson (Kan.) CC sits third to begin the season with its best ranking in program history. The Blue Dragons, who finished seventh at the NJCAA Championships last year, welcome back a number of athletes, including Teagan Flanagan. Just this past weekend, Flanagan took runner-up honors at the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic.
Vincennes (Ind.) is ranked at a program-high No. 4 in Week 1. After a 13th-place finish at the NJCAA Championships last year, the sky is the limit for the Trailblazers. VU is scheduled to open the season Friday, September 18 at the Heartland CC Open in Normal, Illinois.
Defending champion Cloud County (Kan.) rounds out the top-5. The T-Birds might have lost a few familiar faces – namely several of their top-5 runners from last year – but welcomed a few strong athletes in the offseason. Cloud County (Kan.) opened the season this past weekend with a fourth-place effort at the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic where it put two athletes in the top-3 (Habtamu Geta won by 13 seconds; Michael Iyali finished third overall).
Here are the rest of the top-10 programs: No. 6 Highland (Kan.) CC, No. 7 Dodge City (Kan.) CC, No. 8 Jacksonville (Texas) CC, No. 9 Southwestern (Texas) CC, No. 10 Colorado Mountain.