2020 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 4
NEW ORLEANS – Welcome back to cross country season!
The first big weekend of spring cross country made way for some movement in the latest installment of the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll that was released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
The top-5 is made up with familiar names, with other teams making their moves among the remaining ranks – mainly outside the top-10.
NCAA Division I — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
For the fourth time this season and eighth consecutive week, Arkansas is ranked No. 1 after receiving nine first-place votes. The Razorbacks competed during the fall segment and closed it out with its eighth consecutive SEC Championship, winning the title by 16 points over runner-up Alabama, 41-57. Lauren Gregory led Arkansas in fourth place.
BYU moved up one spot to No. 2. While the Cougars rested some of its top athletes due to a split in the schedule between indoor and cross country, they took the opportunity to show off their depth. BYU won the Silver State Collegiate Challenge by 15 points over Boise State, 46-61. Anna Camp and Aubrey Frentheway led BYU with second and fourth place finishes, respectively.
NC State moved to No. 3 after swapping spots with the Cougars. The ACC champions earned their fifth consecutive title in dominating fashion, winning by 52 points over runner-up Georgia Tech, 47-99. The Wolfpack placed three runners in the top-7 and all five in the top-20. Dominique Clairmonte won the individual title, while Hannah Steelman finished third and Mariah Howlett took seventh.
Stanford gained one spot to No. 4. The Cardinal is scheduled to hit the grass circuit for the first time this season at the Pac-12 Championships on March 5. Ella Donaghu and Jessica Lawson will be the top returners for Stanford as it returns the bulk of their lineup from a third place team at the 2019 NCAA Championships.
No. 5 New Mexico rounds out the top-5 teams in Week 4. While the Lady Lobos have not competed this season, they are scheduled to compete in Nevada in a few weeks before the Mountain West Championships on March 5.
Moving up three spots to No. 6 is Michigan State following its showing at the Big Ten Championships. The Spartans topped Minnesota 48-76, to successfully defend their title from 2019. Jenna Magness and India Johnson finished third and fourth to lead Michigan State, respectively, with the remaining three scoring runners finishing in 11th, 14th and 16th.
Speaking of Minnesota, the Gophers climbed two spots to No. 10 for its first top-10 appearance since 2009. Bethany Hasz took home top honors at the Big Ten Championships in 20:13.2 over the 6K course, becoming the second woman in program history to win an individual Big Ten title. Abby Kohut-Jackson also came in eighth for a top-10 finish.
The biggest gainer in Week 4 of the National Coaches’ Poll is No. 17 Northern Arizona with a nine-spot jump from No. 26 in Week 3. NAU finished third at the Silver State Collegiate Challenge with 64 points – just three points shy of runner-up Boise State. Taryn O’Neill claimed the individual win over BYU’s Camp.
There are four new additions to the top-25: No. 22 Ohio State, No. 27 North Carolina, No. 29 Boston College and No. 30 Providence.
The rescheduled 2020 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held on Monday, March 15 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.