2020 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country Regional Rankings – Week 4
NEW ORLEANS – We are less than six weeks out from the 2020 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships that were postponed to March 15, 2021 from its original date of November 21, 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. What better time to debut the first edition of the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Regional Rankings for the season than now?
Although there are no Regional Championships contested this year to determine who automatically advances to the championship meet, the first edition of the rankings shows how things are playing out.
NOTE: Only those teams who have competed or have an intention to compete prior to the conclusion of the season are eligible for a regional ranking.
Great Lakes Region
Michigan State and Michigan will start the year in a tie for No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region.
Michigan State earned the nod following their victory at the Big Ten Championships to open the season. The Spartans won its second-straight Big Ten title with a 29-point victory over Minnesota, 47-76. Jenna Magness and India Johnson paced the Spartans with third and fourth place finishes.
While Michigan had to postpone its season opener due to COVID-19 concerns statewide, the Wolverines are expected to be competitive when the time comes to compete.
The rest of the top-5 is rounded out with No. 3 Indiana, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Wisconsin.
Georgetown and Penn State sit at No. 1 and No. 2.
The Hoyas are scheduled to open their season at the BIG EAST Championships on March 5th. Georgetown is expected to rely on its top returners of Sami Corman, Alyssa Aldridge, Katherine Modrall and Baylee Jones.
The Nittany Lions opened their season with an eighth place finish at the Big Ten Championships with a young squad. Freshmen Faith DeMars and Sera Mazza were the top runners for Penn State in their first showing of the season.
The rest of the top-5 is rounded out with No. 3 Villanova, No. 4 West Virginia and No. 5 Temple.
Minnesota and Illinois will start at No. 1 and No. 2
The Gophers placed second at the Big Ten Championships with 76 points. Bethany Hasz took home individual honors, winning the 6K in 20:13.2. Abby Kohut-Jackson also finished in the top-10 in eight place.
The Illini was the third place team at the Big Ten Championships with 79 points, finishing three points behind aforementioned Minnesota. Rebecca Craddock earned a ninth-place finish to pace Illinois.
The rest of the top-5 is rounded out with No. 3 Iowa State, No. 4 Oklahoma State and No. 5 Northern Illinois.
BYU will headline the Mountain Region at No. 1, followed by No. 2 New Mexico.
A split in the schedule between indoor and cross country allowed BYU to show off its depth. The Cougars won the Silver State Collegiate XC Challenge with a 15-point victory over Boise State. Anna Camp placed second for the Cougars, followed by Aubrey Frentheway in fourth and Lexy Halladay in 10th.
New Mexico has not competed so far this season. The top returner for the Lobos is Adva Cohen following her 55th place finish at the 2019 NCAA Championships.
The rest of the top-5 is rounded out with No. 3 Colorado, No. 4 Northern Arizona and No. 5 Weber State.
Boston College and Providence will come in at No. 1 and No. 2.
The Eagles have competed in three meets during the fall segment. Boston College placed ninth as a team at the ACC Championships, led by Lauren White‘s eighth-place finish individually.
Providence has not competed this season. The Friars are scheduled to open up their season on February 17 at the Boston College and Army Tri-Meet.
No. 3 Iona, No. 4 Syracuse and No. 5 UConn round out the top-5 teams.
Alabama and Georgia Tech will start at No. 1 and No. 2.
The Crimson Tide finished second to Arkansas with 57 points at the SEC Championships for the team’s best finish since 1994. Alabama placed three women in the top-10, including individual champion Mercy Chelangat, who covered the 6K course in 19:46.5 to become the program’s first individual SEC Champion since 1993. Esther Gitahi and Jami Reed were the other top-10 finishers with their fifth and sixth place showings.
Georgia Tech finished as runner-ups at the ACC Championships with 99 points. Nicole Fegans placed ninth at ACCs, while Liz Galarza and Mary Kathryn Knott shortly behind in 13th and 14th, respectively.
The top-5 is rounded out by No. 3 Florida State, No. 4 Ole Miss and No. 5 Tennessee.
South Central Region
Arkansas and Texas sit at No. 1 and No. 2.
The Razorbacks won the program’s eighth-straight SEC Championship following a 16-point victory over previously mentioned Alabama, 41-57. Arkansas flexed its depth, placing their first five runners in the top-11. Lauren Gregory finished in fourth to be their top runner, followed by Logan Morris‘s seventh place showing.
The Longhorns earned a runner-up finish with 62 points at the Big 12 Championships. Texas’ top finisher was Beth Ramos, who notched a sixth-place finish.
The top-5 is closed out by No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Baylor and No. 5 Arkansas State.
NC State and Furman will start at No. 1 and No. 2.
The Wolfpack won the ACC Championships in the fall to defeat Georgia Tech, 47-99. Dominique Clairmonte led NC State with her individual crown in 19:55.1 for 6K, while Hannah Steelman and Mariah Howlett finished in third and seventh, respectively.
In the fall, the Paladins won the Southern Conference Championships in dominating fashion with a 52-point margin of victory over Samford, 28-80. Furman placed all five scoring athletes in the top-10, finishing 2-4-6-7-9. Abigail Robertson was the SoCon individual runner-up for Furman.
The top-5 is rounded out by No. 3 Duke, No. 4 UNC and No. 5 Virginia.
Stanford and Washington will debut at No. 1 and No. 2.
Stanford’s first scheduled competition is set to be the Pac-12 Championships on March 5th. Although the Cardinal will lose Fiona O’Keeffe (24th at NCAAs), they will return a bulk of their lineup from its third place team at the 2019 NCAA Championships. Ella Donaghu and Jessica Lawson will be the top returners for Stanford.
The Huskies opened up their season at the Silver State Collegiate XC Challenge, finishing fourth with 88 points. Haley Herberg and Naomi Smith were the top finishers at fifth and sixth, respectively. While Washington was also balancing a split weekend between indoor and cross country competition, it opened up the opportunity to show other athletes at its disposal.
The top-5 is rounded out by No. 3 Boise State, No. 4 Oregon State and No. 5 Oregon.