2021 NCAA DIII Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Preseason

NEW ORLEANS – As much as things change, they stay the same.

Eight of the top-10 teams from the last time NCAA Division III held a national championship in cross country reside in the preseason top-10 of the 2021 NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll. In fact, the top-3 teams from the 2019 meet held steady in the first installment of the index, which was released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).

NCAA Division III — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Johns Hopkins
Washington (Mo.)
Williams
Wartburg
Tufts
1
Johns Hopkins
2
Washington (Mo.)
3
Williams
4
Wartburg
5
Tufts
Cross Country Polls & Rankings

Defending champion Johns Hopkins sits atop the National Coaches’ Poll for the 25th time in the past four years. This is also the third time in the past four years that the Blue Jays headlined the preseason edition. It won’t be the same team that won the national title two years ago, as Johns Hopkins has since graduated its top-5 runners from that squad, including its three All-Americans from 2019 (Rebecca Grusby, Ariel Keklak and Sam Levy). Rest assured that the Blue Jays won’t go for want, as they’ll feature Ella Baran, Katherine Priu and Alex Ross, among others. Baran finished runner-up in both the 1500 and 5000 at the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships, while Priu was runner-up at the Mideast Regional in 2019 and Ross took 11th place in the 10,000 meters this past May.

Washington (Mo.) sits second to begin the season, the same place it kicked off two of the past three years. The Bears, who finished runner-up in 2019, welcome back three of their top-7 runners from that squad – Ella Behrens, Sophie Young and Gabby McGinn. Look for that trio, as well as Zarya DeSouza, Julia Thigpen and Emma Walter to handle most of the heavy lifting for WashU in 2021. Walter has the best PR over 5000 meters from the group at 17:27.

Williams comes in at No. 3, making this the fifth time in the past six years in the preseason top-5. The Ephs will have a young team, though, as they have since graduated five of the seven runners who competed for them at NCAAs in 2019. Eva Borton is the top returner for Williams after finishing 22nd overall as a freshman two years ago. Borton will be flanked by Genna Girard, who had a standout freshman year on the track. Girard took sixth place in the 10,000-meter final at the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships and went 17:24.88 over 5000 meters earlier in the season.

Wartburg holds it down at No. 4, earning a spot in the national top-5 for the first time since the 2013 season. The Knights, who finished sixth in 2019, were able to race four times last fall and romped to victory each time out. Wartburg was especially dominant at the American Rivers Championships, putting all seven runners in the top-15. The Knights have a potent 1-2 punch at the top of their lineup with 2020 A-R-C champion Aubrie Fisher and Carina Collet. Fisher also captured the steeplechase crown at the 2021 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships and finished 10th in the 10,000-meter final, as part of a strong double.

Tufts, ranked fifth, owns its best preseason billing since 2016 when it was also fifth. The Jumbos, who ended up eighth in 2019, are looking for their first podium finish in program history. Tufts has the front-end depth to do so, led by a trio of talented returners – Meghan Davis, Danielle Page and Anna Slager. Both Davis and Page starred on the track in 2021, as the former finished 11th in the 10,000 meters at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the latter posted two top-6 finishes in both the 5000 and 10,000.

Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in the preseason: No. 6 MIT, No. 7 UChicago, No. 8 Amherst, No. 9 Dickinson and No. 10s Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Middlebury.

Three teams outside of the top-10 received their best ranking in program history (since at least 2009): No. 22 WPI, No. 29 Trine and No. 34 Misericordia.

The 2021 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, November 13, at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III
Women's Cross Country National Coaches' Poll

2021 Preseason - August 25th

RANK TEAM & INFOPTS2020
FINAL
1 johns-hopkins JOHNS HOPKINS
Mid-Atlantic Region (1)
Centennial
Bobby Van Allen (22nd)
350
(10 fpv)
---
2 washington-mo WASHINGTON (MO.)
Midwest Region (1)
UAA
Jeff Stiles (21st)
337 ---
3 williams WILLIAMS
Mideast Region (1)
NESCAC
Pete Farwell (22nd)
328 ---
4 wartburg WARTBURG
Midwest Region (2)
American Rivers
Ryan Chapman (6th)
321 ---
5 tufts TUFTS
East Region (1)
NESCAC
Kristen Morwick (22nd)
308 ---
6 mit MIT
East Region (2)
NEWMAC
Halston Taylor (15th)
292 ---
7 chicago CHICAGO
Midwest Region (3)
UAA
Chris Hall (21st)
285 ---
8 amherst AMHERST
Mideast Region (2)
NESCAC
Cassie Funke-Harris (10th)
278 ---
9 dickinson DICKINSON
Mid-Atlantic Region (2)
Centennial
Don Nichter (32nd)
275 ---
10 middlebury MIDDLEBURY
Mideast Region (3)
NESCAC
Nicole Wilkerson (11th)
261 ---
10 claremont-mudd-scripps CLAREMONT-MUDD-SCRIPPS
West Region (1)
SCIAC
Marina Muncan (2nd)
261 ---
12 uw-la-crosse UW-LA CROSSE
North Region (1)
WIAC
Derek Stanley (10th)
234 ---
13 suny-geneseo SUNY GENESEO
Niagara Region (1)
SUNYAC
Dan Moore (7th)
232 ---
14 hope HOPE
Great Lakes Region (1)
MIAA
Mark Northuis (34th)
217 ---
15 rochester-n-y ROCHESTER (N.Y.)
Niagara Region (2)
UAA
Eddie Novara (7th)
202 ---
16 carleton CARLETON
North Region (2)
MIAC
Donna Ricks (29th)
191 ---
17 rpi RPI
Mideast Region (4)
Liberty League
John Lynch (11th)
176 ---
17 colorado-college COLORADO COLLEGE
West Region (2)
SCAC
Alex Nichols (2nd)
176 ---
19 john-carroll JOHN CARROLL
Great Lakes Region (2)
OAC
Kyle Basista (8th)
170 ---
20 swarthmore SWARTHMORE
Metro Region (1)
Centennial
Peter Carroll (22nd)
163 ---
21 uw-eau-claire UW-EAU CLAIRE
North Region (3)
WIAC
Dan Schwamberger (15th)
156 ---
22 wpi WPI
East Region (3)
NEWMAC
Brian Chabot (14th)
146 ---
23 wesleyan-conn WESLEYAN (CONN.)
Mideast Region (5)
NESCAC
Leo Mayo (1st)
128 ---
24 pomona-pitzer POMONA-PITZER
West Region (3)
SCIAC
Kirk Reynolds (33rd)
105 ---
25 carnegie-mellon CARNEGIE MELLON
Mid-Atlantic Region (3)
UAA
Tim Connelly (7th)
98 ---
26 loras LORAS
Midwest Region (4)
American Rivers
Bob Schultz (17th)
96 ---
27 emory EMORY
South Region (1)
UAA
Linh Nguyen (3rd)
94 ---
27 ithaca ITHACA
Niagara Region (3)
Liberty League
Erin Dinan (10th)
94 ---
29 trine TRINE
Great Lakes Region (3)
MIAA
Zach Raber (9th)
85 ---
30 st-olaf ST. OLAF
North Region (4)
MIAC
Erica Maker (4th)
65 ---
31 bates BATES
East Region (4)
NESCAC
Jay Hartshorn (17th)
60 ---
32 otterbein OTTERBEIN
Great Lakes Region (4)
OAC
Dara Ford (8th)
28 ---
33 washington-and-lee WASHINGTON AND LEE
South Region (2)
ODAC
Mike Dager (8th)
23 ---
34 misericordia MISERICORDIA
Mid-Atlantic Region (4)
MAC
Chris Wadas (16th)
22 ---
35 rowan ROWAN
Metro Region (2)
NJAC
Derick "Ringo" Adamson (15th)
20 ---

Also Receiving Votes: St. Lawrence 19, UC Santa Cruz 4

USTFCCCA NCAA Division III Cross Country

2021 Rankings & Polls Calendar
Weeks Regional RankingsNational Coaches' Poll KEY DATES
PreseasonTue 8/24
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 8/25
MEN | WOMEN
Sep. 1: Earliest Contest
Week 1Tue 9/14
MEN | WOMEN
Wed 9/15
MEN | WOMEN
Week 2Tue 9/21
Wed 9/22
Sep. 25: 'Late-Season' begins
Week 3Tue 9/28
Wed 9/29
Week 4Tue 10/5
Wed 10/6
Week 5Tue 10/12
Wed 10/13
Week 6Tue 10/19
Wed 10/20
Oct. 30-31: Conference Champs
Week 7Tue 11/2
Wed 11/3
Nov. 13: NCAA Regionals
Week 8Tue 11/16
Wed 11/17
Nov. 20: NCAA DIII Championships
(Louisville, Ky.)
FINAL ResultsSat 11/20
Sun 11/21
Week-by-Week Ranking Charts

>> REGIONAL RANKINGS
MEN: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | All Years
WOMEN: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | All Years

>> NATIONAL COACHES' POLL
MEN: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | All Years
WOMEN: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | All Years