2021 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 2
NEW ORLEANS – There is no sign of things slowing down in the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, as teams keep shuffling around after three weeks of competition.
The Week 2 edition, released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday, is headlined by 23 total changes among the top-30 teams, including six in the top-10.
NCAA Division I — Women's Cross Country
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BYU and NC State will share the No. 1 spot for a second consecutive week. The Cougars had a full squad compete at the Florida State Open and took home top honors with 24 points. National Athlete of the Week and individual champion Whittni Orton led all seven BYU runners to top-15 finishes, including five in the top-10. The Wolfpack got the 2021 campaign underway with a perfect score at the adidas XC Challenge, led by individual winner Kayelyn Tuohy.
New Mexico climbed one spot to No. 3. The Lobos, while not competing at full strength, won the Lori Fitzgerald Open with 35 points. New Mexico could be expected to fully open at the Joe Piane Invitational on October 1.
Arkansas and Alabama sit at No. 4 and No. 5, respectively, and are both making their first top-5 appearance of the season. The Razorbacks won the Missouri Southern Stampede and placed three in the top-8. The Crimson Tide, with a program-best placement, finished third at the North Alabama Showcase and was paced by Flomena Asekol’s runner-up finish. Both teams had a chance to test their depth as they rested their top runners this past weekend.
Washington improved two spots into the top-10 for the first time this season. The Huskies, who are ranked ninth, are expected to be back in action at the Joe Piane Invitational. The last time out saw Washington sweep the top-7 spots in a dual meet against Seattle University in early September.
The most notable move of the week is No. 14 Oklahoma State with a nine-spot improvement from No. 23. The Cowgirls finished second to No. 8 Colorado at the Cowboy Jamboree by three points, 30-33. OSU placed four runners in the top-8, including a 1-2 finish from individual winner Taylor Roe and runner-up Gabby Hentemann.
Three other teams improved their positions from a week ago: No. 18 Notre Dame (up two from No. 20), No. 24 Oregon (up three from No. 27) and No. 25 Colorado State (up one from No. 26). The Fighting Irish rolled to a team victory at the National Catholic Championships and placed seven runners in the top-10, including a sweep of the top-5.
Furman is the newest addition to the National Coaches’ Poll this season. The Paladins went from receiving votes in Week 1 to No. 27 in Week 2 after finishing third in the team standings at the Florida State Open with 83 points. Bethany Graham paced Furman with her seventh-place finish.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 20, as the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will take place at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida.