2021 NJCAA DII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – Welcome back to cross country at the NJCAA Division II level!
Between now and Saturday, November 13, teams will jockey for position to put themselves in the best possible spots going into the 2021 NJCAA Division II Cross Country Championships, set to take place at Pole Green Park in Richmond, Virginia.
Let’s take a look at the Week 1 edition of the NJCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), following a vote by NJCAA coaches.
NJCAA Division II — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Heartland (Ill.) CC
Daytona State (Fla.)
Hawkeye (Iowa) CC
Grand Rapids (Mich.) CC
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Heartland (Ill.) CC sits No. 1 after starting the season with a bang. The Hawks cruised to the team title at the Titan Opener hosted by NCAA Division III Illinois Wesleyan. Heartland (Ill.) was the only team to put all five of its scoring athletes in the top-15 (3-6-10-14-15). Briar Nevills led the Hawks with a third-place finish, covering the 3-mile tract in 15:42.9.
Daytona State (Fla.) holds down the No. 2 spot in Week 1. The Falcons recently fought hard at the Border Clash XC Meet hosted by Valdosta State, taking fourth place in the team standings. Outside of meet champion Florida Southern, Daytona State (Fla.) was the only team to put three or more scoring athletes in the top-15. Andy Martinez led the squad with a third-place finish, as he covered the 7.25k course in 23:39.1.
Hawkeye (Iowa) CC and Grand Rapids (Mich.) CC share the No. 3 ranking. The RedTails recently finished fourth as a team at the Corridor XC Clash hosted by Mount Mercy and put four runners in the top-25. The Raiders recently took part in the Calvin Knight Invited hosted by Calvin University and saw a young team gain valuable race experience at the collegiate level.
Cowley College owns the No. 5 billing in Week 1. The Tigers opened the season at the Terry Masterson Twilight Classic this past weekend and finished runner-up to Cloud County CC. A strong pack-running mentality carried Cowley at the meet, as its five scoring athletes finished within 10 places of each other (16-17-19-24-26).
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in Week 1: No. 6 North Iowa Area CC (the defending national champion), No. 7 Wallace State (Ala.) CC, No. 8 Mesa (Ariz.) CC, No. 9 St. Clair County (Mich.) CC and No. 10 Allen (Kan.) CC.