2021 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – It’s glorious!
Here is the newest edition of the NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll for Week 5 of the 2021 season, as released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Incredible racing at both the FSU Invite/Pre-Nats and the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational shook up the index in a big way.
NCAA Division I — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
There is a unanimous No. 1 program the first time since Week 7 of the 2018 season, as Northern Arizona has now collected all 11 first-place votes available. The Lumberjacks made a statement at the FSU Invite/Pre-Nats this past weekend as they romped to the team title with 64 points and were the only team with three runners in the top-10. Abdihamid Nur has led NAU in each of his team races, placing third at the Cowboy Jamboree and fourth in Tallahassee.
Iowa State vaulted to No. 2 after its surprising team title at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational this past weekend. The Cyclones, behind co-National Athlete of the Week Wesley Kiptoo’s individual title, only had one top-10 athlete (Kiptoo), but saw their next four runners finish within seven seconds of each other. Kiptoo was historically fast on the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course, clocking the second fastest time in meet history (fastest since 2012).
Colorado jumped from No. 7 to No. 3 after its runner-up showing at the FSU Invite/Pre-Nats. The Buffs matched former No. 8, now No. 6 Arkansas point-for-point on the Apalachee Regional Park Cross Country Course, but when the dust settled, CU nabbed the 3-2 advantage. This is the first time that the Buffs have been ranked among the top-3 programs since 2019.
Further down, the third-, fourth-, fifth and seventh-place teams from the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational saw ranking improvement: third-place Tulsa jumped three spots from No. 12 to back in the top-10 at No. 9; fourth-place Wisconsin moved up one spot from No. 11 to No. 10; fifth-place Air Force soared 19 spots from No. 30 to No. 11, its best ranking since 2018; seventh-place Gonzaga sprinted six spots from No. 19 to a program-high No. 13.
There were three other programs who were already ranked in the National Coaches’ Poll that made notable jumps: Texas is back at No. 14 – matching its best ranking since 2013 – after a 10-spot jump from Week 4, following a sixth-place finish at the FSU Invite/Pre-Nats; Portland climbed nine spots from No. 26 to No. 17 after a strong finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational and steamrolling the field at the Lewis & Clark Invite; Utah State romped eight spots from No. 29 to No. 21 thanks to an 11th-place effort in Madison, Wisconsin.
Seven different programs joined the fray after either receiving votes in previous editions or not being mentioned at all: Princeton went from RV to No. 18; Colorado State went from NR to No. 19; Boise State went from RV to No. 23; Harvard went from RV to No. 25; Georgetown went from RV to No. 27; Minnesota went from NR to No. 29; Montana State went from NR to No. 30.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 20, because that’s when the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be held at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida. You can watch all of the action commercial-free on ESPNU.