2021 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 5
NEW ORLEANS – Spots were up for grabs!
Did you expect anything different after a ton of nationally-ranked programs went head-to-head at the FSU Invite/Pre-Nats and the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational?
The biggest weekend of racing so far this season had a massive impact on the newest edition of the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll. The Week 5 edition that was released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association on Tuesday saw 29 of 30 spots change, including a new No. 1.
NCAA Division I — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
New Mexico is the new No. 1 after receiving six first-place votes and edging former No. 1 (now No. 2) NC State by one point in the latest poll. This is the first time since Week 7 of the 2018 season the Lobos sit atop the National Coaches’ Poll.
The Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational sorted things out at the top. New Mexico topped a loaded field with 93 points. Stefanie Parsons, a transfer from NCAA DII Edinboro, has been impressive for the Lobos as their No. 1 runner in two meets, placing fourth at the Joe Piane Invitational and 12th at Nuttycombe. The Wolfpack finished second overall with 102 points and had a 50-point gap on former No. 2 (now No. 3) BYU, who came in third.
Colorado leapfrogged Alabama for the No. 4 spot and bumped the Crimson Tide down to No. 5. The Buffaloes rolled to the team title at the FSU Invite/Pre-Nats with 54 points and had runners finish 1-5-9-16-23. Abby Nichols was the individual champion in 19:46.4 over the 6k course at Apalachee Regional Park.
Following the top-3 teams in Madison, Wisconsin are the fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place teams that either maintained or improved their billings: No. 6 Minnesota finished fourth at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational and was the only team in Week 5 to hold steady; fifth-place Oklahoma State climbed six spots from No. 13 to No. 7 for their second-best ranking in program history; sixth-place Colorado State soared nine spots from No. 21 to No. 12 and is back in the top-12 for the first time since 2007.
Not to be outdone are the second-, third- and fourth-place teams at the FSU Invite/Pre-Nats, who also improved their rankings: second-place Utah improved two spots from No. 10 to No. 8 for the program’s second-best billing; Florida State moved up five spots from No. 15 to No. 10 after coming in third; fourth-place Ole Miss is at a program-best No. 11 after moving up three spots from No. 14.
Going down a little further on the leaderboard, several teams jumped multiple spots after strong performances at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational: eighth-place Providence jumped five spots from No. 19 to No. 14; Iowa State climbed five spots from No. 22 to No. 17 after finishing ninth; Notre Dame placed 11th and moved up two spots from No. 23 to No. 21; Wisconsin improved three places from No. 25 to No. 22 following a 10th place finish.
Five programs are appearing in the top-30 this week after previously receiving votes: No. 16 Syracuse, No. 24 Liberty, No. 25 Illinois, No. 28 Utah State and No. 29 Butler. This is the first time in program history the Flames are ranked in the National Coaches’ Poll.
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!