2021 NJCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 4
NEW ORLEANS – While most of the top programs remained near their previous positions, one team made a huge improvement in the NJCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
Iowa Central CC remains a unanimous No. 1 selection among mostly familiar contenders – with the exception of El Paso (Texas) CC, which zoomed all the way from a tie for No. 16 to No. 5.
We’re just over 3 weeks away from the 2021 NJCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, which are set for Saturday, November 13 at Pole Green Park near Richmond, Virginia.
NJCAA Division I — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Iowa Central CC
Cloud County (Kan.) CC
Colby (Kan.) CC
Northwest Kansas Tech
El Paso (Texas) CC
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Iowa Central CC stretched its legs with some big names in the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational with nice results. The Tritons’ 1-2 punch of Aspel Kiprob and Kelvin Bungei were 1-2 overall, 29 seconds ahead anyone else. Kiprob and Bungei – the latter defending NJCAA Division I champion – have each been named National Athletes of the Week this year, and Iowa Central has been the top JUCO program in each of its meets in 2021.
Moving up to No. 2 is Cloud County (Kan.) CC over previous No. 2 Colby (Kan.) CC, as the T-Birds are flying their highest since winning the 2019 NJCAA Division I team crown thanks to winning the Fort Hays State Tiger Open’s loaded Black Race over the Trojans by 12 points.
No one should count out Northwest Kansas Tech, which moved up one spot to No. 4. The Mavericks were a close 3rd in FHSU Tiger Open, but they were also the top JUCO team at the Region VI Preview meet a week earlier over those same two squads. The Mavericks’ Vincent Nchogu – the fastest individual in any race at the FHSU meet – will be a runner not to miss when the rivals tangle again at the upcoming Region VI or the NJCAA Division I national championships.
El Paso (Texas) CC made the biggest improvement at No. 5, moving up from a tie for No. 16 in the previous poll to its highest in program history. The Tejanos were impressive with a 27-28 win over No. 7 New Mexico JC on the latter’s home course as Adams Biwott of El Paso earned National Athlete of the Week honors with a 26-second victory over the T-Birds’ Chris Korir, also a former winner of the weekly award.
Rounding out top-10 are No. 6 Iowa Western, No. 7 New Mexico JC, No. 8 Central Arizona, No. 9 College of Southern Idaho and No. 10 Hagerstown (Md.) CC.