2021 NCAA DI Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 7
NEW ORLEANS – After seeing what went down on Regional Championships Friday – and throughout the rest of the season – we’re in for a treat on Saturday in Tallahassee, Florida!
Here is the Pre-Championships edition of the NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, as released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday. The top-6 may have remained steady heading into the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, but 20 of the top-30 teams moved up or down the leaderboard, including the appearance of two new teams.
NCAA Division I — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
NC State will enter the NCAA Championships as the favorite after receiving six of the 11 first-place votes. The Wolfpack has three runner-up finishes at the NCAA Championships to its credit, with the most recent coming in 2020, and look to bring home their first national title in program history. It only took 34 points for the Wolfpack to romp to their fifth-straight Southeast Region title and topped No. 8 North Carolina by 39 points. Individual champion Kelsey Chmiel led the Wolfpack scoring-five to top-17 finishes, including four finishing in the top-10.
New Mexico stayed at No. 2 and received four first-place votes. The Lobos captured their first regional crown since 2018 behind Gracelyn Larkin’s fourth-place finish, and now turn their attention to winning their first national title since 2017. New Mexico has several big wins this season under its belt, including those at the Joe Piane Invitational, Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational and the Mountain West Championships.
Mountain Region runner-up Colorado held steady at No. 3. The third-ranked Buffaloes will look to capture their fourth national title and first since 2018. Colorado has put together a strong series of wins this season, including victories at the Cowboy Jamboree, FSU Invite/Pre-Nats and the Pac-12 Championships.
Defending national champion BYU will enter the meet as the fourth-ranked team. A successful title defense could give them their sixth NCAA crown in program history. The Cougars finished third at the Mountain Region Championships and will look for strong individual finishes by Anna Camp and Aubrey Frentheway in Tallahassee, Florida, among others.
Minnesota bolstered itself at No. 5 after taking home the Midwest Region title. A 4-5-6 blanket finish by Bethany Hasz, Abby Kohut-Jackson and Megan Hasz lifted the Gophers to a 30-point victory over No. 6 Oklahoma State. The Cowgirls placed three of their own runners in the top-8. Both teams boast a team best finish of fifth-place at the national championships: the Gophers in 2020; the Cowgirls in 1989.
Three regional champions reside in the next four spots in the poll: No. 7 Arkansas improved one spot after winning the program’s 10th consecutive South Central crown; No. 9 Ole Miss moved up six spots for its first top-10 appearance following the team’s first title since 2017; co-No. 10 Notre Dame soared 15 spots after claiming the program’s first Great Lakes Region title since 2009.
Iowa State improved three spots to gain a share of the No. 10 spot. Cailie Logue, the Midwest Region individual champion, led the Cyclones to a third place finish.
Further down the leaderboard, Stanford jumped 10 spots from No. 26 to No. 17 heading into the NCAA Championships. The West Region Champions scored 42 points after placing four runners in the top-9, led by individual champion Julia Heymach.
Two teams moved from the Land of Receiving Votes: No. 24 Harvard earned an automatic qualifying spot by virtue of winning the Northeast Region by 10 points over former No. 17 (now No. 20) Syracuse; No. 30 Butler placed fifth in the Great Lakes Region and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.
Champions will be crowned on Saturday, November 20, as the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will take place at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida. Don’t forget that you can watch the meet LIVE, commercial-free on ESPNU beginning at 10 am ET!