2021 NCAA DII Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 7
NEW ORLEANS – It’s always good to peak in the postseason.
Just ask 17 of the 24 programs who improved their positions in the latest NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
NCAA Division II — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Grand Valley State
Colo. School of Mines
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Even the top-3 of Adams State, Grand Valley State and Augustana (S.D.) – who maintained their top-3 spots – showed improvement following dominating wins in their regional meet.
Reigning national champion Adams State remains at the top for good reasons. The Grizzlies won the deep South Central Region Championships by 67 points as individual champion Brianna Robles led four other teammates in the top-10.
How deep is the South Central Region? The region has the most teams in the poll (eight), all of whom earned berths to the upcoming NCAA Championships. Adams State is very familiar with six of those who hail from the Rocky Mountain Conference – twice as many as the next-best conference – including No. 5 Colorado School of Mines and co-No. 6 UC-Colorado Springs.
The Midwest Region can match that total of eight teams in the top-30, with seven gaining their way to the upcoming NCAA Championships. No. 2 Grand Valley State was impressive in winning the deep meet by 70 points, led by Hannah Becker and Klaudia O’Malley, who finished 3-4 with the same time. The Lakers spent four polls earlier this season with at least a share of No. 1.
Augustana (S.D.) was also triumphant on Saturday, taking the Central Region by 80 points. The Vikings were led by runner-up Megan Means, who became the third runner with team honors this year, joining Nicolette Schmidt and P.J. English.
Three other regional winners are in this week’s Top-10, led by Lee (Tenn.). The Flames are the highest-ranked team to move up in this week’s poll and are now at a season-high No. 4 after winning the South Region Championships. Celine Ritter – who has won four of her five races this fall – took the individual crown by more than 20 seconds.
Queens (N.C.) won the team title at the Southeast Regional Championships by 18 points in a reversal of positions with rival Wingate, who the SAC title by 16 points. The Royals thus moved up three places to a season-best of co-No. 6 as the Bulldogs dropped a rung to No. 8.
Simon Fraser is No. 9 after winning the West Region Championship by 16 points over No. 12 Cal State Stanislaus. Southern Indiana moved up to No. 10 after being runner-up to GVSU in the Midwest Region.
The biggest mover of the week was Colorado Christian, jumping up 10 spots to No. 16 and earning a first-ever entry to the NCAA Championships as a team – an honor shared with Academy of Art, which leaped up five places to No. 23.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 20, as the 2021 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will take place at Abbey Golf Course in Tampa, Florida!