2021 NCAA DIII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 8
NEW ORLEANS – All eyes are focused on Louisville, Kentucky!
Here is the final edition of the NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll for the 2021 season, released on Monday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), just five days before the NCAA Championships on Saturday, November 20. Three different teams received first-place votes and only five teams held steady from the previous week as Regional Championships Saturday shed some light on what we can expect come Saturday at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park.
NCAA Division III — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Wartburg is the consensus favorite to win its first national title in program history. The Knights, who recently steamrolled the field at the Midwest Region Championships thanks to four top-10 finishers, nabbed six first-place votes from the electorate. Wartburg is undefeated this season with its smallest margin of victory coming by seven points at the Augustana (Ill.) Interregional Invitational where they beat eight other nationally-ranked programs. Look for Joe Freiburger and Christopher Collet with the lead pack in the Bluegrass State.
MIT and Pomona-Pitzer swapped spots: the Engineers are now ranked second with three first-place votes; the defending champion Sagehens are third with one first-place vote. To say MIT looked dominant at the East Region Championships would be an understatement. The Engineers put six athletes in the top-10 – their top-5 runners all finished within 3.8 seconds of each other – and topped four other nationally-ranked programs by at least 42 points. Pomona-Pitzer ran away with the team title at the West Region Championships after its top-5 runners crossed the finish line within 5.3 seconds of each other. Both the Engineers and the Sagehens have turned in strong efforts during the regular season; MIT cruised the team title at the Live in the Lou Cross Country Classic by 89 points; Pomona-Pitzer beat several nationally-ranked NCAA DII programs at the Cougar Challenge back in September.
Four of the next seven spots in the top-10 are occupied by teams that won regional titles this past weekend: Mideast champion Williams held strong at No. 4; Niagara champion SUNY Geneseo leapfrogged West runner-up Claremont-Mudd-Scripps into the No. 5 position (the Stags are now ranked sixth); Great Lakes champion John Carroll didn’t budge from No. 7; North champion UW-Whitewater jumped two spots from No. 10 to No. 8 after a hard-fought victory over UW-La Crosse, which is now ranked No. 9.
Mid-Atlantic champion Carnegie Mellon cemented its spot at No. 11, but after that is straight-up carnage. Every spot from No. 12 to No. 32 were up for grabs, as seven of the eight teams from No. 15 to No. 22 improved multiple places: UW-Oshkosh soared eight spots from No. 27 to No. 19 after a third-place finish in the North Region; Case Western Reserve went from No. 28 to No. 21 after a third-place finish in the Great Lakes Region; UW-Eau Claire went from No. 29 to No. 22 after a fourth-place finish in the North Region.
Champions will be crowned on Saturday, November 20, as the 2021 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will take place at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky! The men’s race is scheduled to begin at 11 am ET.