2022 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country Regional Rankings – Preseason
NEW ORLEANS – Cross country is back!
Here is the preseason edition of the NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country Regional Rankings for the 2022 season, as released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The 2022 season begins in earnest on Thursday, September 1.
Regional Rankings are determined subjectively by a single member coach in each respective region. The regional representative is tasked with weighing returning teams’ strength with current season results (if applicable) in determining a rank-order of squad potential. Only USTFCCCA member programs are eligible to receive a ranking. Teams with provisional status within the region may be ranked.
Regional Championships Friday is set for Friday, November 11.
Great Lakes Region
Wisconsin and Notre Dame are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids. The Badgers – who finished runner-up last year – return three of their top-5 runners from last year, all of whom are still underclassmen. The defending champion Irish lost a considerable amount of talent in the offseason, but have two top-15 regional finishes back in the mix.
Butler, Michigan State and Michigan round out the top-5.
Villanova and Georgetown are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids. The Wildcats – who finished third last year – returns their entire top-7, led by regional runner-up Haftu Strintzos. The Hoyas – who finished runner-up last year behind Princeton – welcome back three of their top-5 runners from the 2021 meet, including regional champion Parker Stokes.
The aforementioned Tigers, who are the defending champions, Penn State and Pittsburgh round out the top-5.
Oklahoma State and Tulsa are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids. The defending regional champion Cowboys return six of their top-7 runners from last year’s team, including three top-10 finishers: Alex Maier (sixth), Victor Shitsama (eighth) and Shea Foster (ninth). The Golden Hurricane, which finished third last year, have a strong core back with three All-Region performers led by Cormac Dalton, who finished 11th in Iowa City, Iowa.
Iowa State, Minnesota and South Dakota State round out the top-5.
Northern Arizona and BYU are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids once again. The Lumberjacks, who finished runner-up to the Cougars last year, likely return six of the seven athletes who helped them to that regional crown, including individual runner-up Nico Young. Defending regional champion BYU welcomes back a host of athletes from its title-winning team, led by third-place finisher Casey Clinger. The Cougars also added transfer Christian Allen from Weber State.
Colorado, Air Force and Montana State round out the top-5.
Harvard and Syracuse are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids. The Crimson – which finished runner-up to the Orange last year – return a strong core, led by two top-10 individuals from 2021 in the guise of Graham Blanks and Acer Iverson. Defending regional champion Syracuse might have graduated its top-3 athletes from last year, but added some valuable talent in the offseason.
Providence, Iona and Columbia round out the top-5.
Ole Miss and Alabama are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids. The defending regional champion Rebels return four runners from last year’s team, including their No. 1 and No. 3 men in Dereck Elkins and Cole Bullock, respectively. The Crimson Tide have the strongest 1-2-3 on paper with Victor Kiprop, Eliud Kipsang and Hilary Cheruiyot all returning and added several new faces who could sure up those much-needed No. 4 and No. 5 spots in a scoring lineup.
Tennessee, Florida State and North Florida round out the top-5.
South Central Region
Arkansas and Texas are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids once again. The Razorbacks, who finished runner-up last year to the Longhorns, return a talented group of athletes, led by Patrick Kiprop, who went undefeated in 2021 while at NCAA Division II Fresno Pacific. Defending regional champion Texas welcomes back a seasoned core of athletes, paced by defending individual champion Haftu Knight.
Texas A&M, Tulane and Arkansas State round out the top-5.
Wake Forest and Furman are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids once again. The defending regional champion Demon Deacons return a squadron of talented athletes, of which three finished among the top-15 athletes last year led by regional runner-up Aaron Las Heras. The Paladins also welcome back a strong core of athletes, led by Cameron Ponder, and added a host of talented athletes in the offseason.
North Carolina, NC State and Charlotte round out the top-5.
Stanford and Washington are projected to earn the region’s automatic bids once again. The defending regional champion Cardinal is loaded in 2022, as it returns all five of its scoring athletes from the 2021 meet, led by the trio of Charles Hicks, Ky Robinson and Cole Sprout. The Huskies – who finished runner-up last year – welcome back six of top-7 athletes from the regional meet last year, including Ed Trippas and Brian Fay, among others.
Gonzaga, Portland and Boise State round out the top-5.