2022 NCAA DII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Preseason
NEW ORLEANS – Cross country is back!
Here is the preseason iteration of the NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll for the 2022 season, as released by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Tuesday. Remember that this poll is conducted by counting votes from eight member coaches – one from each of the division’s eight regions – who also do the Regional Rankings.
Adams State received five first-place votes to start the season at No. 1. The Grizzlies, who finished runner-up at last year’s NCAA Championship, will return four of the seven runners from that lineup in 2022. Mikah Paiz is the lone returning All-American after finishing 26th, while Andrew O’Leefe and Yonas Haile were right outside at 41st and 43rd, respectively. Adams State also brought in some talented transfers and newcomers that could make some noise, including Nebraska transfer Dais Malebena.
Colorado School of Mines is right behind at No. 2 and received three first-place votes. Last year’s third-place team welcomes back four athletes, including cross country All-American Luke Julian. The Orediggers also return Dillon Powell, who won the 10,000 meters at the NCAA DII Outdoor Championships.
The defending national champion Grand Valley State will enter the 2022 campaign at No. 3. The Lakers return three athletes from their championship lineup, one of them being national runner-up Tanner Chada. Andrew Hylen also took home All-American honors for the Lakers last year with his 12th-place finish.
Augustana (S.D.), last year’s fourth-place team at the NCAA Championships, are fourth in the preseason poll. The Vikings return a core group from their lineup at the NCAA Championships. Leading the way will be All-Americans Ryan Hartman and Henry Klitze, who finished 22nd and 36th, respectively.
Chico State rounds out the preseason top-5. After finishing eighth at last year’s NCAA meet, the Wildcats return a talented group of athletes from that squad and have a great supporting cast. Of those returning, three earned All-America honors in 2021: Jack Emanuel (24th), Brayden McLaughlin (32nd) and Dylan White (37th).
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in the preseason: No. 6 Wingate, No. 7 Colorado Christian, No. 8 Western Colorado, No. 9 Missouri Southern and No. 10 UC-Colorado Springs.
Mark your calendars for Friday, December 2, as the 2022 NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will take place at Chambers Bay Golf Club in Tacoma, Washington!