2022 NCAA DIII Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Preseason
NEW ORLEANS – Cross country is back!
Here is the preseason edition of the NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll for the 2022 season, as released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA). Remember that this poll is conducted by counting votes from 10 member coaches – one from each of the division’s ten regions – who also do the Regional Rankings.
NCAA Division III — Women's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
SUNY Geneseo won its first and only national title 17 years ago. Now, for the first time since “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey topped the charts, the Knights are favorites to bring home another crown. SUNY Geneseo, which landed seven first-place votes from the electorate, returns all seven runners from a lineup that placed third in Louisville, Kentucky, last year. The Knights had two All-America athletes in the guise of Kathleen McCarey (14th) and Windsor Ardner (22nd), and hope that Penelope Greene, Marcie Hogan and Rachel Hirschkind are ready to take that next step.
Wartburg has its sights not only on the podium, but its first national title in program history. The second-ranked Knights, who finished fourth last year, welcome back six of those seven athletes, including sixth-place individual Aubrie Fisher. Riley Mayer also took home All-America honors for Wartburg last year when she finished 27th at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park.
Two-time defending national champion Johns Hopkins is third to begin the 2022 season and received the three remaining first-place votes. The Blue Jays, who also won seven of the past nine national titles awarded, will see three of the seven athletes from the 2021 lineup on its 2022 roster, including two All-Americans: Alex Ross finished 20th and Paloma Hancock ended up 21st. It was a close battle for JHU last year, as just two points separated it from runner-up Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Speaking of the Athenas, they sit fourth in the preseason poll. Only four athletes from that runner-up lineup return in 2022, led by two top-20 finishers in Meredith Bloss (13th) and Natalie Bitetti (16th). Depth is said to be a potential boon for CMS in 2022, as it added a few transfers and a talented freshman class.
Williams rounds out the top-5, which would be a two-spot improvement over where it finished last year in the Bluegrass State. Four of the seven athletes return who paced the Ephs to a seventh-place showing in 2021, led by Genna Girard, who was their only All-American.
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in the preseason: No. 6 UChicago, No. 7 MIT, No. 8 Hope, No. 9 Washington (Mo.) and No. 10 UW-La Crosse. Of note, the Midwest Region has the most preseason top-10 teams with three, which is two more than any of the nine other regions.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 19, as that’s when the 2022 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships will be held in Lansing, Michigan.