2022 NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 3
NEW ORLEANS – What have you done for us lately?
That’s the tone of the most recent NCAA DI Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll that was released on Tuesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Changes were numerous in Week 3 after the first major weekend of the 2022 season.
The #RunToStillwater is picking up steam.
NCAA Division I — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
BYU, fresh off a victory at the Cowboy Jamboree this past weekend, usurped former No. 1 and two-time defending national champion Northern Arizona as the nation’s top squad. It was a loaded meet in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as eight top-10 squads battled it out. The Cougars topped them all with a 75-point score, 26 fewer than runner-up Stanford. BYU put four runners in the top-20, led by three in the top-15: Casey Clinger (seventh), Joey Nokes (tenth) and Weber State transfer Christian Allen (11th). The Cougars last owned the top spot in the National Coaches’ Poll in Week 7 of the 2020 season. BYU won its only national title in program history one year earlier and will look to replicate that feat in less than two months.
Stanford improved its billing one spot to No. 2, which is right ahead of NAU. The Cardinal saw both Charles Hicks (second) and Cole Sprout (fourth) finish among the top-5 athletes on the challenging Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course. Stanford has not been ranked this high in the National Coaches’ Poll since Week 3 of the 2017 season. The Cardinal are looking to end an 18-year drought without a national title (Stanford last won in 2003 as part of a back-to-back).
NAU and Oklahoma State both slid to allow BYU and Stanford to ascend the index. Depth was an issue for both the Lumberjacks and the Cowboys this past weekend: NAU went 5-9-19-38-39; OSU took places 1-3-17-43-54, led by individual champion Alex Maier in 23:16.9).
Tulsa cracked the top-5 for just the fifth time in program history at No. 5 (with most of those coming in the past several years), following a strong, fifth-place effort at the Cowboy Jamboree. Wisconsin rolled to the team title at the Roy Griak Invitational thanks to a miniscule spread and sits No. 6, followed by Wake Forest, which took sixth in Stillwater and now holds its best ranking in program history at No. 7.
Syracuse rejoined the top-10 for the first time since 2018. The now tenth-ranked Orange had a surprise eighth-place finish at the Cowboy Jamboree with 6.3 seconds separating its top-4 runners this past weekend (Paul O’Donnell was 31st in 23:56.4; Nathan Henderson was 41st in 24:02.7). Earlier in the season, Syracuse won the team title at the PSU Spiked Shoe Invitational.
Here are a few other programs with notable improvements: Gonzaga went from 16th to 12th; Princeton jumped from 21st to 15th; Texas is back in the top-20 after climbing 11 spots from No. 29 to No. 18; Virginia, Oregon and California Baptist all joined the National Coaches’ Poll for the first time this season at No. 20, No. 26 and No. 28, respectively. This is the first time in program history that the Lancers, who finished runner-up at the Griak Invitational, have been listed among the top-30 teams in the nation.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, November 19, because that’s when the 2022 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships will be held at the Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Don’t forget that you can watch ALL of the action commercial-free once again on ESPNU, beginning at 10 am ET!