2022 NJCAA DII Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll – Week 1
NEW ORLEANS – Why not shoot for the top?
That’s what Lansing (Mich.) CC is likely thinking as the season-opening No. 1 in the NJCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll, which was released on Wednesday by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
NJCAA Division II — Men's Cross Country
This Week's National Top Five
Lansing (Mich.) CC
Heartland (Ill.) CC
Paradise Valley (Ariz.) CC
Allen (Kan.) CC
Cross Country Polls & Rankings
Lansing opens the year No. 1 in polling for the first time in Division II, which the NJCAA re-instituted in 2020 for cross country after a gap of 17 years. Lansing seeks to return to dominance, having won DII national titles six times in the 1990s. The 2022 NJCAA Division II Cross Country Championships are set for Saturday, November 12, at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida.
There will be no shortage of challengers. Current No. 2 Cowley (Kan.) is the reigning team champion, and the Tigers earned three first-place votes in the opening poll (Lansing received the other eight).
And No. 3 Heartland (Ill.) CC will have much to say in this year’s team battle, having beaten Lansing this past weekend at the Aurora (Ill.) Spartan Classic. The Hawks were third in last year’s national championships.
Paradise Valley (Ariz.) CC and Allen (Kan.) CC are Nos. 4 and 5, respectively. Allen was runner-up in 2020, while Paradise Valley has had many years of top-10 finishes at the DI level, including its most recent of three national titles in 2011.
Here are the rest of the top-10 teams in Week 1: No. 6 Wallace State (Ala.) CC, No. 7 Mesa (Ariz.) CC, No. 8 St. Clair County (Mich.) CC, No. 9 NorthWest Arkansas CC and No. 10 Carl Sandburg (Ill.). Carl Sandburg returns the leading individual, Calton Kibet, who was fourth in last year’s nationals.