NCAA DIII Cross Country Conference Championships Preview

Are you ready for the postseason?

Well, you better be – it’s finally here.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Meets & Results | USTFCCCA Scoreboard
Related: Conference Championships Central | Rankings & Polls Central

There are 43 conference championships to be contested over the next few days.

Here are three conference meets that feature the most ranked teams from the most recent NCAA Division III Cross Country National Coaches’ Polls.

NESCAC Championships – Ranked Teams

Men’s Poll
Women’s Poll
No. 7 Williams
No. 12 Williams
No. 13 Middlebury
No. 14 Amherst
No. 24 Colby
No. 16 Bates
No. 27 Bates
No. 29 Tufts
No. 30 Connecticut College
No. 31 Middlebury
No. 31 Tufts

Will it be another Williams sweep?

Or can another team rise to the top at the NESCAC Championships?

Well, if the results from the Connecticut College Invitational are any indication, the Ephs could top both podiums once again, but it could be closer than a lot of people realize. After all, that’s why they run the races on the course and not on paper.

Williams, which has both the top-ranked men and women in the conference, posted the highest finish of any team in the league at the Connecticut College Invitational two weeks ago. The Ephs took runner-up honors in the men’s race behind MIT and third in the women’s race.

Look closer at the women’s race and you’ll see that Williams squeaked by Amherst by one point, 115-116. The Ephs and the Mammoths are just two of the five top-35 programs that will toe the start line on Saturday at 11 am ET. Williams and Amherst will be joined by No. 16 Bates, No. 29 Tufts and No. 31 Middlebury, among others. A close battle is expected for the individual title, too, as Genna Girard of Williams, Jillian Richardson of Bates and Sophia Wolmer of Amherst all were within seven seconds of each other at Harkness Memorial State Park in Waterford.

Williams steamrolled its conference foes in the men’s race at the Connecticut College Invitational, outdistancing the lot by 76 points – nearly double its 78-point total. The Ephs were led by individual champion Elias Lindgren, who is the favorite to win here. It would be foolish to count out Tyler Morris of Colby, though. Williams is one of six top-35 squads in the men’s race, set to begin at noon ET: No. 13 Middlebury, No. 24 Colby, No. 27 Bates, No. 30 Connecticut College (we’ve sure typed those two words a lot, huh?) and No. 31 Tufts are the others.

UAA Championships – Ranked Teams

Men’s Poll
Women’s Poll
No. 9 Carnegie Mellon
No. 1 UChicago
No. 10 Emory
No. 7 Washington (Mo.)
No. 12 Washington (Mo.)
No. 21 Emory
No. 20 Case Western Reserve
No. 23 NYU
No. 29 UChicago

Carnegie Mellon’s men and UChicago’s hit their stride at the right time.

That’s probably the reason why they’re both the top-ranked teams in the UAA and will be favored to win conference titles on Saturday at Nash Farm Battlefield in Hampton, Georgia.

The Women’s 6k is first at 11 am ET and that’s where we’d start anyway since the nation’s unanimous No. 1 team will compete. UChicago is on a serious roll, having just won the team title at the Augustana Interregional Invitational over the strongest field assembled this year. The Maroons put four runners in the top-15 – three in the top-10 – as they held off No. 2 Wartburg by three points, 54-57. Washington (Mo.) appears to be the only squad standing in the way of UChicago winning its first conference title since 2013. The Bears are the next highest ranked team at No. 7, while Emory and NYU sit at No. 21 and No. 23, respectively.

Carnegie Mellon’s men are looking to make it three consecutive conference titles. The Tartans, who will toe the start line at noon ET along with four other top-35 programs, won in both 2019 and 2021. CMU enters the meet fresh off a pair of winning efforts: the Tartans won the team title in the Men’s College Brown 8k at the Paul Short Run back on September 30 (No. 10 Emory was second) and topped the podium two weeks later at the Oberlin Inter-Regional Rumble (No. 20 Case Western Reserve was second). Two other top-35 teams are in the field, in addition to CMU, Emory and Case Western Reserve: No. 12 WashU and No. 29 UChicago.

WIAC Championships – Ranked Teams

Men’s Poll
Women’s Poll
No. 4 UW-La Crosse
No. 8 UW-La Crosse
No. 11 UW-Whitewater
No. 14 UW-Eau Claire
No. 22 UW-Stout
No. 33 UW-Oshkosh
No. 34 UW-Eau Claire

Seven ranked teams from the most recent National Coaches’ Polls will compete for conference glory at the WIAC Championships on Saturday in West Salem, Wisconsin.

Four of those teams are in the men’s race, scheduled to begin at 1 pm CT: No. 4 UW-La Crosse, No. 11 UW-Whitewater, No. 22 UW-Stout and No. 34 UW-Eau Claire. The Eagles have fared well this season, as you can see from their rank. UW-La Crosse won the team title at the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational two weeks ago and not long before that, placed third at the NCAA DIII National Preview behind MIT and North Central (Ill.). The Warhawks weren’t too far off the Eagles’ pace with a fourth-place effort at that latter meet. Ethan Gregg of UW-La Crosse is a favorite to win the individual title, having two impressive victories to his ledger already this season: Gregg took first at the Roy Griak Invitational and then again at the Preview meet.

Three ranked teams will compete in the women’s race, which is first on the course at noon CT: No. 8 UW-La Crosse, No. 14 UW-Eau Claire and No. 33 UW-Oshkosh. The Eagles have flown together all season and posted strong efforts at the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational (meet champions) and the NCAA DIII National Preview (third place). UW-La Crosse had spreads of less than one minute at each of those meets. The Blugolds impressed at the Augustana Interregional Invitational earlier this month when they placed fifth behind several top-ranked programs. UW-Eau Claire is led by Carolyn Shult, who took sixth overall at that meet. Shult will be in contention for the individual title alongside Maddie Hannan of UW-La Crosse and others.