North Central (Ill.) Men Are Preseason Favorites In NCAA DIII XC
NEW ORLEANS — What do the years 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 have in common as it pertains to the NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country Preseason National Coaches’ Poll?
For the sixth time in the past eight years, the Cardinals are atop the coaches’ poll to begin the season. North Central (Ill.) received five of the eight first-place votes available.
Third-ranked Williams nabbed two and second-ranked SUNY Geneseo snagged one.
NATIONAL PDFs: Summary | Week-By-Week 2016 | Week-By-Week All-Time
Regional Rankings: Preseason Summary | Preseason Recap
WOMEN’S PRESEASON NATIONAL COACHES’ POLL
Let’s go back to the Cardinals though and see why the coaches deemed them favorites for the 2016 season. North Central (Ill.) finished fifth at NCAAs last year and returns five of the seven runners that comprised that lineup, of which five placed inside the top-100 (Zach Plank, 4th; Al Baldonado, 65th; Dhruvil Patel, 77th; Zach Hird, 96th; Ethan Adlfinger, 99th). That’s not a bad sign for the Cardinals this year.
Coming in behind North Central (Ill.) are the Knights. Of note, the SUNY Geneseo men and women are both ranked No. 2 to begin the season.
The Knights finished third in Winneconne, Wisconsin and welcome back three members of its scoring lineup. SUNY Geneseo’s top returner is Isaac Garcia-Cassani — who was eighth last year — and he’ll be joined by Travis Briggs (61st) and Alfredo Mazzuca (83rd).
Top-end depth proved to be the Ephs undoing last year at NCAAs as they couldn’t hold off eventual champion UW-Eau Claire. Williams finished runner-up by nine points and is No. 3 entering the 2016 season. This year’s team for the Ephs features four runners from their NCAA team, namely Peter Hale (16th) and Noah Williams (40th).
Speaking of the defending champion Blugolds, they’re ranked fourth. UW-Eau Claire will be without the services of Josh Thorson and Ryan Mugan in 2016, but return Darin Lau (14th) and Nick Petersson (112th).
The No. 5 spot belongs to Pomona-Pitzer and this is a momentous ranking for that program. This is the first time in program history that the Sagehens have been ranked inside the top-10 in any USTFCCCA National Coaches’ Poll. Pomona-Pitzer must find a way to shore up its lineup as only two from its top-5 at NCAAs last year return.
Elsewhere in the top-10, St. Olaf is No. 6, followed by MIT at No. 7, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at No. 8, UW-La Crosse at No. 9 and Amherst at No. 10. This is the lowest the Oles have been ranked in the preseason since 2013, while the Stags set a new benchmark for the program.
The 2016 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships are set for November 19 in Louisville, Kentucky at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park.
Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll
2016 Preseason — August 31
|next poll: September 14|
|Rank||Institution (FPV)||Points||Region (CR)||Conference||Head Coach (Yr*)|
|1||North Central (Ill.) (5)||275||Midwest (1)||CCIW||Al Carius (51st)|
|2||SUNY Geneseo (1)||270||Atlantic (1)||SUNYAC||Dan Moore (2nd)|
|3||Williams (2)||268||New England (1)||NESCAC||Pete Farwell (38th)|
|4||UW-Eau Claire||254||Midwest (2)||WIAC||Dan Schwamberger (10th)|
|5||Pomona-Pitzer||237||West (1)||SCIAC||Tony Boston (9th)|
|6||St. Olaf||236||Central (1)||MIAC||Phil Lundin (9th)|
|7||MIT||235||New England (2)||NEWMAC||Halston Taylor (35th)|
|8||Claremont-Mudd-Scripps||224||West (2)||SCIAC||John Goldhammer (33rd)|
|9||UW-La Crosse||220||Midwest (3)||WIAC||Derek Stanley (5th)|
|10||Amherst||204||New England (3)||NESCAC||Ned Nedeau (20th)|
|11||Carnegie Mellon||193||Mideast (1)||UAA||Tim Connelly (2nd)|
|12||Loras||190||Central (2)||IIAC||Bob Schultz (12th)|
|13||Wabash||186||Great Lakes (1)||NCAC||Colin Young (2nd)|
|14||St. Lawrence||176||Atlantic (2)||Liberty League||John Newman (16th)|
|15||UW-Platteville||175||Midwest (4)||WIAC||Tom Antczak (24th)|
|16||Haverford||164||Mideast (2)||Centennial||Tom Donnelly (42nd)|
|17||Tufts||154||New England (4)||NESCAC||Joel Williams (1st)|
|18||Chicago||139||Midwest (5)||UAA||Chris Hall (16th)|
|19||Allegheny (Pa.)||136||Great Lakes (2)||NCAC||Ben Mourer (1st)|
|20||Johns Hopkins||122||Mideast (3)||Centennial||Bobby Van Allen (18th)|
|21||Middlebury||115||New England (5)||NESCAC||Nicole Wilkerson (6th)|
|21||Calvin||115||Great Lakes (3)||Michigan Intercollegiate||Brian Diemer (31st)|
|23||UW-Oshkosh||108||Midwest (6)||WIAC||Eamon McKenna (5th)|
|24||RPI||95||Atlantic (3)||Liberty League||John Lynch (6th)|
|25||Central (Iowa)||66||Central (3)||IIAC||Joe Dunham (9th)|
|26||UW-Stevens Point||64||Midwest (7)||WIAC||Brett Witt|
|27||Colby||60||New England (6)||NESCAC||Jared Beers (11th)|
|28||Christopher Newport||56||South/Southeast (1)||CAC||Matthew Barreau (6th)|
|29||NYU||54||Atlantic (4)||UAA||Erison Hurtault (1st)|
|30||Widener||53||Mideast (4)||Middle Atlantic||Vince Touey (30th)|
|31||Willamette||42||West (3)||Northwest Conference||Matt McGuirk (13th)|
|32||Emory||36||South/Southeast (2)||UAA||John Curtin (32nd)|
|33||Ohio Northern||35||Great Lakes (4)||OAC||Jason Maus (11th)|
|34||Washington (Mo.)||19||Midwest (8)||UAA||Jeff Stiles (16th)|
|35||Hamilton||11||Atlantic (5)||NESCAC||Brett Hull (26th)|
|35||Dickinson||11||Mideast (5)||Centennial||Don Nichter (27th)|
|35||Bates||11||New England (7)||NESCAC||Al Fereshetian (22nd)|
|Also Receiving Votes: Gustavus Adolphus 7, Augustana (Ill.) 6, Washington and Lee 5, Messiah 4, Occidental 3, Wartburg 3, DeSales 3.|
|(* year as head coach of that team in men’s cross country, officially NCAA-recognized coach listed)|