It’s a Top-Five Shuffle in Newest NCAA DII Men’s National Coaches’ Poll
NEW ORLEANS –The finish line at the NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships in Saint Leo, Florida, on November 19 may be two months and countless miles away, but it’s never too early for a top-five shuffling.
Defending national champion Colorado Mines continued as the favorite in the National Coaches’ Poll announced Wednesday afternoon by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), while the rest of the top five swapped spots from the preseason.
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Both CSM and ASU posted solid opening efforts to fortify their respective slots in the rankings. The Orediggers topped another RMAC rival, CSU-Pueblo, at Colorado College behind National Athlete of the Week Nathanael Williams, while the Grizzlies dominated their home opener behind winner Sydney Gidabuday.
The Grizzlies’ move bumped Grand Valley State to No. 3, though the Lakers retained a first-place vote. GVSU’s slide could at least be partially explained by the fact it hasn’t yet made its 2016 debut. That will change this weekend at the Michigan State Spartan Invitational.
One day after overtaking Alaska Anchorage for the top spot in the West Region, Chico State also pulled ahead of the Seawolves in the National Coaches’ Poll. The Wildcats moved up one spot to No. 4, while UAA slipped down one position to No. 5.
Chico looked strong as William Reyes led his Wildcats to a perfect score at Humboldt State, while the Seawolves also impressed with a perfect score at the NDNU Argo Invite two weekends ago.
Rounding out the top-10 were No. 6 Shippensburg, No. 7 Augustana (S.D.), No. 8 Southern Indiana, No. 9 Western State and No. 10 Cal Poly Pomona. Western State and Cal Poly Pomona swapped spots from the preseason.
While they may have come up short against the reigning champion Orediggers, no team moved up more in the polls than did No. 11 CSU-Pueblo. Following its narrow loss to CSM, 27-33, the ThunderWolves climbed seven positions to its best mark in program history.
That move was matched by Western Washington, which tied Lock Haven at No. 15. That marks the Vikings best positioning since they were No. 10 entering the 2012 NCAA Championships.
Two new squads joined the top 25 for the first time this season in new East Region favorite No. 19 Stonehill and No. 23 SF State.
See the full National Coaches’ Polls below.
Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll
2016 Week #1 — September 14
|next release: September 21|
|Rank||Institution (FPV)||Points||Region (CR)||Conference||Head Coach (Yr*)|
|1||Colorado Mines (6)||197||South Central (1)||RMAC||Chris Siemers (5th)|
|2||Adams State (1)||191||South Central (2)||RMAC||Damon Martin (22nd)|
|3||Grand Valley State (1)||187||Midwest (1)||GLIAC||Jerry Baltes (18th)|
|4||Chico State||177||West (1)||CCAA||Gary Towne (21st)|
|5||Alaska Anchorage||165||West (2)||GNAC||Michael Friess (27th)|
|6||Shippensburg||158||Atlantic (1)||PSAC||Steve Spence (19th)|
|7||Augustana (S.D.)||150||Central (1)||NSIC||Tracy Hellman (16th)|
|8||Southern Indiana||143||Midwest (2)||GLVC||Mike Hillyard (19th)|
|9||Western State||136||South Central (3)||RMAC||Jennifer Michel (10th)|
|10||Cal Poly Pomona||130||West (3)||CCAA||Octavious Gillespie-Bennett (5th)|
|11||CSU-Pueblo||112||South Central (4)||RMAC||Matt Morris (4th)|
|12||Lewis||106||Midwest (3)||GLVC||James Kearney (3rd)|
|13||UW-Parkside||92||Midwest (4)||GLVC||Thomas Breitbach (1st)|
|14||East Central (Okla.)||84||Central (2)||Great American||Steve Sawyer (8th)|
|15||Lock Haven||77||Atlantic (2)||PSAC||Aaron Russell (19th)|
|15||Western Washington||77||West (4)||GNAC||Pee Wee Halsell (30th)|
|17||Mount Olive||74||Southeast (1)||Conf. Carolinas||Matt Van Lierop (8th)|
|18||West Texas A&M||66||South Central (5)||Lone Star||Darren Flowers (8th)|
|19||Stonehill||57||East (1)||Northeast-10||Karen Boen (19th)|
|20||Saginaw Valley State||51||Midwest (5)||GLIAC||Rod Cowan (7th)|
|21||Lee (Tenn.)||42||South (1)||Gulf South||Caleb Morgan (3rd)|
|22||MSU Moorhead||41||Central (3)||NSIC||Ryan Milner (6th)|
|23||SF State||23||West (5)||CCAA||Tom Lyons (12th)|
|24||Walsh||21||Midwest (6)||GLIAC||Rob Mizicko (5th)|
|25||American International||16||East (2)||Northeast-10||Leo Mayo (11th)|
|Also Receiving Votes: Cal Baptist 10, Harding 7, Black Hills State 5, Edinboro 5, Hillsdale 1|
|Dropped Out: No. 12 Simon Fraser, No. 23 Southwest Baptist|
|(* year as head coach of that team in men’s cross country, officially NCAA-recognized coach listed)|