Top-Ranked Teams Jockey For Position In NCAA DIII Men’s XC Poll
NEW ORLEANS — The back and forth between North Central (Ill.) and SUNY Geneseo continues atop the NCAA Division III Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll and shows no signs of slowing down.
The following week, North Central (Ill.) and SUNY Geneseo were tied atop the poll with four first-place votes. That was the first time in the history of the men’s poll that it ever happened.
Then last week, the Knights pressed ahead and secured five first-place votes to the Cardinals’ three.
What about this week? Well, with two polls to go until the 2016 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships, North Central (Ill.) is back to No. 1 after a strong performance at the Kollege Town Sports Invitational this past weekend.
The Cardinals own five of the eight first-place votes (SUNY Geneseo has the other three) and regain the top billing it had four times this season. North Central (Ill.) was ranked No. 1 in the Preseason, Week 1, Week 2 and Week 4.
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SUNY Geneseo slipped to No. 2, three points behind the Cardinals. No. 3 Williams, No. 4 UW-Eau Claire and No. 5 MIT round out the top-5 once again.
North Central (Ill.) had a great opportunity to impress this past weekend and did just that. Going up against three teams ranked in the top-15, including defending national champion Blugolds, the Cardinals steamrolled the competition. North Central (Ill.) put all seven runners inside the top-20 — five in the top-10 — and scored a miniscule 24 points. Zack Plank cruised to a nine-second win over UW-Eau Claire’s Darin Lau, while Ethan Adlfinger and Al Baldonado went 3-4.
The Knights had an equally as tough road to travel at the Rowan Border Battle and came out on top, although not as convincingly. SUNY Geneseo beat three top-15 teams when it notched 71 total points (MIT finished runner-up with 127). Isaac Garcia-Cassani nabbed the individual win in 23:19.9 and the Knights had four other runners in the top-30.
There were a few teams that exceeded their projections this weekend, namely Calvin and Ohio Northern. Both were rewarded with bumps in the poll.
The Knights finished 3rd at the Kollege Town Sports Invitational behind aforementioned North Central (Ill.) and UW-Eau Claire. Four of Calvin’s runners found their way inside the top-25, led by Zac Nowicki in 8th place. The Knights went from 17th last week to 12th this week.
The Polar Bears also ran in Wisconsin and finished 5th in the team standings. Kase Schalois (29th), Samuel Boyd (30th) and Ian McVey (32nd) all finished close to each other to thwart any advancing teams. Ohio Northern jumped from No. 28 to No. 19 in the poll because of that effort.
Five spots down from the Polar Bears we find Rowan. The Owls check in at No. 24 and are ranked for only the third time in program history. Rowan took advantage of its home course at the Border Battle and placed 8th as a team.
Just like the Owls, five other teams joined the poll this week: No. 31 Connecticut College, No. 32 Whittier, No. 33 Nebraska Wesleyan, No. 34 Washington and Lee as well as No. 35 Occidental.
We could very well see most of these teams come November 19 at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer Park for the NCAA DIII XC Championships. Before that, however, they must run the conference championships and regional championships.
Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll
2016 Week #6 — October 19
|next poll: November 2|
|Rank||Institution (FPV)||Points||Region (CR)||Conference||Head Coach (Yr*)|
|1||North Central (Ill.) (5)||277||Midwest (1)||CCIW||Al Carius (51st)|
|2||SUNY Geneseo (3)||275||Atlantic (1)||SUNYAC||Dan Moore (2nd)|
|3||Williams||264||New England (1)||NESCAC||Pete Farwell (38th)|
|4||UW-Eau Claire||252||Midwest (2)||WIAC||Dan Schwamberger (10th)|
|5||MIT||249||New England (2)||NEWMAC||Halston Taylor (35th)|
|6||Pomona-Pitzer||240||West (1)||SCIAC||Tony Boston (9th)|
|7||UW-La Crosse||231||Midwest (3)||WIAC||Derek Stanley (5th)|
|8||Amherst||222||New England (3)||NESCAC||Ned Nedeau (20th)|
|9||Loras||214||Central (1)||IIAC||Bob Schultz (12th)|
|10||Carnegie Mellon||211||Mideast (1)||UAA||Tim Connelly (2nd)|
|11||RPI||198||Atlantic (2)||Liberty League||John Lynch (6th)|
|12||Calvin||197||Great Lakes (1)||Michigan Intercollegiate||Brian Diemer (31st)|
|13||Washington (Mo.)||177||Midwest (4)||UAA||Jeff Stiles (16th)|
|14||Colby||169||New England (4)||NESCAC||Jared Beers (11th)|
|15||Haverford||166||Mideast (2)||Centennial||Tom Donnelly (42nd)|
|16||St. Olaf||162||Central (2)||MIAC||Phil Lundin (9th)|
|16||Claremont-Mudd-Scripps||162||West (2)||SCIAC||John Goldhammer (33rd)|
|18||NYU||143||Atlantic (3)||UAA||Erison Hurtault (1st)|
|19||Ohio Northern||134||Great Lakes (2)||OAC||Jason Maus (11th)|
|20||St. Lawrence||126||Atlantic (4)||Liberty League||John Newman (16th)|
|21||Middlebury||117||New England (5)||NESCAC||Nicole Wilkerson (6th)|
|22||Emory||112||South/Southeast (1)||UAA||John Curtin (32nd)|
|23||Mount Union||97||Great Lakes (3)||OAC||Kevin Lucas (6th)|
|24||Rowan||94||Atlantic (5)||NJAC||Dustin Dimit (3rd)|
|25||Christopher Newport||93||South/Southeast (2)||CAC||Matthew Barreau (6th)|
|26||Augustana (Ill.)||91||Midwest (5)||CCIW||Paul Olsen (51st)|
|27||SUNY Oneonta||60||Atlantic (6)||SUNYAC||Brett Willmott (1st)|
|28||Wartburg||57||Central (3)||IIAC||Ryan Chapman (1st)|
|29||Wabash||56||Great Lakes (4)||NCAC||Colin Young (2nd)|
|30||Johns Hopkins||41||Mideast (3)||Centennial||Bobby Van Allen (18th)|
|31||Connecticut College||39||New England (6)||NESCAC||Jim Butler (30th)|
|32||Whittier||34||West (3)||SCIAC||Greg Phillips (31st)|
|33||Nebraska Wesleyan||22||Central (4)||IIAC||Ted Bulling (27th)|
|34||Washington and Lee||20||South/Southeast (3)||ODAC||Brandon Spalding (4th)|
|35||Occidental||16||West (4)||SCIAC||Robert Bartlett (12th)|
|Also Receiving Votes: Dickinson 11, Allegheny (Pa.) 5, Chicago 4, Bates 1, Rhodes 1|
|Dropped Out: No. 29 Dickinson, No. 30 Tufts, No. 31 Chicago, No. 32 Gustavus Adolphus, No. 34 Allegheny (Pa.), No. 35 Willamette|
|(* year as head coach of that team in men’s cross country, officially NCAA-recognized coach listed)|