Six top 10 teams among 10 ranked in Pac-12 Cross Country

SAN FRANCISCO – Six Pac-12 Conference cross country teams appear in the top 10 to lead a total of 10 men’s and women’s programs in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national rankings released on Tuesday.

MEN’S                                                              WOMEN’S
2. Stanford (3 first-place votes)                         1. Colorado (8 first-place votes)
4. Colorado (2)                                                  2. Oregon (3)
8. Oregon                                                          5. Stanford
11. Washington State                                        13. Washington
22. UCLA                                                          22. Utah
RV: California                                                    RV: UCLA

The three Pac-12 men’s and women’s teams in the top 10 are the most of any conference, and the six total top-10 teams are double the next closest leagues (ACC, WCC).

The Pac-12’s only movement from the Aug. 29 preseason polls came on the men’s side with UCLA climbing three spots to No. 22 and COLORADO and OREGON each improving one spot to Nos. 4 and 8, respectively. STANFORD continues to pace the Pac-12 at No. 2 with three first-place votes, behind only defending NCAA champion Northern Arizona. WASHINGTON STATE also stayed in place at No. 11, the highest national ranking for the Cougars’ men since 1998. The five ranked men’s teams are the most of any conference in the nation.

Notable action from the first weeks of racing include Colorado cruising to a 44-point victory to win the Colorado State Invitational, with CU’s Ethan Gonzales capturing the individual title, and WASHINGTON’s Johnathan Stevens leading all runners in the Huskies’ dual meet victory over Seattle U.

All five Pac-12 women’s teams maintained their rankings from the preseason poll with Colorado at No. 1, Oregon at No. 2 and Stanford at No. 5. The Ducks secured a third first-place vote, trailing only the top-ranked Buffaloes’ eight. No. 13 WASHINGTON and No. 22 UTAH round out the Pac-12’s five teams in the women’s poll, the second-most in the nation trailing only the Big Ten’s six.

Addi Zerrener’s win for ARIZONA at the George Kyte Classic and Izzi Batt-Doyle’s at the Washington-Seattle U Open highlighted individual performances, while Colorado claimed the team title at the Colorado State Invitational.

Seven Pac-12 teams continue competition this week, with six weeks of racing ahead of the 2017 Pac-12 Championships hosted by Oregon at Springfield Golf Club in Springfield, Ore., on Friday, Oct. 27. The races will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks on Monday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. PT. 

The NCAA Mountain and West Regionals will be held Friday, Nov. 10 in Logan, Utah and Seattle, Wash., respectively, with teams advancing to the 2017 NCAA Championships in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 18.

The Pac-12 will be looking to add to its distinction as the winningest conference in NCAA Cross Country history this fall as current league members boast the most combined team national championships (28 – 16 men/12 women) and individual titles (28 – 25 men/3 women) of any league in the country.