Pac-12 cross country teams maintain high rankings in latest USTFCCCA polls

SAN FRANCISCO – Coming off a major weekend of racing, 10 Pac-12 Conference teams continue to be ranked, including a national-best six in the top 10, in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) national polls released on Tuesday.

MEN’S                                                              WOMEN’S
4. Stanford                                                        1. Colorado (10 first-place votes)
7. Colorado                                                       2. Oregon (1)
8. Oregon                                                          5. Stanford
20. UCLA                                                          11. Washington
29. Washington State                                        22. Utah
RV: Washington, California                               RV: California

The Pac-12’s five teams in the men’s and women’s rankings are tied for the most of any conference. Additionally, the league’s three men’s and women’s teams in the top 10 are the most of any conference, and the six total top-10 teams are triple the next closest league (Big Ten).

Four of the five ranked women’s teams held their spots from last week – No. 1 COLORADO, No. 2 OREGON, No. 5 STANFORD and No. 11 WASHINGTON. Top-ranked CU won two races with a split squad last weekend, edging No. 3 New Mexico at the Joe Piane Invitational along with a victory as host of the 32nd Rocky Mountain Shootout. No. 2 Oregon managed to pick up one of the Buffs’ first-place votes as the Ducks held off Pac-12 rival Stanford to win their own Bill Dellinger Invitational. Returning NCAA All-American Katie Rainsberger shattered the previous meet record by 37 seconds to claim the individual title at the site of this month’s Pac-12 Championships – Springfield Golf Club in Springfield, Ore.

The UTAH women made the biggest leap of the week, climbing five spots to No. 22 on the heels of a fifth-place showing at the Joe Piane Invite. The Utes finished behind only a quartet of top-10 teams including top-ranked Pac-12 rival Colorado.

Four men’s teams lost ground from the previous week, but No. 4 Stanford, No. 7 Colorado and No. 8 Oregon remained in the top 10. UCLA improved its poll position for the third time in the last four weeks, regaining three spots to No. 20 behind a victory at The Master’s University Invite with sophomore Millen Trujillo scoring the individual victory in course-record time. Despite not entering the rankings this week, the Washington men made a significant jump in points, going from zero votes last week to 30 and the brink of the rankings following its fourth-place finish to a trio of top-10 teams (BYU, Stanford, Oregon) at the Dellinger.

Only three weekends remain until the 2017 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships hosted by Oregon at Springfield Golf Club in Springfield, Ore., on Friday, Oct. 27.

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.

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