Pac-12 Cross Country champions leading 11 in national polls entering NCAA Regionals
SAN FRANCISCO – A national-best 11 Pac-12 cross country teams, including the top-ranked COLORADO women among six top-10 teams, will be nationally ranked entering NCAA Regional competition as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its latest national polls on Tuesday.
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.
The Pac-12’s six teams in the men’s rankings are the most of any conference, while the five ranked women’s teams trail only the Big Ten’s six. Additionally, the three men’s and women’s teams in the top 10 are the most of any conference.
The Colorado women regained the nation’s top billing thanks to their third consecutive Pac-12 Championship team title in Springfield, Ore., last Friday. The Buffaloes defeated host and then-No. 1 ranked OREGON on the Ducks’ home course to jump back atop the national rankings for the sixth time in seven polls this season.
Oregon fell to the No. 3 slot, while STANFORD jumped seven spots and returned to the top 10 for the sixth time this season at No. 7. The Ducks and Cardinal tied with 71 points at the Pac-12 Championships, with the Ducks earning runner-up based on top finishers. No. 16 WASHINGTON and No. 26 CALIFORNIA round out the Pac-12 presence in the women’s poll, with UTAH also receiving votes.
On the men’s side, Stanford used its Pac-12 Championships upset of six-time defending league champion Colorado to climb two spots to No. 4 nationally, one spot ahead of the Buffaloes at No. 5. UCLA placed third at Pac-12’s to improve an additional four spots to a season-best ranking of No. 10, just shy of its program-best No. 8 ranking set after the 2016 Pac-12 Championships.
Oregon dropped out of the top 10 for the first time this season at No. 13, while Washington reached its season-high at No. 20 and Washington State continues its poll presence at No. 27.
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