Dozen teams hold national rankings entering Pac-12 Cross Country Champs
SAN FRANCISCO – A national-best 12 Pac-12 teams will be nationally ranked, including the top-ranked OREGON women among five top-10 teams, entering next week’s 2017 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships as the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) released its latest national polls on Tuesday.
The Pac-12 Championships will be held on Friday, Oct. 27, hosted by the University of Oregon at Springfield Golf Club in Springfield, Ore. For the first time in event history, the Championship races will be broadcast live on Pac-12 Networks and streamed live on the Pac-12 Now app and Pac-12.com, with the women’s 6-kilometer race starting at 11 a.m. PT and men’s 8-kilometer race at 12 p.m. PT.
The COLORADO men's team will aim for a record-setting seventh consecutive Conference crown, while the two-time defending champion CU women will look to extend their streak on the home course of the defending NCAA national champions.
The Pac-12’s six teams in the men’s rankings are the most of any conference, while the six ranked women’s teams are tied for the most with the Big Ten. Additionally, the three men’s teams in the top 10 are the most of any conference, as are the five total top-10 teams.
Thanks to a victory at Pre-Nationals, Oregon took over the No. 1 ranking in the women’s poll, supplanting league rival COLORADO, which dropped to No. 3 following a runner-up finish to the Ducks. No. 13 WASHINGTON, No. 14 STANFORD and No. 27 UTAH all remained in the rankings for the sixth consecutive poll, while CALIFORNIA entered for the first time this season at No. 28.
On the men’s side, Washington made its first appearance in the rankings this season at No. 21 thanks to a strong showing at Wisconsin’s Nuttycombe Invitational where the Huskies bested eight ranked teams en route to a 14th-place finish in the 35-team field. WASHINGTON STATE edged the Huskies with a 13th-place showing at the Nuttycombe and improved nine spots to No. 20, while UCLA placed ninth at the Nuttycombe and jumped six spots to a season-best No. 14.
Colorado, by virtue of its runner-up finish at the Pre-Nationals Meet in Louisville, improved two spots to No. 5 and passed Stanford, which fell two spots to No. 6, for the first time this season. Oregon remained steady at No. 8 for the fifth consecutive poll.
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.