Four top-10 teams to highlight 2021 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships
SAN FRANCISCO – A combined eight nationally ranked programs, including a national-best four inside the top 10, will headline next week’s 2021 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships as the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Week 5 national rankings were released on Tuesday.
USTFCCCA WOMEN’S POLL (Week 5)
4. Colorado (+1)
8. Utah (+2)
18. Washington (-11)
23. Stanford (-14)
RV: Oregon, Oregon State
USTFCCCA MEN’S POLL (Week 5)
3. Colorado (+4)
4. Stanford (-1)
12. Oregon (-3)
26. Washington (-13)
The Pac-12’s combined four top-10 ranked teams are the most of any conference. The ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 each have three in the top 10 across both mens's and women's cross country.
The league’s 12 women’s and nine men’s teams will converge on Salt Lake City next Friday, Oct. 29 for the Pac-12 Championships. Hosted for the first time by Utah, this year’s title races will be contested at the Regional Athletic Complex. The Championships will be televised live on Pac-12 Network with racing starting at 10 a.m. MT.
The Colorado women picked up a victory at the Pre-National Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla., to improve one spot to No. 4, while Utah raced to a runner-up finish and improved two spots to No. 8. The rankings are bests for both programs since Oct. 8, 2019, when the Buffs were No. 3 and the Utes No. 6. At the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wis., Washington finished 15th, Stanford 16th, Oregon 18th and Oregon State 27th. Both loaded fields, the Pre-National Invitational featured nine nationally-ranked squads and the Nuttycombe Invitational 15.
The Pac-12 men’s race will feature a pair of top-five teams as Colorado and Stanford each finished second at their respective races over the weekend. One of 13 ranked teams competing at Pre-Nationals, the Buffs trailed only top-ranked Northern Arizona and edged out No. 6 Arkansas to climb four spots to No. 3. Stanford placed placed three individuals in the top seven and captured second as a team at the Nuttycombe and will enter the Conference meet ranked No. 4 nationally. Oregon finished sixth at the meet in Wisconsin, which featured 18 ranked squads, and Washington was 14th.
The NCAA Mountain and West Regionals will be held Friday, Nov. 12 in Provo, Utah and Sacramento, Calif., respectively, with teams advancing to the 2021 NCAA Championships in Tallahassee, Fla., on Saturday, Nov. 20.
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 (29 – 16 men/13 women) and individual titles (29 – 25 men/4 women) of any league in the country.