Division III National Poll Places North Central, Middlebury as Top Teams in Preseason-cnbnews.net
Friday, August 26, 2011
Middlebury’s women have won NCAA cross country team crowns in 2010, 2008, and 2006
August 24, 2011
NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Wednesday the results of a national preseason cross country coaches’ poll for NCAA Division III. The men of North Central College was chosen as the No. 1 team in the land according to the poll. Defending women’s national champion Middlebury will begin the 2011 season as a top team as well.
North Central’s men placed second last year at the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships to current-No. 4 Haverford. The Cardinals last won the national crown in 2009 as part of a three-sport sweep over the 2009-2010 academic year. North Central received seven of eight first-place votes while No. 2 Calvin notched the remaining FPV. St. Lawrence checks in at No. 3, matching their 2010 final ranking and Washington (Mo.) sits at No. 5 after placing ninth nationally last year.
The UAA has equals the most men’s teams in the top 35 with five squads mentioned, including Washington (Mo.), No. 11 NYU, No. 26 Carnegie Mellon, tied-No. 35 Brandeis, and tied-No. 35 Rochester. The NESCAC also has five teams in the nation’s poll with No. 7 Williams, No. 10 Middlebury, No. 19 Bates, No. 27 Tufts, and No. 31 Bowdoin. The WIAC with four teams has the third-most teams in the poll among all conferences.
In the women’s poll, Middlebury was selected as the nation’s top team to begin the 2011 season. The squad won last year’s NCAA title in a squeaker, topping current-No. 3 Washington (Mo.) by a 185-193 tally. Overall, Middlebury has won six national titles in women’s cross country in the last 11 years which includes titles in 2010, 2008, and 2006.
Fellow NESCAC rival Williams College sits at No. 2 to begin the season after coming off a fifth-place showing at last year’s championships. MIT is ranked No. 4 while UW-Eau Claire is at No. 5.
The NESCAC, with five, has the most squads in the women’s top 35. Along with Middlebury and Williams are No. 7 Amherst, No. 18 Colby, and No. 31 Bowdoin to represent the conference. The Centennial Conference has four in the national poll, followed by the MIAC, SUNYAC, UAA, and WIAC with three apiece.
The NCAA Division II Cross Country Championships will be held on Saturday, November 19, in Oshkosh, Wis. NCAA Regional Championships will be held the weekend prior.
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