By USTFCCCA Communications, USTFCCCA
October 19, 2022
NEW ORLEANS – What was once close is no longer in the week 3 edition of the NJCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country National Coaches Surveywhich was released Wednesday by the US Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
NJCAA Division II—Men’s Cross Country
National Top 5 this week
Lansing, Michigan, CC
Mesa, Arizona CC
Paradise Valley (Arizona) CC
State of Daytona (Florida)
Heartland (Illinois) CC
Cross-country polls and rankings
Lansing, Michigan, CC became a near-unanimous No. 1 again, garnering all but one of the 11 first-place votes. The Stars were impressive at the Muskegon Jayhawk Invitational, finishing third in the best JUCO schedule. Michael Dennis led the Stars this time, joining Liam Elder as the team’s No. 1 runner on several occasions this year (Lansing had four different top runners in six races).
All other positions in the top 10 saw fits, starting with #2 Mesa, Arizona CC. The Thunderbirds are at their highest since also being No. 2 in 2021 after finishing as the top NJCAA DII program at the UC Riverside Highlander Invitational.
Achieving a high program for the second week in a row is Paradise Valley (Arizona) CC at No. 3. The Pumas moved up two positions after venturing to Wisconsin for the Drews/Neubauer Invitational, where they finished as the top NJCAA DII team. They were led by Gilbert Olivas, who finished third individually to earn MF Athletic National Athlete of the Week honours.
To tie a program better at No. 4 is State of Daytona (Florida), which last achieved that record in 2020. The Falcons, national finalists last year, were the top NJCAA DII program at the South Florida Invitational, finishing fourth. They were led by individual winner Christian Ruocco.
No. 5 is Heartland (Illinois) CC, down three spots from the last poll. The Hawks finished fourth in the Bradley Pink Classic White Division as the top JUCO program.
No. 6 completes the top 10 Cowley (Kan.)no. 7 Grand Rapids, Michigan, CC#8 Allen (Kan.) CCno. 9 Lake-Sumter (Florida) and No. 10. St. Clair County (Mich.) CC.
In just over three weeks, it’s the 2022 NJCAA Division II Cross Country Championshipswhich will take place on Saturday, November 12 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee, Florida.