Cross country week two rankings show a minor shift for Cyclones

Iowa State distance runner Edwin Kurgat races against eight other universities during the men’s 8K at the 2018 Big 12 Cross Country Championships on Oct. 26, 2018, at Iowa State. Kurgat placed first overall for the men’s division with a time of 23:21.1. The men’s team placed first overall with a score of 32, winning the championships.

Adarsh Tamma

The latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches’ poll resulted in a small change for the Iowa State Cyclones.

Week two’s edition of the national rankings, released on Tuesday afternoon, saw a small change for the Cyclone women’s squad as they dropped one spot from last week’s placings to No. 17 in Division I. The Cyclones also retained their No. 1 ranking in the Midwest Regional, which is set to take place Nov. 15 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

Coach Amy Rudolph and her squad’s only meet of the season so far was back on Sept. 6, when Iowa State opened their season in a performance at the Hawkeye Invitational. Led by individual champion Abby Caldwell, the Cyclones ran to a second place team finish in Iowa City, Iowa.

The next test for the Cyclone women will be Oct. 4 in South Bend, Indiana, as they will run in the annual Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational. They will be up against many of the best teams in the U.S., including current top five teams Washington and New Mexico and national champ Colorado. This will be a benchmark for the women’s team before the grueling postseason, which starts Nov. 2.

Over on the men’s side, coach Martin Smith and company kept their No. 5 ranking from last week, as the top five squads stayed the same. At the top is three-time defending national champ Northern Arizona, who leads the national rankings for the 24th consecutive week, the second longest streak in the history of the USTFCCCA Poll.

The Cyclones opened their season in convincing fashion, running to a third place team finish Saturday at the John McNichols Invitational in Terre Haute, Indiana. While finishing third in the overall standings to Stanford and Northern Arizona, Iowa State did have all six of their runners finish in the top-25 over a field of more than 130.

Leading the way was senior All-American Edwin Kurgat, who began his final season in a Cyclone uniform in dominant fashion, winning the individual race by holding off Stanford Cardinal junior Thomas Ratcliffe over the last quarter mile by four seconds. 

The Cyclones will have a little over three weeks until their next and final race of the regular season Oct. 18 in the prestigious Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin. Iowa State is set to take on 36 squads from across the country, many of which are currently ranked in the top-30 poll.

Like a majority of October meets, the Cyclones are looking to gain some big-race experience from this contest to draw back on in the postseason, where they will defend their No. 1 Midwest Regional Ranking.

Men’s Rankings:

1. Northern Arizona

2. BYU

3. Washington

4. Colorado

5. Iowa State

6. Stanford

7. Portland

8. Oklahoma State

9. Notre Dame

10. Wisconsin

11. Oregon

12. Syracuse

13. North Carolina State

14. Colorado State

15. Ole Miss

16. Michigan

17. Wyoming

18. Indiana

19. Purdue

20. Iona

21. Middle Tennessee

22. Virginia

23. Princeton

24. UCLA

25. Arkansas

26. Tulsa

27. Air Force

28. Eastern Kentucky

29. Villanova

30. Eastern Utah

Women’s Rankings:

1. Colorado

2. New Mexico

3. Arkansas

4. Washington

5. Stanford

6. BYU

7. Michigan

8. North Carolina State

9. Oregon

10. Wisconsin

11. Michigan State

12. Notre Dame

13. Boise State

14. Ole Miss

15. Furman

16. Penn State

17. Syracuse

18. Iowa State

19. Florida State

20. Oklahoma State

21. Ohio State

22. Minnesota

23. Princeton

24. Columbia

25. Northern Arizona

26. Boston College

27. UCLA

28. Indiana

29. Villanova

30. Utah