Cyclone rank stays constant in latest cross country rankings

Members of the Iowa State women’s cross country team pose for the crowd after winning the women’s division at the 2018 Big 12 Cross Country Championships on Oct. 26, 2018, at Iowa State. The women’s team finished with a score of 35.

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State cross country program has been standing pat in the national polls after a busy conference championships weekend.

Both the Cyclones men’s and women’s squads have retained their same positions in the latest national coaches poll, released Tuesday afternoon by the U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches’ Association. This was also the first coaches’ association national rankings release of the postseason, after a weekend that saw 32 different conference meets across the country with every ranked team seeing action.

On the women’s side, a younger Cyclone squad began their 2019 postseason with an exciting and competitive race that saw them finish fourth in the overall team standings behind West Virginia, Texas and Oklahoma State. This was OSU’s second Big 12 title in program history.

Leading the Cyclones once again was junior Cailie Logue, who put in a historic performance by retaining her individual conference crown in a time of 20:08.2. The Erie, Kansas, native held off Oklahoma State junior Taylor Somers over the final kilometer and crossed the line just 0.3 seconds ahead of her opponent, collapsing at the finish. Logue became the first Cyclone since Debbie Vetter back in 1978 to retain an individual conference championship.

Despite this performance, the Cyclones could not garner enough votes to enter this week’s top-30 list — the only Big 12 team represented was Oklahoma State. However, Iowa State did move up in the latest Midwest Regional rankings, now placed at the No. 6 spot behind Missouri, Tulsa, Oklahoma State and Illinois.

Switching over to the men’s side, it was the same-old, same-old in terms of rankings for the Cyclones, as they retained their No. 5 national ranking. Iowa State kept its notch behind Pac-12 powers Stanford and Colorado, BYU and defending national champs Northern Arizona. The NAU Lumberjacks have held the top spot for 28 consecutive weeks, a record only matched by DII school North Central (Ill.).

The Cyclones stayed steady in their spot amongst the nation’s best, thanks in large part to a first place finish in the overall team standings and their third consecutive Big 12 title.

It was Edwin Kurgat leading the way for the Cyclones on Saturday, as the All-American senior became the first Cyclone runner since Ian Robinson in 1994 to retain the individual conference crown. Kurgat held off another Oklahoma State runner in sophomore Isai Rodriguez to finish with a time of 23:36.3.

Including Kurgat, the Cyclones had seven of their nine runners place in the top 15 and make the podium, including senior transfers Addison Dehaven and David Too. This feat has only been repeated twice in Big 12 meet history — by Colorado in 1999 and Oklahoma State in 2014. This also helped the Cyclones retain their No. 1 Midwest Regional ranking, as they still seem to be the favorite to qualify for nationals in their region.

The Iowa State program is continuing on with the 2019 postseason when they will travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to compete in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Nov. 15. Both the Cyclones men’s and women’s teams are defending champions in this meet, and can automatically qualify for Nationals again by finishing in the top two of the team standings.

The Women’s 6K race is up first at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 15, followed by the Men’s 10K championship at 11:30.

Women’s Rankings:

1. Arkansas

2. Stanford

3. BYU

4. Washington

5. North Carolina State

6. Michigan State

7. Wisconsin

8. Colorado

9. Utah

10. New Mexico

11. Michigan

12. Florida State

13. Boise State

14. Furman

15. Air Force

16. Northern Arizona

16. Notre Dame

18. Penn State

19. Oregon

20. Ohio State

21. Columbia

22. Illinois

23. Virginia Tech

24. Butler

25. Oklahoma State

26. Minnesota

27. Ole Miss

28. Villanova

29. Syracuse

30. California Baptist

Men’s Rankings

1. Northern Arizona

2. BYU

3. Colorado

4. Stanford

5. Iowa State

6. Oregon

7. Tulsa

8. Iona

9. Wisconsin

10. UCLA

11. Portland

11. Ole Miss

13. Indiana

14. Washington

15. Middle Tennessee

16. Michigan

17. Purdue

18. Syracuse

19. Notre Dame

20. Utah State

21. Virginia

22. Virginia Tech

23. Oklahoma State

24. Villanova

25. Colorado State

26. Eastern Kentucky

27. Boise State

28. Alabama

29. Texas

30. Georgetown