Iowa State sees highs and lows in latest rankings

Iowa State distance runners Milo Greder (left), Edwin Kurgat (middle) and Dan Curts (right) placed in the top 10 for male runners during the 2018 Big 12 Cross Country Championships on Oct. 26, 2018, at Iowa State. The men’s team placed first overall with a score of 32.

Adarsh Tamma

The Iowa State cross country teams saw some shifts in the most recent national rankings.

The latest national poll, conducted by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches’ Association (USTFCCCA), saw significant changes on both the men’s and women’s rankings across the board. This was after practically every ranked squad participated in either the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational or Under Armour Pre-National Invitational.

On Friday, the Iowa State men’s and women’s teams both competed at Nuttycombe, an event with the opportunity to gain some key big-race notes before the post season-filled month of November.

The Cyclone women saw an exit from the national top-30 for the first time this season. Iowa State lost its No. 29 ranking from last week after finishing 27th out of 34 teams at Nuttycombe.

The Cyclones were led by defending Big 12 and NCAA Midwest Regional individual champion Cailie Logue in their efforts. The junior from Erie, Kansas, placed 25th among a field of some of the nation’s best runners as the Cylcones amassed 656 total points with some strong finishes down the stretch. Iowa State also fell in the Midwest Regional rankings, dropping four spots to seventh as conference opponent Oklahoma State rose up to the No. 2 spot behind Illinois.

Over on the men’s side, it was a bit of a push upwards as the Cyclones moved back up into the top-five of the national rankings behind No. 1 Northern Arizona. The Cyclones retained their No. 1 Midwest Regional ranking as well.

The Cyclones finished fourth in the overall team standings in Madison, Wisconsin, on Friday in a field that included 20 of the top-30 squads from all over the country.

Iowa State was led in that race by senior All-American Edwin Kurgat, who is slowly making his case as the favorite at a run for the individual crown at the NCAA National Championships on Nov. 23.

Kurgat, who was just named USTFCCCA Men’s National Athlete of the Week, finished first in a stacked field — crossing the line nearly ten seconds clear of second place finisher Oliver Hoare of Wisconsin.

Behind Kurgat, the rest of the Cyclones had a confident showing as well, as all of Iowa State’s runners finished within the top-100 to amass 180 total points. The Cyclones finished behind top-five squads such as Northern Arizona and Stanford and surprise-package Tulsa, who shot up 22 spots to No. 6 in the nation after their performance.

Both the Iowa State men’s and women’s teams have a little over a week off before their next test. They will travel to Baylor University on Nov. 2 as they look to defend their Big 12 conference championships.

Women’s Rankings:

1. Arkansas

2. Stanford

3. Washington

Men’s Rankings:

1. Northern Arizona

2. BYU

3. Colorado

3. Stanford

5. Iowa State