As we sit in advance of the cross country season, we get our first glimpse at the thoughts of the nation’s coaches with the USTFCCCA regional polls.
What to make of it?
Well the coaches seem to favor the Princeton women to rebound this season, picking the Tigers second in the Mid-Atlantic behind only defending national champion Georgetown (and ahead of Villanova). The Cornell women, who won the League title in last fall’s wicked snowstorm, are the top Ivy pick in the Northeast, but behind Syracuse, Providence and Boston College. The Yalies are picked to contend with Cornell.
For the men, it seems the battle lines are drawn between Columbia — the top Heps’ team in the Northeast — and Princeton — which is ranked third overall in the Mid-Atlantic. Both teams lost stars — Kyle Merber for the Lions and Donn Cabral for the Tigers — but had a lot of talent on the sidelines.
It actually looks like a close battle in the Northeast as the coaches have Dartmouth, Cornell and Brown bunched up just behind the Light Blue (which is behind both Iona and Syracuse).
Truthfully, cross country is hard to figure out. The regular season is nothing but preparation for the championship season. We rarely see a ‘full-strength’ squad in action early, so we are left to read some tea leaves, compare incomparable times and wonder where “so-and-so” have been.
If you have insights you want to share, please do so in comments! It will help us all paint a better picture.