Charging at the Polls


With last weekend being the first weekend where the meets are considered for national qualifying contention, there have been some changes to the USTFCCCA polls, both in content and in presentation.  Other than the official rankings order, the polls have introduced the win-loss stats for the teams that competed this past weekend. Two versions of this are shown in the regional polls – first, is the overall win-loss record for the weekend; second, is the win-loss against other teams from their region. These stats will be essential in November when the NCAA committee tries to determine who earns at-berth bids to NCAAs in Louisville, KY. The national polls also show the win-loss record, but for the given weekend right now.

The Dartmouth Big Green is still the lone Ivy receiving any kind of recognition on the USTFCCCA national polls for the men. Even though they finished second at the Battle of Beantown behind a very strong #3 Syracuse squad, Dartmouth is one of the last schools receiving votes, essentially placing them in a tie for 43rd place nationally with Minnesota and Kentucky. Regionally, their weekend performance bumped them up from 6th to 5th in the Northeast Region. Cornell, who was the top ranked Ivy last weekend, dropped from 4th to 6th place in the Northeast Region due to their fourth place finish at the Battle of Beantown and “losing” to Syracuse and Dartmouth within the region. Columbia is now the top ranked Ivy in the region as they sit in 4th place due to them taking the weekend off. Yale (7th) and Brown (10th) retain their regional rankings from last week, while Harvard dropped one spot to 9th place. In the Mid-Atlantic region, there weren’t any changes among the main contenders as most of the squads had the weekend off. As a result, Princeton and Penn continue to sit 4th and 6th regionally.

Having the weekend off ended up helping the Princeton women in the national polls. In the previous edition, the Lady Tigers were ranked 29th nationally. This week, they sit 28th. Could the bump be a result of the Dartmouth women dropping from a ranking to the “receiving votes” category due to their 8th place team finish at the Battle of Beantown? Possibly. The Big Green women are equivalent of being ranked 33rd as they were ranked 25th last week. However, they are still the second best Ivy squad in the national poll as they are just points ahead of Harvard (34th), Cornell (36th), and Columbia (40th) in the receiving votes category.

Regionally, the regional polls show a bit of a different story. In the Northeast Region, the Cornell women are the top Ivy females as they moved from 5th to 3rd in the regional polls. Harvard sits just behind Cornell in 4th place due to their strong finish at the Battle in Beantown where they finished ahead of Dartmouth in the team scoring. The Crimson women were 7th in the previous regional polls. The Big Green women are now 5th in the regional polls, followed by Columbia (6th) and Brown (7th). Yale improved one position in the regional poll – from 11th to 10th – from their 4th place finish at the Panorama Farms Invitational. Like the men, Princeton and Penn have not changed their positions in the regional polls. They are currently ranked 5th and 6th in the Mid-Atlantic region as the majority of the region took the weekend off.

We anticipate more changes in the polls after this weekend. The next rounds of high caliber meets are coming up – the Paul Short Invitational in Bethlehem, PA; the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind.; and the inaugural Princeton International Meet at the West Windsor Fields in Princeton, NJ. We will have plenty of Ivy action at each of them. The Paul Short and Notre Dame Invitationals have both provided great results to the Ivies in recent years, boosting many teams and names into the national spotlight. In recent years, Paul Short has acted as a mini-HepsXC preview if all of the schools have athletes entered.  Unfortunately, this is not the case this year.  The Princeton Interregional Meet will have the potential to do the same thing as many nationally ranked teams are scheduled to attend.

The weekend breakdown is as follows:

Friday, Oct 2nd:

Columbia, Cornell women, Harvard women, Penn at the Paul Short Invitational (Bethlehem, PA)

Penn at the Notre Dame Invitational (South Bend, IN)

Saturday, Oct 3rd:

Princeton hosts Columbia at the Princeton Interregional Meet – West Windsor Fields (Princeton, NJ)

Brown, Dartmouth, and Yale will be taking the weekend off.  Penn will be likely be sending their A-teams to the Notre Dame Invitational while sending the rest of the team to Paul Short.  I’m thinking something similar with Columbia as they are set for both Paul Short and the Princeton meet.  The women from Cornell and Harvard are also set to compete at Paul Short while their male counterparts will be taking the weekend off.  Good luck to all of the athletes.

photo by Michael Scott


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