There were major shake-ups in the USTFCCCA polls after the results from this past weekend – which was what USTFCCCA is calling the “final weekend of the regular season” – were finalized. Some of these changes benefited the Ivy League, but some others not quite so much.
Columbia’s 10th place finish at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational made them one of the largest movers in the USTFCCCA men’s national polls. Previously ranked #28, they jumped up 11 positions and now sit at #17. This is the best team position under Coach Dan Ireland’s tenure so far, as the Lions were ranked at an all-time high of #8 back in 2013. The Lions’ position in the regional polls did not change however; they are still ranked #3 as both #2 Syracuse and #9 Iona finished ahead of them at Wisconsin and still sit in the top 2 positions in the Northeast Region. Unfortunately for Princeton, their 31st place showing at Wisconsin dropped them in the polls, both nationally and regionally as they are no longer receiving votes nationally and now sit as the fifth best team in the Mid-Atlantic Region. There was one Ivy squad that benefited from Princeton dropping out – Penn. Even though their win over Villanova at the Princeton XC Invitational was not really highlighted by many news outlets, USTFCCCA recognized their performance and gave them the #29 ranking in the national polls and boosted them up to #2 in the Mid-Atlantic Region. This made history for the Quakers – this is the first time they’ve ever been given a formal national ranking as they previously only ever received votes, and the last time that happened was in Week 6 of 2004.
There were minor changes to the men’s regional polls. There was only one other improvement in regional rankings besides Penn’s in the Mid-Atlantic: Brown’s third place finish in the unseeded PreNationals race boosted them from 11th to 9th in the Northeast Region. Dartmouth and Cornell both dropped one position in the Northeast Region, as they now sit #5 and #6 respectively. Columbia (#3), Yale (#7), and Harvard (#8) did not change.
There were similar changes on the women’s national rankings. In the national polls, Princeton’s 13th place finish at Wisconsin also provided a change for the team – but this direction was for the better. They’re now ranked #20 nationally, improving five positions from the previous release. Columbia also got a boost – their 17th place finish at Wisconsin finally gave them a formal national ranking after just receiving votes all season long. The Lady Lions enter the polls at #25. The unfortunate party in this new national release was Cornell – after breaking onto the polls at #29 in the previous release, they are no longer receiving votes as they finished 22nd at PreNationals on Saturday. Dartmouth and Harvard continue to receive votes, while Penn was the last team to receive a single vote. This was the first time the Lady Quakers have received a vote since 2004.
The women’s regional polls had more changes than the men. In the Northeast Region, Columbia is now the top Ivy as they are in the #3 position. Dartmouth and Yale also improved their regional rankings. Dartmouth moved up one slot to #4 while Yale improved five positions to #6. The biggest change was for Cornell, who dropped six positions to #9. Harvard is now ranked #5 (dropping one) while Brown maintains at #7. In the Mid-Atlantic Region, Princeton is still considered the third-best team as Penn State finished ahead of the Lady Tigers at Wisconsin while Georgetown finished in 7th place at PreNationals. Penn’s regional position improved as they are now ranked fifth.
The next round of USTFCCCA polls will not be released until November 3rd, meaning the polls will be taking into account the results of the conference championships. Do you feel that these recent poll changes are accurate in terms of the status of the Ivy League teams? Feel free to join the discussion on the Letsrun.com forum dedicated to HepsXC 2015.
photo by Michael Scott