Oklahoma State returns to top spot, Colorado grabs second in latest poll
NEW ORLEANS -- The most changes this season to the coaches’ poll occurred in the latest update published by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
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Last weekend’s results in several inter-regional competitions forced big shifts to the national paradigm. Oklahoma State is the new No. 1 men’s team, unseating Wisconsin who dropped to No. 20. Florida State’s women keeps their top-ranked status for the second consecutive week, but have new visitors to the top three with No. 2 Iowa State and No. 3 Oregon.
Oklahoma State returns to the No. 1 spot, claiming six of 12 first-place votes, after their impressive showing at the Chile Pepper Invitational. The Cowboys placed six runners in the top ten and are back to the top for the first time since 2011. Oklahoma State won NCAA titles in 2009 and 2010.
No. 2 Colorado is ranked among the top two for the first time since 2007. The Buffaloes won the Pre-National Invitational this past weekend. Among those CU defeated was then-No. 3 BYU. Colorado last won the NCAA title in 2006.
The Pac-12 now has two of the top three as No. 3 Stanford is back in the fold. The Cardinal was most impressive in their victory at Wisconsin’s adidas Invitational. In a 45-team field, Stanford defeated six nationally-ranked top-ten teams with twins Jim and Joe Rosa leading the way.
At No. 10, Columbia jumped seven spots to reach another milestone in its history. The Lions have never been ranked this high in the national poll, but earned their spot int he poll after placing fifth at the Wisconsin meet.
Eastern Kentucky has also reached the peak of their poll standing to date at No. 13. The Colonials placed ninth at Wisconsin.
Four teams are making their season debuts in the poll: No. 18 Duke, No. 21 Virginia Tech, No. 25 Iowa State, and No. 30 Kansas. For Duke and Iowa State, they return to the poll for the first time since 2010. Kansas is listed for the first time since 2006. Virginia Tech is making their first appearance since 1998 in the coaches’ top 30. The Hokies last made a championship showing in 1987 and finished fourth.
The Big 12 is now the top conference with five teams ranked in the national top 30. Along with top-ranked Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Kansas, the league has No. 6 Oklahoma and No. 7 Texas. The Pac-12 follows with four teams.