Walker's Pace: Only in Cross Country Rankings
Tuesday, November 16, 2010, 3:00 p.m.
A look at the final USTFCCCA cross country poll before Monday's NCAA Championships shows again the unique nature of the sport. Where else could a team lose and yet, move back into the No. 1 spot?
Stanford, No. 2 last week, finished as the men's runner-up to Oregon at the NCAA West Regional over the weekend. Meanwhile, top-ranked Oklahoma State was the runner-up to Oklahoma in the Midwest Region. It seems the Cardinal's second-place showing was more impressive than the Cowboys, and thus, Stanford moved back into the No. 1 spot in the men's poll by a point.
Oregon received a first-place vote and was No. 3 again, followed by Wisconsin, New Mexico and Oklahoma. All of which won't mean a darn thing when these contenders toe the line Monday in Terre Haute, but if it helps build interest in the NCAA Championships, then the 'Pace is certainly in favor of it.
On the other side, the Pac-10 women's teams did their best impersonation of House of Pain's "Jump Around" again this week.
West Region winner Washington jumped up seven spots to No. 4, runner-up Oregon hopped one place to No. 6, third-place finisher and Pac-10 champion Stanford fell three spots to No. 7 and Arizona - fourth at the West meet - fell three spots to No. 9. That's still four teams in the top nine who will all contend for a trophy in Terre Haute.
The first three teams in the women's poll were defending NCAA champion Villanova, Florida State and Georgetown, respectively.
Click here to bid on the special pink uniforms the teams wore at the Oct. 16 Bill Dellinger Invitational.
Check out the 2010 Oregon Cross Country Multi-Media Guide.