NEW ORLEANS – Another fall Monday means another United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Poll, and the Northern Arizona University men's team once again finds itself atop the NCAA Division I Regional Rankings for the fifth-consecutive week, which includes the preseason.
With the No. 1 Lumberjacks idle this past weekend, the poll did not figure to show a whole lot of change at the top and it did not. In fact, the top-seven teams in the Mountain Region remained untouched, as No. 2 BYU, No. 3 Colorado, No. 4 UTEP and No. 5 Colorado State maintained last week's ranking in today's regional poll.
The NAU women, who most recently competed two weekends ago at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn., also held onto last week's regional ranking Monday morning, coming in as the tenth-best team in the week four poll. The Colorado women's team did jump from No. 2 to 1 this week, while No. 2 New Mexico, No. 3 BYU, No. 4 Utah and No. 5 Air Force complete the top-five on the women's side.
Last Tuesday, the Lumberjack men moved to No. 1 in the nation, per the USTFCCCA, for only the second time in school history. The last such time was in 2013, when the men's team went onto place second at NCAA Championships—tying their highest finish ever in school history at nationals.
The anticipation is building around both teams, as each is chomping at the bit to get back to competition. Both the NAU men and women will have to wait another weekend, though, before they race next at the highly-competitive Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational national meet on Friday, Oct. 14.
According to the latest USTFCCCA national rankings and the entry list for that meet so far, six of the top-10 and 11 of the top-20 men's teams will be at that meet. For the women, five of the top-10 and 11 of the top-20 teams will be competing at that event as well.