Lumberjacks Head Into NCAA Championships as the Favorites

NAU's Cory Glines
NAU's Cory Glines

NEW ORLEANS – For the third-straight United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches' Association (USTFCCCA) National Poll, the Northern Arizona University men find themselves unanimously atop the week seven rankings.

The No. 1 Lumberjacks are coming off a weekend in which they won their third NCAA Mountain Region title in the last five seasons, effectively punching their ticket to NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., this Saturday, Nov. 19. This was the sixth team win of the 2016 season, and the fifth-straight poll overall garnering the nation's No. 1 ranking.

Per the USTFCCCA, the last three squads to go into NCAA's as the unanimous No. 1 team—Colorado in 2014, Oregon in 2008 and Oregon in 2007—all took home the national title. The Lumberjacks will attempt to continue that trend and secure the school's first national title of any kind with athletes like Futsum Zienasellassie, Matt Baxter, Cory Glines and Tyler Day leading the way.

It is worth noting, though, the last team to be ranked No. 1 unanimously in the final poll before XC championships and not win the national title was Wisconsin in 2006. The team that upset the Badgers? The current No. 2 team right now, the Buffaloes of Colorado. Stanford (No. 3), BYU (No. 4) and Syracuse (No. 5) round out the men's top-five nationally.

For the full USTFCCCA Week Seven rankings, click here.

A more comprehensive recap of NCAA Mountain Regionals can be found here