WALTHAM, Massachusetts — Both the Brandeis University men's and women's cross country teams are appearing in the final NCAA Division III national polls of the regular season released today by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The men made their first appearance of the season at #26, while the women reentered the poll for the third time this year at a season-high #31.
The Judges are coming off the 2016 University Athletic Association championships on Oct. 29. In a field containing four other ranked men's teams and three other ranked women, the Brandeis men placed third, behind #11 Washington U. and #12 Carnegie Mellon with 93 points. The Judges finished ahead of #20 NYU (121 points) and Emory (134) – the Eagles are now tied with Brandeis in the national poll at #26. The Judges made their mark by having two of the first four runners to cross the line in second-place junior Ryan Stender (Amherst, Mass./Amherst Regional) and fourth-place classmate Mitchell Hutton (Villa Park, Calif./Villa Park). This is Brandeis's first national ranking since 2011 for the men.
The Brandeis women appeared in the USTFCCCA poll in the preseason and in the second and third weeks of the campaign before dropping out. At the UAA Championships, the Judges finished in fourth place with 96, nearly defeating #18 Emory (90 points). #4 Washington U. (33 points) won the meet, while #13 Chicago (75 points) was second.
The Judges had two All-UAA runners on the women's side, as sophomore Emily Bryson (Quincy, Mass./No. Quincy) finished third and senior Maddie Dolins (Highland Park, Ill./Highland Park) was 11th. They earned their second and third All-Association honors, respectively.
The Judges, under third-year head coach Sinead Delahunty Evans, will compete next weekend at the NCAA Division III New England Regional Championships at Westfield State University. The fields will be deep, with six New England ranked teams ahead of Brandeis in the national polls, including the #3 and #5 teams on the men's side in Williams and MIT and the #5 and #2 squads from those same schools on the women's side. The Judges will hope to land a spot at the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, on Nov. 19.
Click here for full USTFCCCA Division III Men's Cross Country Top 35: http://www.ustfccca.org/2016/11/featured/upsets-shake-up-penultimate-ncaa-diii-mens-xc-poll
Click here for full USTFCCCA Division III Women's Cross Country Top 35: http://www.ustfccca.org/2016/11/featured/ncaa-diii-xc-womens-poll-still-shifting-as-season-nears-end