2017 Women’s NCAA XC Regionals Preview: Who’s Projected to Make It to NCAAs & Everything Else You Need to Know About Friday’s Races

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By LetsRun.com
November 9, 2017

We’re only nine days away from the 2017 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. And while we’re sure a few teams have already made plans to visit the Bluegrass State, right now there are still 31 spots up for grabs on November 18. Eighteen of those spots will be handed out at the nine NCAA regional meets on Friday, with 13 more at-large qualifiers to be announced this weekend. But through the magic of former Duke runner and Olympic Trials qualifier Bo Waggoner‘s computer program, we can project which teams will qualify right now. Then, once the final regional meet is finished on Friday (shortly after 3 p.m. ET), we’ll run the program one last time and tell you, using the same criteria as the NCAA, whether your favorite team will be dancing in Louisville next weekend.

Below, we present the current projected women’s NCAA team qualifiers based on results to this point and assuming the regionals go according to the most recent USTFCCCA Regional Rankings (men here, women here). We have the men’s projections in a separate article.

After those projections, we’ve included a few notes about which teams/regions will be particularly important on Friday, followed by the details for each regional meet: where it is, who is competing, how you can watch it (if there’s a broadcast), and where to find results.

Projections

Oregon has won two titles in the past five years, including last year in Terre Haute

Oregon has won two titles in the past five years, including last year in Terre Haute

As was the case in our men’s projections, we can’t give you a single complete field of 31 at the moment because there is a tie at the #29 spot (11th at-large team) between Ohio State and West Virginia, and depending on who wins the tiebreaker, you get two different fields. The NCAA has several tiebreaking procedures in place, such as head-to-head and common opponents, but in this case, those two teams are still level. The next tiebreaker goes to the team whose score at regionals was the closest to the second-place team in its region (we believe this is a new rule for 2017). Obviously, we can’t break that tie without knowing each team’s score at regionals. So what we have done is given you the 18 auto qualifiers, followed by the two variations of at-large qualifiers.

One final note: if teams are still tied after that, the rulebook says that “the committee may give the advantage to the team whose individual(s) is most likely to score highly at the championships, as determined by the committee.” It’s unlikely that this tiebreaker comes into play, but if it does, it pays to have a low stick.

Automatically selected (projected to finish top-two at regionals)

  1 Michigan
  2 Wisconsin
  3 Villanova
  4 Penn State
  5 Minnesota
  6 Iowa State
  7 Colorado
  8 New Mexico
  9 Providence
 10 Columbia
 11 Georgia
 12 Ole Miss
 13 Arkansas
 14 Abilene Christian
 15 North Carolina St.
 16 Furman
 17 Oregon
 18 Stanford

At-large teams (scenario #1 – West Virginia wins tiebreaker)

 19 San Francisco
 20 Boise State
 21 Utah State
 22 Washington
 23 Michigan State
 24 BYU
 25 Eastern Kentucky
 26 Northern Arizona
 27 Louisville
 28 Virginia Tech
 29 Georgetown
 30 West Virginia
 31 Oklahoma State

At-large teams (scenario #2 — Ohio State wins tiebreaker)

 19 San Francisco
 20 Boise State
 21 Utah State
 22 Washington
 23 Michigan State
 24 BYU
 25 Eastern Kentucky
 26 Northern Arizona
 27 Louisville
 28 Virginia Tech
 29 Ohio State
 30 Georgetown
 31 West Virginia

As you can see, the only significant difference between the two scenarios is that in scenario #1, Ohio State gets in, while in scenario #2, Oklahoma State gets in. So it will be important for both of those teams to run well at regionals. But all the teams near the bubble — looking at you, West Virginia and Georgetown — will need to be at their best as upsets in other regions could throw the whole thing off.

Total bids by region
5: West, Mountain, Southeast
4: Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes (if Ohio State gets in)
3: Midwest (if Oklahoma State gets in)
2: Northeast, South, South Central

Ranked team that would be left out
No. 25 Ohio State (maybe)
No. 26 Cal
No. 27 Eastern Michigan
No. 30 Dartmouth

Unranked teams that would be dancing
Louisville (No. 32 in votes)
Oklahoma State (No. 34 in votes; maybe)
Virginia Tech (No. 36 in votes)
West Virginia (No. 37 in votes)
Abilene Christian (No. 39 in votes)

Team that would be dancing for the first time ever
Utah State
Abilene Christian
Eastern Kentucky
Furman

Regions/teams to watch

  • Oklahoma State: OSU could get in as an at-large team, but the Cowgirls will want to auto-qualify and avoid sweating things out. To do that, however, would require OK State turning the tables on Iowa State, which beat them by one place (but 40 points) at Big 12s. One team rooting for OK  State is Dartmouth, which beat the Cowgirls at Penn State; if OK State auto-qualifies instead of Iowa State, and everything else stays the same, Dartmouth would be in.
  • Abilene Christian: If the Wildcats finish as projected, it would be the school’s first-ever bid to the NCAA Division I champs (Abilene Christian moved up from DII to DI in 2013). But if Texas beats Abilene Christian, that could shake things up as a lot of teams beat Texas at Pre-Nats (25, to be precise).
  • The Mid-Atlantic region: Georgetown and West Virginia are projected as two of the last teams in, so both will be under pressure to run well. West Virginia should be able to make it by finishing in the top four, but Georgetown, which doesn’t have any points in our projection, will need to beat WVU and hope for the push.
  • The Great Lakes region: If Indiana, which finished just seven points behind Ohio State at Big 10s, can beat them at regionals (and both schools beat Eastern Michigan), then both the Hoosiers and Buckeyes could be dancing. It’s also possible that neither of them go, depending on how tiebreakers fall.

*It was necessary to make a few assumptions based on whether a school was running an A team or a B team at a certain regular season meet. We believe we’ve caught all the B teams out there, but if you know of one, don’t hesitate to email us to confirm.

Below, you’ll find details about all nine regional meets.

# = team is projected to qualify for NCAAs

South Regional
Live results * Official site
Harry Pritchett Running Park, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Start times: 10:00 a.m. ET (women); 11:00 a.m. ET (men)

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 14 Georgia #
  2. No. 22 Ole Miss #
  3. Mississippi State
  4. Alabama
  5. Florida State
  6. Vanderbilt
  7. Samford

South Central Regional
Live results * Official site
Watts Cross Country Course, College Station, Texas
Start times: 10:15 a.m. ET (women); 11:15 a.m. ET (men) 

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 6 Arkansas #
  2. Abilene Christian #
  3. Texas
  4. Baylor
  5. SMU
  6. Lamar
  7. Texas A&M

Southeast Regional
Live results * Official site
Panorama Farms, Earlysville, Virginia
Start times: 10:30 a.m. ET (women); 11:30 a.m. ET (men)

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 5 NC State #
  2. No. 12 Furman #
  3. No. 23 Eastern Kentucky #
  4. Louisville #
  5. Virginia Tech #
  6. Wake Forest
  7. Duke

Mid-Atlantic Regional
Results will be hereOfficial site
Goodman Course, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Start times: 10:45 a.m. ET (women); 11:45 p.m. ET (men)

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 9 Villanova #
  2. No. 19 Penn State #
  3. No. 27 Georgetown #
  4. West Virginia #
  5. Princeton
  6. Pittsburgh
  7. Penn

Northeast Regional
Live results * Official site
Audubon Golf Course, Amherst, New York
Start times: 11 a.m. ET (women); 12 p.m. ET (men)

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 10 Providence #
  2. No. 24 Columbia #
  3. No. 30 Dartmouth
  4. Syracuse
  5. Yale
  6. Cornell
  7. Connecticut
Michigan came up one point shy of a national title last year

Michigan came up one point shy of a national title last year

Great Lakes Regional
Results will be here * Official site
LaVern Gibson Championship Course, Terre Haute, Indiana
Start times: 11:15 a.m. ET (women); 12:15 p.m. ET (men)
How to watch: Live on Flotrack Pro ($$$)

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 8 Michigan #
  2. No. 17 Wisconsin #
  3. No. 21 Michigan State #
  4. No. 25 Ohio State #*
  5. No. 27 Eastern Michigan
  6. Indiana
  7. Toledo

Midwest Regional
Live resultsOfficial site
ISU Cross Country Course, Ames, Iowa
Start times: 11:45 a.m. ET (women); 12:45 p.m. ET (men)

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 13 Minnesota #
  2. No. 20 Iowa State #
  3. Oklahoma State #*
  4. Missouri
  5. Northwestern
  6. Bradley
  7. South Dakota
Colorado has been on the podium two straight years but hasn't won it all since 2004

Colorado has been on the podium two straight years but hasn’t won it all since 2004

Mountain Regional
Results * 
Official site
Steve & Dona Reeder Cross Country Course, Logan, Utah
Start times: 12:15 p.m. ET (women); 1:15 p.m. ET (men) 

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 1 Colorado #
  2. No. 2 New Mexico #
  3. No. 15 Utah State #
  4. No. 18 BYU #
  5. No. 29 Northern Arizona #
  6. Utah
  7. Air Force

West Regional
Live results * Official site
Jefferson Golf Course, Seattle, Washington
Start times: 1:30 p.m. ET (women); 2:30 p.m. ET (men)
How to watch: Live on Flotrack Pro ($$$)

USTFCCCA Regional Rankings

  1. No. 3 Oregon #
  2. No. 7 Stanford #
  3. No. 4 San Francisco #
  4. No. 10 Boise State #
  5. No. 16 Washington #
  6. No. 26 California
  7. Arizona

What do you think? Vote in the 2017 LetsRun.com Regional Polls.


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