Collegiate Cross Country Preview

photo: Kirby Lee/Image Of Sport

For high schools cross country unambiguously gets up and running in September. At the collegiate level, not so much until the month’s last weekend, and this is a 5-Saturdays September.

Throughout the autumn before conference meets are reeled off, the at-large scoring system discourages any racing by teams’ big guns except in carefully strategized appearances at less than a handful of major invitationals. That’s a long excuse-making way of saying we have limited data to go on for predicting who’ll be hot come November 17 (the equal-earliest day of the year the meet has ever been held) when Wisconsin will host the 80th NCAA Cross Country Championships for men and 38th for women.

We do wonder if the sport is best served by the frequent decisions by power program coaches to hold out their stars even from home meets, some of which in days of yore were major fixtures in the eyes of local fans? Formula rules over fans, especially in September in the current era.

Links to the four sections of our NCAA Cross Country Preview. Don’t be surprised by surprises when the nationals go down; expect them.

Men’s Teams Women’s Teams
Men’s Individuals Women’s Individuals

Collegiate Cross Country Schedule

Invitational Cross Country
21 Battle In Beantown; Boston, Massachusetts
Dellinger Invitational; Springfield, Oregon
22 Chile Pepper Festival; Fayetteville, Arkansas
28 Piane Invitational; Notre Dame, Indiana
Nuttycombe Invitational; Madison, Wisconsin
29 Griak Invitational; Minneapolis, Minnesota
Stanford Invitational; Stanford, California
13 Pre-Nationals; Madison, Wisconsin
Cross Country Conferences
22 SWAC; Clinton, Mississippi
25 American Athletic; New Orleans, Louisiana
26 ACC; Boston, Massachusetts
Atlantic Sun; Bronx, New York
Big 12; Ames, Iowa
Big South; Kernersville, North Carolina
Colonial; Farmingdale, New York
Mountain West; San Diego, California
Pac-12; Stanford, California
SEC; Auburn, Alabama
Southland; Lake Charles, Louisiana
27 America East; Nashua, New Hampshire
Atlantic 10; Mechanicsville, Virginia
Big East; Indianapolis, Indiana
Big Sky; Sacramento, California
Big West; Brea, California
Conference USA; Boca Raton, Florida
Heps; Princeton, New Jersey
Horizon League; Parkside, Wisconsin
Metro-Atlantic; Loudonville, New York
Mid-American; Toledo, Ohio
Missouri Valley; Peoria, Illinois
Ohio Valley; Cape Girardeau, Missouri
Patriot League; Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Southern; Cullowhee, North Carolina
Summit League; Omaha, Nebraska
Sun Belt; Mobile, Alabama
WAC; Seattle, Washington
West Coast; Provo, Utah
28 Big 10; Lincoln, Nebraska
16 IC4A/ECAC; Bronx, New York
Cross Country Nationals
3 JUCO Div. III Championships; Canandaigua, New York
9 NCAA Regionals (9 sites)
Great Lakes—Terre Haute, Indiana
Mid-Atlantic—State College, Pennsylvania
Midwest—Peoria, Illinois
Mountain—Provo, Utah
Northeast—Buffalo, New York
Southeast—Rock Hill, South Carolina
South Central—College Station, Texas
South—Tallahassee, Florida
West—Sacramento, California
10 JUCO Championships; Garden City, Kansas
NCAA Div. III Regionals (8 sites)
16 NAIA Championships; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
17 NCAA Championships; Madison, Wisconsin
NCAA II Regionals (8 sites)
NCAA III Championships; Oshkosh, Wisconsin
1 NCAA II Championships; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania