2016 NIRCA XC Rankings - Week 3

October 19th, 2016

2016 Men's and Women's Rankings - Week 3 (Week of 10/10/16)


It wasn’t exactly a quiet week of racing, as many clubs took to the course. But few upsets and consistent results from previous invitationals yielded little change to our men’s rankings. No one dropped out but one club made their way back into the top 10 as we ranked 11 clubs in Week 3.

The newcomer to the rankings is the University of Virginia. Just a week after dropping off our teams to watch list after faltering to Virginia Tech at the JMU Invite, the Cavaliers dominated their home invitational, beating out both Virginia Tech and North Carolina. UVA scored 35 points and averaged a season-best 26:58 to the Hookies 63 points and runner-up Tarheels 62 points. The performance brings UVA into the rankings at number 8 this week.

Defending national champions, UC Davis, laced up their spikes for the first time in 2016 and looked strong at the San Francisco State Invitational. The Aggies averaged 26:32 and while that isn’t a top performance among NIRCA clubs this season, it was the season opener and Davis was likely not with their full squad. The performance was good enough to keep the Aggies as the team to beat so far in 2016.

Michigan and Michigan State met again, this time at the Little Tens Invitational. The Wolverines continued to flex their muscle in the region scoring a perfect 15 points to the Spartans 53. Michigan, with little challenge from other clubs, ran to a 27:04 team average on the day.

Similar to the U of M, Binghamton continues to stake their claim to Northeast supremacy with a 15 point showing of their own at their home invite, keeping them just outside the top 10 but knocking on the door.

Illinois is emerging as a favorite to re-claim the Great Plains title and put together another solid performance at the UW-Parkside Invitational. With all five scorers in the top 30 of the meet, the Illini averaged 26:52 and hold steady as a top five club through three weeks of NIRCA rankings.

West Virginia, Penn State, Clemson, and Central Michigan all host NIRCA meets this weekend in a final tune-up before Regional Championships kick off in two weeks. Hard to believe we are less than one month until the 2016 National Championships in Hershey. The next few weeks will give us a better understanding of who the favorites will be when the calendar flips to November.


Rank Team Region Previous
1 UC Davis Pacific 1
2 Penn State Mid-Atlantic 2
3 Princeton Mid-Atlantic 3
4 Michigan Great Lakes 4
5 Illinois Great Plains 5
6 Oregon Pacific 6
7 Penn Mid-Atlantic 7
8 Virginia Mid-atlantic NR
9 Iowa State Great Plains 8



North Carolina State



Great Lakes



Dropped Out: None

Teams to Watch: Binghamton, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech,  Michigan State, Maryland, North Carolina



Head to head top ten match-ups highlighted the past week of meets on the women’s side and shook up the Week 3 rankings.

The Cavalier Invitational hosted by UVA, put previous #4 Virginia in a battle with #1 North Carolina. The UVA women threw down a season-best 23:45 average and defended their home turf in an impressive 38-72 win over UNC. Notably, the Tarheel women were without many of the runners that led them to the top of the rankings after their performance at their home meet earlier this season. Factoring that in, they are better than their recent 24:24 average shows and still remain atop our rankings. The meet told us more about Virginia who moves back up this week. Virginia Tech was a distant third at the Cavalier Invite with 121 points.

Michigan State continues their reign over in-state rival Michigan, this time taking down the Wolverine women at Little Tens. The Spartans scored 29 points for the victory and averaged 24:04 while the Maize and Blue scored 37 and averaged 24:22 in what was essentially a duel meet between the Great Lakes powers who accounted for 20 of the first 21 runners across the line.

Elsewhere this past week, the Illinois women competed at the UW-Parkside Invitational where they averaged 25:03, about 20 seconds off their season-best average. Oregon hosted a home invite where the Ducks averaged an identical 19:25 over 5k for the second time this season. Also out west, UC Davis competed in the San Francisco State Invite where they averaged 24:40, in large part to a top time of 22:03 but the Aggies had a top five spread of 2:49. Still it was a great performance for a club on the rise and gives the Pacific two teams in the top ten this week.

West Virginia hosts a competitive meet this weekend that will likely show more of what the strong Mid Atlantic Region has to offer with Regional Championship meets starting up in just a week.


Rank Team Region Previous
1 North Carolina Southeast 1
2 Virginia Mid-Atlantic 4
3 Michigan State Great Lakes 3
4 Penn State Mid-Atlantic 2
5 Michigan Great Lakes 8
6 Oregon Pacific 5
7 Princeton Mid-Atlantic 6
8 Illinois Great Plains 7
9 UC Davis Pacific NR


Duke Southeast 10

Dropped Out: #10 Wisconsin, #10 Pittsburgh

Teams to Watch: Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn, UMass Amherst, Iowa State, Miami (OH), Indiana, Georgetown

Ben Bartley, NIRCA

#rankings #week3