Cross Country: Moving Up a Spot

  • By Daniel Whitehead
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  • September 20, 2011 07:42 PM
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Week Two USTFCCCA Rankings

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Continuing to climb the rankings, the Mountaineers were tabbed No. 19 in the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America (USTFCCCA) national poll released Tuesday.

After two weeks without a competition, the Mountaineers moved up one spot from No. 20 after jumping four spots in last week’s national poll.

“We seem to be creeping up a little bit each week without having raced,” says WVU coach Sean Cleary. “We have found that the secret to earning a higher ranking is to not race at all.”

WVU last competed on Sept. 3 at the Maryland Eastern Shore Lid-Lifter Invitational, where they came away with a second-place finish behind Navy. Redshirt junior Hallie Portner arrived first for the team with a sixth-place finish in the 5k race.

The Mountaineers compete on Friday at the Inter-Regional Bubble Buster in Toledo, Ohio. The 4k race begins at 5:30 p.m.

“The national scene will begin to look much clearer after this weekend,” Cleary says. “Although everyone in the Top 25 is nowhere close to having all the pieces in place, most of us will start racing this weekend and better understand where we are.

“A Top 20 ranking seems about right for where we are at the moment. Our seniors have been ranked in the Top 20 their entire careers, but they realize that one chilly day in November is the only ranking that really matters.”

West Virginia retained its No. 5 rank in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional standings released Monday. BIG EAST foes Georgetown (1), Providence (3) and Villanova (5) maintained their Top 5 national status over the weekend.

The ACC has six teams to lead all conferences in the women’s top 30, followed by the BIG EAST, Big Ten, and Pac-12, which have five each.


Sean Cleary, WVU Cross Country