While the 2020 NCAA cross country season will be completely different than anyone has ever seen, some things just don’t change as the Colorado men and women cross country programs open the season ranked in the top-10 (women seventh, men ninth) by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA), the association announced Wednesday.
The women open the season ranked seventh overall with 257 votes, just 30 behind the defending Pac-12 Champions in Stanford at fifth. Defending national champion Arkansas leads the nation with 323 votes including eight of the 11 first place votes, followed by New Mexico and BYU.
On the men’s side, Northern Arizona take the top spot with 10 of the 11 first place votes. Defending national champion BYU is in second followed by Arkansas, Stanford and Oklahoma State. The CU men’s ninth-place start marks the 22nd year in a row since the USTFCCCA began digitally archiving the Coaches’ Poll.
Individually, the Buffs are looking to Eduardo Herrera on the men’s side to lead things in his senior campaign, along with All-American Alec Hornecker and senior Paxton Smith. The team also has a plethora of young talent led by Kashon Harrison, Austin Vancil, Hunter Appleton and Noah Hibbard, the later three having strong indoor seasons before the season was cancelled. The team will also have Mississippi State transfer Stephen Jones who finished 80th last year at NCAAs.
For the women, Rachel McArthur, Holly Bent and Madie Boreman are the returning upperclassmen that will all have strong contributions, along with transfers Micaela DeGenero from Michigan and Abby Nichols from Ohio State that placed 97th and 41st at NCAAs, respectfully. They will also have some younger up-and-comers like Annie Hill and Emily Covert.