CSU cross country climbs up polls

Eddie Herz

After firing on all cylinders at the Washington Invitational over the weekend, the CSU men’s cross country team has earned a national No. 11 ranking via FloTrack. The Rams also leaped eight spots in the USTFCCCA national polls to No. 21.

In the preseason, FloTrack gave the Rams a hefty No.10 ranking. After a slow start through two meets, their second place finish at the Washington Invitational closely reflected FloTrack’s early expectations.

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USTFCCCA had the Rams grazing the top 25 in the preseason, ranked 25th overall. After their first meet, the Rams moved up to No. 24 before sliding to No. 29 before Saturday’s second place finish.

Jerrell Mock has carried the Rams as of late, finishing in second individually in Washington after winning the Roy Griak invitational a week prior. As a result, Mock has earned two consecutive Mountain West Cross Country Men’s Athlete of the Week Honors. He is the first Mountain West runner to claim athlete of the week twice this season.

Mock is now officially the runner to beat at CSU, as he has moved into the top-10 individual runners in the nation according to FloTrack’s Saucony Men’s Individual XC rankings. He was listed at No. 15 entering the 2016 campaign.

According to USTFCCCA’s regional rankings, the CSU men check in at No. 5 in the Mountain Region. The CSU women, who have stood at No. 6 regionally for the majority of the season, have slightly fallen to No. 7. This is the first time all season the men have cracked the top five regionally.

The men’s and women’s cross country teams have some time on their hands before their next competitions. The men head to Madison, Wisconsin to compete in the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Friday, Oct 14. The men will race against 30 teams including Washington, Washington State, and Stanford.

The women’s next competition is in Terre Haute, Indiana for the coveted Pre-Nationals meet. The women’s team enters a heavy playing field of 82 total teams such as Oregon, Arizona, and CU-Boulder.

Collegian sports reporter Eddie Herz can be reached by email at sports@collegian.com or on Twitter @Eddie_Herz