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Both Cal Poly Cross Country Squads Ranked in Top 45 of National CCRI

Both Cal Poly Cross Country Squads Ranked in Top 45 of National CCRI

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — Both Cal Poly cross country squads finished the 2018 season ranked among the top 45 teams in the country in the new NCAA Division I Cross Country Rating Index.

The Mustang men's team finished No. 39 among 318 schools, with a score of 812.57.

Cal Poly's women's team ended the year No. 45 out of 350 programs, tallying a final CCRI of 807.97.

Both squads, each Big West Conference champions this fall, rose up four spots apiece in the last CCRI update of the season following the NCAA Championships.

Each top spot went to the respective national champions, Northern Arizona on the men's side (1,063.76) and Colorado on the women's side (1,073.13).

The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association introduced the National CCRI in October as a sort of RPI (Ratings Percentage Index), an NCAA formula commonly applied in baseball, basketball, soccer and volleyball weighing schools' strengths of schedules, among other criteria, to objectively determine at-large NCAA postseason qualification.

At the USTFCCCA Convention in December 2017, the coaches of NCAA DI Cross Country voted 75-percent in favor of implementing an adapted RPI model for the sport, in order to ultimately more objectively inform the NCAA's selection process for the full 31-team field, to be tabulated by the national office every other week after Pre-Nationals weekend.

However, in addition to making use of traditional RPI algorithms such as head-to-head outcomes and strength of schedule, the CCRI was also designed to account for added elements relevant to cross country: namely, margin of victory, individual placings and potential head-to-head matchups based on previously recorded scores.

This season, Cal Poly swept the Big West Athlete of the Year (Jake Ritter and Miranda Daschian) awards along with the Coach of the Year awards (Mark Conover and Priscilla Bayley), the sixth time in conference history (third since 1987) a school has claimed all four.

Photos © Chris Auckley / Alyssa Carillo