NEW ORLEANS – The Air Force men’s cross country team earned its first top-10 ranking in 15 years this afternoon (Oct. 2), as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its Week 4 edition of the NCAA Division I Men’s National Coaches’ Poll. It is the first top-10 ranking for the program since Week 6 of the 2003 season and the fifth top-10 placement in program history.
The Falcons, who held a No. 17 placement in the previous week’s poll, vaulted into the top-10 following an impressive performance at the Nuttycombe Invitational in Madison, Wis., last Friday (Sept. 28). Backed by three top-45 performers, Air Force finished seventh in the 33-team meet that included 21 squads mentioned in the national conversation. Capturing its best team finish ever at that meet, Air Force placed ahead of 10 top-30 squads, including four that were ranked higher in the national standings.
Senior Mickey Davey posted the Falcons’ fastest 8K ever at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course – 23:40.7 – to finish 20th in the 233-runner event. Davey was one of three Falcons to place within the top-45 of the meet, as classmates Trevor Siniscalchi and Jacob Bilvado finished 43rd (23:58.2) and 44th (23:58.5), respectively, in the overall field. Fellow senior Nathan Thomas (67th, 24:10.8) and sophomore Scott Johnson (103rd, 23:28.8) rounded out the scoring lineup that helped Air Force to its program-best team finish.
The Falcons’ seven-spot improvement in the USTFCCCA Top-30 was the third-best jump in the national standings this week.
The men, under the direction of fifth-year head coach Ryan Cole, also moved from sixth to fourth in the USTFCCCA Mountain Region rankings following their performance at the Nuttycombe Invitational.
Air Force returns to action – and Wisconsin’s Thomas Zimmer Championship Course – next Saturday (Oct. 13), when it competes at the annual Pre-National Invitational. The race is one of two competitions for the Falcons that day, as part of the squad will travel to Hays, Kan., for the Fort Hays State Tiger Open.