NEW ORLEANS – The Air Force men’s cross country earned its first national ranking of the 2017 campaign this afternoon, as the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association released its fourth national poll of the regular season. The Falcons debuted at No. 23 in the Oct. 3 rankings – a placement that marked their highest USTFCCCA ranking in two years.
It is the first national ranking for the Falcons since the fifth week of the 2016 season – and their highest ranking since the sixth week of the 2015 season (21st). The ranking also marks the fifth-straight year that Air Force has received Top-30 listing in the USTFCCCA poll.
Air Force, which had been receiving votes in each of the four previous polls, moved into the Top-30 after a strong team finish at the Joe Piane Invitational last Friday. Backed by top-15 individual finishes from senior Andrew Johnston (ninth) and junior Mickey Davey (15th), the Falcons placed third out of 21 teams at Notre Dame’s annual meet – bettering three nationally-ranked squads and another four that were receiving votes in the previous week’s poll. With all five scoring runners placing within the top-60 of the 177-runner event, Air Force collected its highest team finish ever at that meet.
In addition, Air Force continues to receive votes in the women’s national poll. After finishing sixth out of 20 teams at Friday’s meet – and bettering four nationally-recognized teams (two ranked, two receiving votes) – the Falcons collected 15 points to move up eight spots and stand No. 33 in the overall listings.
Air Force returns to action on Friday, Oct. 13, when it heads back to the Midwest for the ninth-annual Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison.