News: Cross Country Finishes No. 5 in Nation

CCU Cross Country Finishes Season Ranked 5th in Nation

A season that started with so much uncertainty proved the most certain of things: the Colorado Christian University men's cross country team belongs among the nation's elite.

The final NCAA Division II National Coaches Poll for 2020 clocked the CCU Cougars in at No. 5, the highest NCAA ranking in the University’s history. The program received 86 points, which was just two points behind No. 4 Augustana. Rounding out the top five spots were Colorado School of Mines, Western Colorado University, and University of Alabama-Huntsville.

With eight conferences competing during the fall season, the voting committee consisted of coaches that volunteered to represent their conference. In addition to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference — the Cougars’ home conference — Division II conferences with teams competing in 2020 were the Lone Star, Michigan Intercollegiate, Peach Belt, Gulf Coast, Great Midwest, and Great Lakes Valley.

"This has been a challenging season for obvious reasons, but despite the restrictions and enhanced operational protocols the team showed that their focus was unwavering," said Jon Poag, Cougars head coach. "To be considered a top five team is a notable milestone for the program. I suspect it will motivate these fellas to think big in the years to come. Looking forward to 2021!"

While the 2020 season provided its fair share of challenges related to the global pandemic, Colorado Christian University rose to the challenge. The Cougars competed in three meets with the highlight of the season coming in the finale when the squad finished a school-best third at the RMAC Championships. The Cougars placed four individuals on the all-conference squad after entering the race having never earned an all-conference runner.

In addition to their success at the RMAC Championship, the Cougars captured the Colorado Springs Cross Country Open to start the season.