15 Best College Cross-Country Teams | 2023 Ranking

As a youngster and a college student, consider taking on recent adventures to make your college life exciting.

College should not be all about studying only. Just imagine a situation whereby you can look back on experiences and tell your loved ones how you took on risky adventures that made your college life fascinating.

As a young adult, take risks and exploit opportunities around you. One way you can do this is by joining your college’s cross country team.

By so doing, you push yourself to experience great heights and interact with new people.

In this article, we would discuss the best college cross country teams. We would talk about the highlights of the various races and how they won their awards. Let’s dive right in.

What is Cross Country Racing?

Cross Country (abbreviated CC or XC) is a racing event in which runners compete to complete a course over an open or rough landscape.

Courses employed in these games may include grass, mud, forests, hills, flat terrain, and water.

It’s a popular sport to participate in and is usually held in temperate regions during the fall and winter when mild conditions prevail.

It’s one sport that makes up the race along with athletics, road running, and running as the umbrella sport of Athletics.

The main elite contest is the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. Cross-country skiing is also part of the modern pentathlon at the Summer Olympics.

Cross country appeared in the Olympic athletics program between 1912 and 1924 but was eliminated for subsequent editions.

Races start en masse. Sometimes, each team has its bullpen or box along the starting line.

The boxes can be large enough to accommodate the entire team at the start line. In some games, there is only enough room for one or two runners from each team on the line.

The remaining 3-5 members of the team (a team that needs 5-7 runners) stay in line and can move to other squares if allowed.

Then a gun or horn sounds and the runners have a few hundred yards to run from the wide start line to the much narrower path they follow to the finish.

However, the races in the joint double races between two schools are smaller, so there is usually enough space for each team at the starting line.

Instead of starting in the pits, these double races allow teams to be staggered along the starting line.

What are the Benefits of Cross Country Running?

1. It helps you increase your speed

For the more passionate among us, cross-country racing is also a great way to improve speed. They are difficult because of the terrain: soft, wet, and muddy. It’s harder to run as fast as it is on asphalt, open terrain, or trails.

Add in some hills and you have the perfect combo to boost your cardio. As mentioned above, cross-country events will generally never be longer than 10km.

So if you train your body to withstand a major effort over a certain distance, your running form will improve dramatically.

2. Health Benefits

Cross-country running offers an incredibly effective and convenient way to stay fit. There are no new skills to learn or equipment to buy; A runner only needs a good pair of shoes.

Everyone knows how to run, so it’s just a matter of time and practice to get in perfect shape.

Additionally, cross-country running can be done almost anywhere, especially on grass, mud, dirt tracks, or hills.

While the sport can be challenging at times, the health benefits and Geist are worth it. Running is a first-class workout.

As your legs speed up, they push blood toward your heart, which in turn forces it to pump blood back.

Running strengthens cartilage by increasing oxygen flow and removing toxins and strengthening the ligaments around joints.

You must consider joining the best college cross country team’s.

Not only that, but it’s also one of the best forms of exercise to shed extra pounds or maintain a stable weight.

Runners are much more likely to be of normal weight than members of a sedentary population.

This significantly reduces the risk of diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and stroke.

3. You get to meet different people

 Additionally, you get to meet new people and you should meet new acquaintances. For some people, joining the cross-country team is a means to make new friends and expand their social circle.

4. Cross-country distances may vary depending on the age of the competition and the event. However, most international competitions are longer than the club or harrier races. 

This is another reason why you must consider signing up with the best college cross country team’s women’s side if you are a woman.

How Long is Cross Country Racing?

The World Athletics Federation sets distances for international competitions.

Although they may vary between events, cross-country trails must be at least twelve kilometers (7-8 miles) for men and five kilometers (3 miles) for women.

These distances usually comprise loops in a 2K run that are visible to all spectators. Distance runners run a variety of distances in the United States.

These events typically cover distances between eight and 10 kilometers for men and 5 to 6 kilometers for women.

However, most of US high school events are less than three miles, and US middle school distances are two miles.

For most running clubs around the world, cross- Country Distances vary based on the age of participants and governing body regulations.

15 Best College Cross Country Teams in 2022

1. BYU Cougars

The BYU women’s cross country team won the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championship, their fifth national title in program history, with a team score of 96 points at the BYU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma. This is one of the best college cross country team’s out there.

Five Cougars finished in the top 50 and led the BYU women’s cross country team to their first national championship since 2003 and their fifth overall team title (1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2021).

Four Cougars finished in the top 40 and received All-America honors for their performances, the most All-Americans on a BYU team since 2003.

Under Coach Taylor, the women’s team finished in the top 10 in its five years, including a second place in the previous year.

Taylor teams have never finished lower than 11th in championship competitions.

Visit the school here: byucougars

2. Arkansas Razorbacks

The Razorbacks were led by Katie Izzo and Taylor Werner, who finished third and fourth. The Arkansas team scored 96 points and finished just ahead of second-place BYU with 102.

Arkansas is the third women’s team in the NCAA to win three straight games, making it one of the best college cross country teams women’s side.

Visit school: arkansasrazorbacks.com

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3. Stanford

ranked No. 5 on the national team, this best college cross country team’s women’s side extended her dominance in the women’s race to claim her 17th all-time title.

This was her second straight conference crown with three top-five and four top-10 finishers and all five top 12 goalscorers on the way to 30 points.

Fifth-year Ella Donaghu led the Cardinal to a second consecutive runner-up in the conference meeting, followed by third-place finisher freshman Zofia Dudek, fourth-year Julia Heymach, ninth-year Jessica Lawson, and fifth-year Christina Aragon 12.

Visit school: stanford.edu

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4. University of Mexico Lobos

In the most dominant performance in NCAA history, the University of New Mexico’s No. 1 women’s cross country team won its first national title at Saturday’s NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship.

Contesting for her 10th NCAA championship, Lobo women placed all five of their scorers in the top 25 in E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park in Louisville and had a combined 49 points, the lowest team point total for any team since 1982.

The Lobos Championship is the second NCAA title in the University’s history of New Mexico, following New Mexico’s Ski NCAA title in 2004.

It is the fourth NCAA women’s cross-country title in New Mexico history. Frerichs led UNM in the women’s six-kilometer race, finishing fourth overall in 19 minutes and 48 seconds. This is another one of the best college cross country team’s.

The Wolves’ top runner in four of the five meetings they hosted in 2015, her finish is the best in program history, beating Sammy Silva’s 12th place finish in 2013.

Visit school: golobos.com

5. NC State Wolfpack

This best college cross country team women’s side was named Women’s Academic Team of the Year for the 2021 NCAA Division I Cross Country season.

The Wolfpack, who posted an overall average of 3,580, won the team title at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, the 2021 NCAA Division I in Tallahassee, Florida.

This is the first time in the program’s history that NC State has been named Women’s Cross Country Academic Team of the Year.

Visit School: gopack.com

6. The University of Oregon Ducks

Next on our list of the best college cross country teams are the Oregon Ducks. The Ducks, coached by Peter Tegen, winner of Women’s National Coach of the Year Robert Johnson.

In his first season as head coach, achieved a cumulative grade point average of 3. 66 for the Fall 2012 semester.

With a 3.66, the Ducks earned a solid GPA, the 10th best team GPA in the nation, and second best among NCAA championship qualifiers.

With a team score of 114 and a 69 lead over runner-up Providence clinched lead Oregon won its first NCAA cross-country championship after winning its first West Regional crown and first Pac-12 title since 1995.

Senior Jordan Hasay led the Ducks with a third-place finish and was one of three Oregon senior running backs to win USTFCCCA All-American honors. This is one of the best college cross country teams.

Visit school: goducks.com

7. University of Wisconsin Badgers

The Wisconsin women’s cross-country team breaks into the top 10 in the NCAA Great Lakes regional rankings and ranks 29th nationally, the USTFCCCA announced this week last season.

The Badgers finished sixth in the Big Ten championships. Brogan MacDougall earned the first-team All-Big Ten honors with her seventh-place finish, while Alexa Westley earned the second-team All-Big Ten honors with her 12th-place finish.

Wisconsin is bringing back all nine runners who attended the Big Ten meet.

This season, the Badgers are using their entire fall schedule to prepare to capture their first Big Ten title in over 20 years. That would also be the first title under the trainer Mackenzie Wartenberger. This is another example of the best college cross country teams women’s.

Visit school: uwbadgers.com

8. Princeton College Tigers

The Tigers won their third straight Ivy League title and tied for first place in the Regionals. The team then advanced to fifth place in the NCAA championship, their best finish to date.

The latest edition of Track & Field News ranks the top 10 women’s cross country teams in the country, and Princeton ranks eighth making it one of the best college cross country team’s.

Visit school: goprincetontigers.com

9. Minnesota Gophers

Minnesota’s women’s cross country program won its third Big Ten championship and first since 2008 by scoring 72 points and beating second-place Wisconsin by six points.

The Gophers were led by Individual Champion Megan Hasz, who completed the 6K course in 20:34.5.

The University of Minnesota Crookston women’s cross country team has been selected to place 16th in the NSIC 2022 Women’s Cross Country Preseason Coaches Poll that was released by the conference bureau on Thursday, August 18, 2021.

The Minnesota Crookston women’s cross country team set several personal records over the past year and is looking to improve further into 2022. Sophomore Anna Grabowski (Waterdown, Ont. coaches the Golden Eagles).

The Golden Eagles are in their fourth season as a program and were led by head coach Steven Krouse, this team is one of the best college cross country team’s.

Visit school: umn.edu

10. The University of Harvard Crimsons

During the biggest competition of the year so far, the Harvard women emerged and ran a dominant race in the 6K, scoring 37 points.

Leading the Crimson was junior Isabell Sagar, who finished third with a time of 20:32.

Her incredible performance was a massive improvement on her 2019 mark as a rookie as Sagar crossed the line in 20th place.

Just behind Sagar was standout rookie Maia Ramsden, who made her impressive debut season for Crimson, which saw her finish fifth crossing the finish line continued a time of 20:44.

The middle group of the Harvard team comprised student Eloise Freitag, who finished eighth in 20:57, and senior co-captain and Heps -Third-place finisher 2019 Anna Juul, who finished ninth half a second behind Friday.

Completing the fifth score for Crimson in 12th place was fellow freshman Isabelle Goldstein, who finished in 21:04.

The top 5 from Harvard, who all placed in the top 12 of the race, were important in the 37-point finish and will be crucial for the Regionals in two weeks. This is one of the best college cross country team’s out there.

Starting strong and staying together in the middle of a field of 80+ riders is a winning strategy for the Crimson in the championship season.

Visit school: college.harvard.edu

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11. Colorado Buffs

After back-to-back Big 12 team titles and the NCAA Mountain Region Championship, Colorado was the nation’s highest-ranked team to compete in the biggest race of the year. This is one of the best college cross country team’s.

As is their goal every year, Colorado wanted to improve their rankings, which would now present the biggest challenge in the program’s history.

Pushing the Midwest up to the end of November in minus 19 degrees, Colorado methodically worked its way up from the tail for the title.

With a program best of 117 points, the Buffs finished 50 points ahead of defending champion BYU.

Visit school: coloradocollege.edu

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12. The Boise State Broncos

This best college cross country team women’s achieved its best finish in program history, finishing Saturday morning in E.P. “Tom” Sawyer Park in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Broncos trailed fourth-place Allie Ostrander by a total of 264 points in 19 minutes and 31.2 seconds.

Visit school: boisestate.edu

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13. Providence College 

A year after finishing second at the NCAA Division I national championships, the Providence College women’s cross country team has finally achieved its goal.

Providence overcame difficult weather and a brutal run by LaVern Gibson at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center while convincingly winning his first national title since 1995.

The women’s cross country team has won two NCAA cross country championships (1995 and 2013).

The women’s cross country team also won a title at the NCAA Northeast Regional cross country championships, they ranked 14, and also 22 Big East cross country titles and 20 New England championships.

Visit the academy here: providence.edu

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14. Villanova Wildcats

From 1989 to 2010, the Villanova University women’s cross-country skiing team dominated at the national championship level.

They have won nine titles as a team, produced nine individual champions, and sent seven runners to the Olympics throughout the school’s history. This team is also ranked as one of the best college cross country team’s.

It is an overwhelming historical legacy that the current generation of Villanova athletes knows well.

Visit academy: villanovacollege.org

15. North Central Cardinals

The Cardinals took home the win of 57 points. North Central set the record for the largest Division III National Championship win, this year they were just five points away from typing that record again.

North Central College is the NCAA’s premier cross-country dynasty with over 40 years of excellence in the NCAA.

This makes it one of the best college cross country teams women’s, you must check this college team out.

Visit School: northcentralcardinals.com

Disadvantages of Cross Country Racing

Firstly, Cross country running requires a lot of time and dedication between training, competitions, the study table, and tutoring. Means high expectations in the classroom and on track for college students.

Secondly, Surprise distances are not the same for all runners. Some can deal with it effectively, while others can overcome difficulties through a variety of courses.

For those who can not endure challenges, this type of race can be dangerous. Mountain roads in particular are very difficult for them to navigate. This can lead to noticeable injuries.

Thirdly, cross-country running causes more injuries than normal running because there are different running routes.

As an amateur cross-country runner, you may know that cross-country running courses are not the same.

They are inconsistent and constantly changing. This inconsistency of the course is an adventure for some runners, while for others it is negative. For those afraid of this inconsistency, cross-country running is a difficult stretch.

Even if you run cross-country, your race time and speed are likely to vary over the season, largely due to the inconsistency of the sports and their changing circuits.


Do you have to pay any fees before joining the team?

No, you do not pay any form of registration or enrollment fees.

Do you have to run very fast to be a cross-country runner?

If you must excel at cross country running, you must run very fast for a long time. Most US cross-country races last between two and five miles, although they can be as long as 12km at the elite level. This requires stamina to withstand high-intensity races for long periods.

Is Cross Country running dangerous?

For those who can not endure challenges, this type of race can be dangerous. Mountain roads, in particular, are very difficult for them to navigate. This can lead to noticeable injuries. In addition, cross-country running causes more injuries than normal running because there are different running routes.

Is medical clearance required?

Before you can practice with the college team, you must have undergone a physical examination and the results must be submitted to the Director of Sport at Head Office.

What is the Equipment required?

Running shoes. A wristwatch Sweatshirts and pants.

What grades are required?

You must have an average of 2.0 GPA.


With all the pecks of a cross country race, starting a game as an athlete can shift your focus in life. Take up this opportunity from all of this best college cross country women’s team.

They have the best cross country team women’s side. 

We wish you luck as you begin your journey to becoming a cross country runner.



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