2019 D2 XC Top 25 Men: Update #1

Updated: Jan 13


KEY

(Unranked):

Was not ranked the week before.


(#/#):

First number indicates how much the individual has moved in the rankings.

The second number indicates where they were ranked the week before.

25. Corbin Hansen, Senior, Nebraska-Kearney (-9 / 16)

Hansen made his season debut this past weekend at the Greeno/Dirksen Invitational where he finished 27th overall, covering the 8k course in a time of 25:36 in a very tough and loaded meet with D1 teams.


Last season, Hansen had his breakout race at NCAA's, finishing 31st to give himself All-American status. With only one race under his belt so far, Hansen will look to improve next his result his next time out. His next race will be October 21st at the Lewis Crossover meet.


24. Jhavan Holston, Sophomore, Chico State (0 / 24)

Holston kicked off his 2019 cross country campaign at the Stump Invitational on September 13th. The men of Chico took home the win of 18 points to UC Davis’ 74 points. Holston was Chico’s #4 man as he crossed the line in 6th place overall with a time of 25:23.


Holston had a very impressive finish last year at NCAA’s as he took home an All-American finish as a freshman. The sky is the limit for him and I expect him to be even stronger as Chico had this past weekend off. Holston and the Wildcats return to action on September 28th at the Capital Cross Challenge.


23. Kale Adams, Senior, Adams State (Unranked)

Kale Adams barely missed the cut for TSR’s preseason Top 25 Individuals, but after his 3rd place finish behind Adam State teammates Blomquist and Rodarte (TSR #22) at the annual Joe Vigil Open, he has officially landed the #23 spot.


The All-American senior is back for one more year of competition with this powerhouse program. Much like his teammate Rodarte, Adams also rested this past weekend and is expected to be back in action at the Paul Short Run.


22. Isaiah Rodarte, Rs. Sophomore, Adams State (Unranked)

For the past 26 years, Adams State has hosted the Joe Vigil Open, honoring the legendary coach. This particular meet is always a great rust-buster and a great opener to start off the Adams State 2019 cross country season. Rodarte impressively beat heavy-hitter teammates such as Kale Adams and Joshua Joseph en route to winning the race with a time of 24:56. This feat is even more impressive having run at 7,544 feet elevation in Alamosa.


Rodarte is off to a hot start and rested this past weekend. He is expected to next compete at the Paul Short Run on October 5th against stout competition. The sophomore has the potential to be the next big star to come out of Adams State and it will be interesting to watch him battle against D1 competition in the coming weeks.


21. Wyatt Baxter, Junior, Chico State (+2 / 23)

Baxter has moved up to the #21 spot on our rankings after his impressive 2nd place finish at the Stump Invitational where he was only beaten by fellow teammate Trad Berti. Baxter wasn’t too far behind, crossing the finish line less than five seconds after Berti with a time of 25:03.


Baxter is one of Chico’s returning All-Americans from last year's squad. He is off to a great start and will be a big-name talent at the upcoming Capital Cross Challenge.


20. Brian Patrick, Junior, Northwood (Mich.) (+1 / 21)

Patrick has yet to race this season with his team.


19. Luke Julian, Rs. Sophomore, Colorado Mines (0 / 19)

The Orediggers headed to the annual UCCS Rust Buster where the team proceeded to take the top six spots. Julian happened to be the #6 finisher for them on the day. He ran 24:54 and was seven seconds back from his teammate Luc Hagen. Not the best performance, not the worst performance. I'm not reading too much into this result.


18. Ross Husch, Rs. Senior, Western Colorado (+2 / 20)

Ross Husch and the men of Western Colorado nearly completed a perfect score at their home meet, the Mountaineer/Cowboy Invite on September 14th. Husch was Western Colorado’s #3 man as he finished the 8k course with a time of 26:35. This is a very impressive time having known the effects of racing at altitude in Gunnison, CO.


Husch has already made great progress this season after he finished 32nd overall at the Wyoming Invite in early September. Husch’s next race for the Mountaineers is at the Arkansas Chile Pepper Invite on October 5th. With the low altitude and a fast course filled with D1 competition, expect Husch’s name to rise in our rankings as he looks to return to All-American status this November.


17. Dylan Ko, Rs. Sophomore, Colorado Mines (Unranked)

16. Luc Hagen, Rs. Junior, Colorado Mines (+2 / 18)

We see Ko ranked for the first time this season after he finished runner-up at the UCCS Rust Buster. He ran 24:46 and crossed the line with two other teammates at the exact same time. Meanwhile, Hagen was just a second back at 24:47. This may have been a (relatively quick) tempo effort from the Orediggers. They’re looking to the Capital Cross Challenge this weekend where they’ll square off against some of the nation's best teams.


15. Karim Achengli, Senior, NW Missouri (+7 / 22)

The senior and returning All-American opened his season with a win at the 2019 Bearcat XC Invite on September 6th. Achengli covered the 7k course with a time of 22:15, six seconds ahead of the next finisher.


After a two week break from racing, Achengli was back in action at the Southern Stampede, hosted by Missouri Southern. This particular meet annually brings out top competition at the D2 level. Anchengli battled his way to a top 10 finish, along with a sub-25 minute 8k result with a time of 24:57.


Achengli’s performance last weekend was very impressive against various nationally ranked teams and individuals. I expect him to continue to improve and for his name to keep rising in our rankings.


14. Jhordan Ccope, Junior, NW Missouri (Unranked)

Ccope is a recent addition to the NW Missouri team and he’s already helped the team drastically. The Iowa Central CC transfer just finished 3rd at the Southern Stampede with a strong showing of 24:22. Getting familiar with the training at NW Missouri will be the toughest challenge, but it seems like the transition has gone smoothly. Ccope has Top 25 talent written all over him.


13. Samuel Blake, Rs. Senior, UC San Diego (Unranked)

The biggest jump into our rankings is Samuel Blake. Prior to his victory at the Cougar Challenge, Blake had never broken the 25 minute barrier (his closest was 25:05 in 2016). That makes his 24:11 for 8000 meters look even better. He looks to have made the jump from being just a strong runner to a potentially elite one in 2019. Keep an eye on Blake for the rest of the season.


12. Titus Winders, Sophomore, Southern Indiana (+3 / 15)

Not a whole lot to dissect here with Winders after he and two other teammates crossed the line in 19:14 at Southern Indiana’s home meet. He’s slated to run at the Trevecca D2 Showcase this weekend.


11. Joseph Hulmes, Senior, Hillsdale (+1 / 12)

Has yet to race this season.


10. Jack Mastandrea, Senior, Charleston (W.V.) (+3 / 13)

Mastandrea has only run once this year and it was a runner-up finish at the Virginia Tech Invitational where he ran 18:38 for 6k. He beat some strong D1 runners in the process despite Virginia Tech using the meet as a workout. Even so, that result should give him a shot of confidence going forward. He could be a strong dark horse pick heading into NCAA's this November.


9. Braden Reichl, Junior, Michigan Tech (+2 / 11)

Reichl cracks our top 10 and deservedly so. He finished 6th at this year's loaded MSU Spartan Invitational. He’s fresh off a strong track season and it has clearly carried over into cross country. The only people to beat him at the meet from D2? CarLee Stimpfel and Tanner Chada.


It looks like Reichl is here to stay.


8. CarLee Stimpfel, Sophomore, Saginaw Valley State (+5 / 13)

Stimpfel took home the victory at the Northwood Invitational, eclipsing 2nd place by 22 seconds. He followed up that performance with another strong showing at the MSU Spartan Invitational where he finished 4th. That included taking down Reichl (TSR #9) of Michigan Tech. His performances so far this season have solidified him as a top runner in this year’s field.


7. Tanner Chada, Sophomore, Grand Valley State (+1 / 8)

Chada validated his ranking by finishing 3rd at the MSU Spartan Invitational. He’s the runner-up in the 5000 meters from last year as a freshman and is now turning his eyes towards the cross country season. He has all the makings to live up to his potential and he’s currently trending in the right direction. He’s headed to Ohio State this weekend for an Inter-Regional meet where he should flex his aerobic muscles a bit more.


6. Anthony Raftis, Senior, Queens (N.C.) (+1 / 7)

Raftis finished 2nd behind Samuel Blake of UC San Diego, but it was by less than a second. His 24:11 marks a personal best for 8000 meters. The loss hasn’t changed our opinion, Raftis is still going to be a top runner in 2019. The only question is...how high will he finish?


5. Wesley Kirui, Junior, Alaska Anchorage (-1 / 4)

Kirui has only raced once this season and it was a dual meet against Alaska Fairbanks where he easily took home the title with a time of 21:59 for 7000 meters. We’d like to see a few more results before making any drastic changes.


4. Charlie Sweeney, Rs. Sophomore Western Colorado (+1 / 5)

Sweeney was the lead man for the Mountaineers at Wyoming, finishing 6th with a time of 15:20. He came back the next week and dropped an impressive 26:15 at 7500+ feet of elevation. He’s a true sophomore, but has clearly taken to collegiate training nicely. Don’t expect him to go anywhere.


3. Mason Phillips, Rs. Senior, Sioux Falls (0 / 3)

Like Kirui, Phillips only has one race under his belt this season. Phillips has run well so far this season, finishing 2nd overall at the Augustana Twilight XC Meet and covering the four-mile course in a time of 18:55, just a second behind the winner. There’s no doubt that Phillips will continue his strong racing as the year goes on, making him a strong pick in the title race.


2. Taylor Stack, Rs. Junior, Western Colorado (0 / 2)

Stack raced at the Wyoming Invite where he placed 10th. While it wasn’t the best performance, it doesn’t affect where he ranks very much. He didn’t race at the Mountaineer Open like most of his teammates, leaving us with just his one meet on the year.


1. Gidieon Kimutai, Sophomore, Missouri Southern (0 / 1)

It’s possible that this rank doesn't change for Kimutai all year. In two races this season, he’s already claimed two victories and both races haven’t been particularly close. He’s the clear favorite early on in the season.

ADDED

Dylan Ko (Colorado Mines)

Jhordan Ccope (NW Missouri)

Kale Adams (Adams State)

Isaiah Rodarte (Adams State)

Samuel Blake (UC San Diego)


KICKED OFF

Christian Noble (Lee (Tenn.))

Jacob Klemz (Washburn)

Nicholas Turco (Western Colorado)

Logan Ramlet (Colorado Mines)

Ahmed Jama (Western Colorado)


JUST MISSED (in no particular order)

Seb Anthony (Queens (N.C.))

Afeworki Zeru (UCCS)

Steven Brown (Sioux Falls)

Gabe Plendcio (Biola)

Lucas Taxter (Stonehill)

Ahmed Jama (Western Colorado)


HONORABLE MENTION (in no particular order)

Augostine Lisoreng (NW Missouri)

Justin Crosswhite (Western Oregon)

Nathan Jubran (North Florida)

Shane Bracken (Leo)

Aaron Runge (Augustana (S.D.))