Updated: Jan 13
Was not ranked the week before.
First number indicates how much the individual has moved in the rankings.
The second number indicates where the individual was ranked the week before.
25. Joseph Humes, Senior, Hillsdale, (Unranked)
Humes finished 4th at the Midwest Regional Championships. It’s the fourth straight top five performance for Humes and it comes on the heels of an individual title at the G-MAC Championships. He was 25th at last year’s NCAA meet and looks to be in shape to improve upon that.
24. Steven Brown, Senior, Sioux Falls (Unranked)
Brown worked himself back into the rankings this week after a 5th place finish at the Central Regional Championships. His performance shows us that his finish at NSIC's was just an anomaly and that we should see his name near the top of the results in a couple of weeks.
23. Joshua Litwiller, Senior, Cal State San Marcos (Unranked)
One of the best performances from the weekend surely has to go to Litwiller. The senior has continued his strong running and in doing so, took down the entire West region. He out-kicked Trad Berti of Chico State for the win and beat some household names from Alaska Anchorage. Litwiller should be inside the top 25 in Sacramento.
22. Luc Hagen, Rs. Junior, Colorado Mines (-7 / 15)
Not the worst race from Hagen this year, but also not his best. He falls seven spots this week in large part due to other performances from around the country. He should bounce back at Nationals and continue to be their Mines' #3 guy.
21. Afewerki Zeru, Sophomore, UCCS (+2 / 23)
Zeru had a really nice race at the South Central Regional Championships, finishing 7th overall. Zeru has been the lead man for UCCS all season long and has been a big reason why UCCS received an at-large bid for NCAA's yesterday. His smart racing and consistency have him moving up two spots this weekend.
20. Nadir Yusuf, Senior, MSU-Moorhead (0 / 20)
No movement for Yusuf this week, but still strong racing from him in a tough Central region. He finished 7th overall and received an individual qualifying spot to NCAA's in two weeks. There is still room for improvement for Yusuf and I expect him to race well in Sacramento.
19. Felix Kemboi, Senior, Alaska Anchorage (-5 / 14)
Kemboi falls five spots due to his 8th place finish this past weekend. While the five spot fall is more due to because of others’ performances, it’s worth noting that him and his teammate finished two seconds apart from each other. That could possibly indicate that they were simply working together and conserving themselves prior to the national meet.
18. Kyle Moran, Rs. Freshman, Colorado Mines (0 / 18)
I badly wanted to move Moran up a few spots here after his 5th place finish at the South Central Regional Championships, but there were too many other strong performances to move him. That being said, this was Moran’s best race of the season. He was the top runner for Colorado Mines and excelled over the 10k distance. Don’t be surprised to see him in the top 20 in two weeks.
17. Karim Achengli, Senior, NW Missouri (-4 / 13)
A 9th place finish for Achengli would usually signal movement forward in our rankings. Unfortunately for Achengli, we saw some performances that were simply better than his. We also thought that he would have finished higher this past weekend, so that also impacts his spot in the rankings. He’s going to be the #2 or #3 runner for NW Missouri at Nationals, but the question is whether he will be inside the top 20 or inside the top 30.
16. Mason Phillips, Senior, Sioux Falls (+1 / 17)
This is the Mason Phillips we’ve come to know in recent years. His 4th place finish at the Central Regional Championships seems to have him primed for another strong run at Nationals in two weeks.
15. Aaron Runge, Senior, Augustana (S.D.) (+1 / 16)
Runge built off of his win at the NSIC's and turned it into a 3rd place showing at the Central Regional Championships this past weekend. He was the top NSIC finisher and was behind only two MIAA athletes. Expect more of the same when he heads to Sacramento.
14. Wesley Kirui, Junior, Alaska Anchorage (-7 / 7)
Kirui has me perplexed. I had him as the favorite heading into the GNAC race, but finished 3rd. He followed that with a 9th place finish at the West Regional Championships. I mentioned this while talking about Kemboi, but the runners finished two seconds apart this past weekend, so maybe they were just focused on getting into Nationals. Regardless, he falls seven spots this week.
13. Braden Reichl, Junior, Michigan Tech (-1 / 12)
Reichl only falls here because others jumped in front of him. He ran a good race at the Midwest Regional Championships and although we thought he’d be a top five finish, a 6th place performance from him is still impressive. Especially in a field where seven teams qualified for NCAA's.
12. Kale Adams, Rs. Senior, Adams State (+13 / 25)
We told you that Adams didn’t race at RMAC's and we thought it was just for resting purposes. It looks like that was the case. He finished 5th at the South Central Regional Championships and looks to be back in form for a strong race at NCAA's. Remember, Adams was 4th at the national meet just a few years ago and it's quite possible that he could replicate a similar finish with the right kind of race.
11. Jhordan Ccope, Junior, NW Missouri (0 / 11)
Ccope did his best to run with the eventual winner Gidieon Kimutai, but eventually settled for 2nd. He was 20+ seconds back and while he may not beat Kimutai in two weeks, we at least know that he is going to give us his best effort each time (and that could lead him to a top 10 finish).
10. CarLee Stimpfel, Sophomore, Saginaw Valley State (0 / 10)
Stimpfel was the 2nd place finisher at the Midwest Regional Championships behind the guy ranked just in front of him this week. The race ended with an eight second gap, but it was a superb race from the sophomore and he has continued to improve as the season has gone on.
9. Titus Winders, Sophomore, Southern Indiana (0 / 9)
Winders defended his regional title from a year ago over the weekend and solidified his spot in our rankings. Winders was the 30th runner across the line at NCAA's last year, but should vastly improve upon that this year.
8. Jack Mastandrea, Senior, Charleston (W.V.) (0 / 8)
Mastandrea won the Atlantic regional title by 30 seconds over the weekend. There’s not much more to be said about his performance. He’s been near the top of every meet he’s been entered in and it should be the same at NCAA's.
7. Dylan Ko, Rs. Sophomore, Colorado Mines (-4 / 3)
Ko finished 6th at the South Central Regional Championships and was the #2 runner for the Orediggers. I still think he’s going to be in the mix for a top 10 finish when it’s all said and done.
6. Taylor Stack, Junior, Western Colorado (-2 / 4)
5. Charlie Sweeney, Sophomore, Western Colorado (0 / 5)
The two Mountaineers finished 2-3 at the South Central Regional Championships, making them quite possibly the best duo in D2 this season. Stack only falls this week because the winner of the South Central region jumped him. Sweeney stays put this week at #5. Both clearly benefitted from the distance change to 10k and Sacramento should be right up their wheelhouse.
4. Joshua Chepkesir, Sophomore, UNC Pembroke (+2 / 6)
A 65 second win for Chepkesir makes him one of the strongest competitors for the individual title in Sacramento. He gains two spots this week. He’ll run with the leaders from the gun and it’s going to be quite the race.
3. Tanner Chada, Sophomore, Grand Valley State (-1 / 2)
Chada falls to #3 this week after a 3rd place finish at the Midwest Regional Championships. It’s odd because this is the exact same thing that happened to Zach Panning last year...and we remember what Panning did at NCAA's (and then the ensuring track season). I wouldn’t place too much stock into this result. Chada should be a top five finisher in Sacramento.
2. Ezekiel Kipchirchir, Junior, West Texas A&M (+17 / 19)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got it wrong for most of the season. The biggest mover of the season and this week is obviously Kipchirchir. He ran a smart race, took home the South Central title and made it look easy. Sure, it was on his home course, but he proved that the change to 10k didn’t phase him and neither did the elite competition.
1. Gidieon Kimutai, Sophomore, Missouri Southern (0 / 1)
He's still undefeated and won the Central region by 24 seconds. The only question left is if Kimutai can close the deal in two weeks at NCAA's.
Joshua Litwiller (Cal State San Marcos)
Joseph Humes (Hillsdale)
Steven Brown (Sioux Falls)
Dane Blomquist (Adams State)
Matthew Pahl (Michigan Tech)
Ryan Riddle (Missouri Southern)
JUST MISSED (in no particular order)
Ezra Mutai (American International)
Augostine Lisoreng (NW Missouri)
Dayton Brown (Saginaw Valley State)
Trad Berti (Chico State)
Aren Johnson (UC San Diego)
Noah Murray (Walsh)
Gabe Plendcio (Biola)
Nickson Kiptoo (Missouri Southern)
Mathew Chesum (Benedict)
HONORABLE MENTION (in no particular order)
Wyatt Baxter (Chico State)
Joseph Macareno (Stanislaus State)
Isaiah Rodarte (Adams State)
Ryan Riddle (Missouri Southern)
Blake Jones (Illinois-Springfield)
Max Sevcik (Colorado Mines)
Derek Steele (Colorado Mines)
Jacob Poston (Augusta University)
Anthony Raftis (Queens (N.C.))