Updated: Jan 13
15. David Fassbender, Junior, UW-Whitewater
Taking home three straight wins to start the season, Fassbender is having a great start to his junior campaign. Taking 21st at Nationals as a sophomore, he was able to take down Matthew Wilkinson of Carleton at the Blugold Invite this past weekend. It will be fun to see how he contends with the other big-name individuals later this season. His next big test will be at Connecticut College, where he’ll face Wilkinson once again, as well as some notable Eastern region foes.
14. Ethan Widlansky, Sophomore, Pomona-Pitzer
After losing low-stick Andy Reischling to graduation, Widlansky is filling that role quite nicely. He’s competed quite well so far out west, and it will be interesting to see him and the rest of the Sagehens come to the midwest for UW-Oshkosh’s KollegeTown Invite. There will also be more battles between him and the interchangeable pack of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to look forward to.
13. Alec Beutel, Senior, North Central
After finishing as North Central’s #5 man at the Wheaton Gil Dodds Invite, Beutel showed up at Louisville, taking 5th overall amongst an impressive D3 field. For the senior, that had to be a great breakout race for him. He makes this North Central team even more dangerous than people thought coming into this year, with himself, Matt Osmulski, and Gabriel Pommier forming a strong trio for the Cardinals.
12. Chase Hampton, Senior, Otterbein
After transferring from Lipscomb University last year, Hampton had a solid junior season that was unfortunately hampered by the notorious pileup from last year’s national meet, putting him seconds off of an All-American finish. In his senior season, Hampton has shown us great resolve, recently recording a 4th place finish at Louisville. In addition, his teammates ran pretty well, earning the Cards a 3rd place team finish. Hampton will be a great low-stick for Otterbein this fall and it will be fun to see how their team runs performs. They’re a sleeper pick that I would keep my eyes on.
11. Nick Matteucci, Senior, Wash U.
Making his season debut this past weekend, Mateucci ran solidly on a very muddy and slow Wartburg course. Matteucci has shown that he can bring range from 800 meters on the track to the 8k on the grass, finishing 10th at Nationals last year. As the season goes along, we should be ready to see him post some big-time performances.
10. Joshua Schraeder, Senior, UW-La Crosse
Schraeder, who made his season debut this past weekend after taking care of a minor injury, quelled all concerns with a solid showing at Louisville, taking 10th overall. The top returner on the grass had a bit of a bumpy track season, but for his first race of the season, it was a good performance. Even so, he is still not one to count out to compete for the national title come November. For the Eagles, him and Tyler Nault make one scary duo. They have the chance to be the best 1-2 punch in the country this year.
9. Joe Freiburger, Junior, Wartburg
8. Sam Pinkowski, Junior, Wartburg
This Wartburg duo has been looking solid in some relatively smaller meets this season. Pinkowski took the win at their home invite in his season opener, with Freiburger right behind him in 2nd after some other solid performances earlier in the year. Once they run against a larger field, we should expect to see their individual prowess (along with their team depth) on full display.
7. Patrick Watson, Senior, Stevenson
Already having run four races this year, Watson has been on an impressive streak of performances, taking home wins in his last three outings. He has run some quick times over the last two weeks over 6k and 8k, respectively. Once he mixes it up with the big names out east, he should be ready to show his true talent in a few larger invites.
6. Matt Osmulski, Senior, North Central
Osmulski has shown that he can run against anyone this season, finishing in the top three in all four races that he has run in thus far, including a 3rd place finish at Louisville this past weekend. So far, he has been the staple NCC veteran low-stick that we thought he could be.
5. Ryan Cutter, Junior, U. of Chicago
He’s gone undefeated in his two races so far, and took down #6 Matt Osmulski at the Wheaton Gil Dodds Invite. Ryan Cutter is really stepping up this year for the Maroons, and he’ll take on some big competition next week at UW-Oshkosh, along with many talented midwestern programs.
4. Tolen Freyaldenhoven, Senior, Rhodes
After some solid performances against D1 and D2 competition this year, Freyaldenhoven had a stellar race at Louisville, finishing 2nd overall out of the talented D3 field. He’s now proven that he can run well in a large invite, but can this success continue into November? We shall see in the coming weeks. His next big outing will be at Oberlin’s Inter-Regional Rumble.
3. Sean McAneny, Senior, SUNY Geneseo
In an absolutely loaded field at the Paul Short Invite, McAneny was the top D3 finisher in the big race of the day. He also took a nice win at his home invite the week prior. It looks as though he’ll do battle next at the Rowan Inter-Regional Border Battle, which should have some nice D3 competition.
2. Tyler Nault, Senior, UW-La Crosse
This year’s Pre-Nats winner at Louisville, Nault took down a stacked field with an impressive win. He’s established himself as a contender for the national title after taking down numerous D3 elites this past weekend. Along with stud teammate Joshua Schraeder (TSR #10), who knows what these two could do for the Eagles when they return to Louisville in November.
1. Aidan Ryan, Junior, Williams
Continuing his momentum from his great track season, Aidan Ryan has won all three meets he’s run in so far. He took the win at his home Purple Valley Invite by 24 seconds over a decent field, showing that he was the class of the field. Ryan's next chance to run against some quality competition will be at Connecticut College where we'll see if he can keep his win streak alive.
JUST MISSED (in no particular order)
Matthew Wilkinson (Carleton)
Lucas Mueller (Carleton)
Danny Aschale (Connecticut College)
Jack Whetstone (Emory)
Gabriel Pommier (North Central)
Jared Pangallozzi (Johns Hopkins)
Michael Obroin (Carnegie Mellon)
Kyril van Schendel (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps)
Stevie Steinberg (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps)
Ryan Cox (Williams)
Andrew Mah (MIT)
- There’s just one thing missing...where in the world is Lucas Mueller? Don’t worry, he’s running. The 10k national runner-up made his season debut last weekend at the Blugold Invite. The result? 111th place in a time of 26:49. Normally, that would seem a little concerning for the stud that Mueller is, but there is a reason behind it. According to Carleton’s race recap on their cross country website, “[Mueller] was not trying to be among the race leaders”, citing that he likely ran the race as a workout or tempo effort. We shall see how he is doing in a few weeks as Carleton heads to Connecticut College for their next invite, which should be a great test if Mueller is ready to go.