• Hannah Thorn

2019 D3 XC Top 15 (Women): Update #1

Updated: Jan 13

Note: At Louisville, during the Women’s Silver 5k which was comprised of numerous D3 teams, there was a mix-up with the course. Sometime after 3.9k, the field was led down the incorrect path and unfortunately, that hampered the outcome of the race. There was a legitimate split from 3.9k, but it is hard to judge how the race would have played out over the last 1100 meters. Therefore, while there were some great names in that race, we felt as though the rankings should not be negatively affected by that mishap.

15. Lila Cardillo, Sophomore, Pomona Pitzer

The woman on this list is out in California, but she is not to be overlooked. Cardillo has already run 17:46 and 17:48 in her two 5k's to start the season. The only knock is that Pomona Pitzer has yet to race an actual 6k this season, so it is hard to judge how well Cardillo will handle the bump up in distance. After being the top placing freshmen at the national meet last year, she should be ok. If Cardillo is fit enough to contend through that extra 1k, she is looking like a dangerous underdog from the West Coast.

14. Danielle Page, Sophomore, Tufts

Danielle Page did not have an ideal season as a freshman. She ran two races, but was plagued with an injured for the rest of the year. 2019 seems to be a different story as Page appears to be healthy and thriving. She opened up her season with a win at the Bates XC Shootout and then ran very well to finish 2nd at the Williams XC Invite in a time of 22:51. If Page can remain healthy all year, she looks prime to have a breakout season.

13. Therese Olshanki, Junior, Johns Hopkins

12. Rebecca Grusby, Senior, Johns Hopkins

11. Sam Levy, Senior, Johns Hopkins

Let’s state the obvious. Johns Hopkins is good. But what we don’t know is how good. So far this year they have only run 5k's against some decent D1 teams. In those meets, they have had a handful of runners mix it up for the top spot in their lineup. Olshanski, Grusby, and Levy have all been the #1 runner at some point this season, running 17:47, 17:44, and 17:37, respectively. Those are some quick times that will no doubt translate to fast 6k's whenever they decide to finally run one. All three ladies have experience racing at the national meet, so even without Caelyn Reilly running well, Johns Hopkins has a trio of top talent that they can rely on.

10. Sabrina Gornisiewicz, Freshman, Tufts

Sabrina Gornisiewicz originally went to Tufts to be on their swim team, but this is actually her first year running cross country for the Jumbos. What a way to start a career. Gornisiewicz finished right behind teammate Danielle Page at the Bates Shootout and then beat her and the rest of the field at the Williams Invite in a time of 22:44. Tufts is racing against a handful of talented women at the Connecticut College Invitational in two weeks, so Gornisiewicz will really get a chance to prove that she has more than just beginner's luck.

9. Anastasia Tucker, Freshman, Hope College

Another freshman that is making an impact already this season is Anastasia Tucker from Hope College. She opened up her season with a 5k at the Hope College Vanderbilt Invitational where she placed 2nd in a time of 18:36. Although that is not necessarily a stand out result, Tucker later burst onto the scene winning the Wheaton Gil Dodds Invitational in a time of 22:22 for 6k. That puts her right up there with the best in the country. It’s unfortunate that there was a course mix up at the Louisville Classic because she looked to be on track for another great race.

8. Clara Mayfield, Freshman, Carleton

As DJ Khaled once said, "another one". As the third freshman on this list, Mayfield might be the most impressive. Mayfield won her first two races of the year at the Ken Weidt Classic and the Running of the Cows in times of 22:38 and 22:20, respectively. She later ventured to a wet and soggy course at the Dan Hutson Invitational to earn a 4th place finish in a time of 23:03. The three women who finished above her are all multiple time All-Americans and she held her own in that field. If Mayfield can keep this impressive season going, she will look to be the highest finishing freshman in Louisville.

7. Carina Collet, Junior, Wartburg

Carina Collet from Wartburg was someone who I included as a runner to watch out for at the start of the season and she has lived up to the hype so far this season. She won the John Kurtt Invitational and then finished 9th behind a slew of D1 runners at the Bradley Intercollegiate meet. Her first 6k came at the Dan Huston Invite where she faced off against Clara Mayfield, Kassie Rosenbum, and Paige Lawler. She finished in 3rd behind Lawler and Rosenbum with a time of 22:58, which is not bad considering large portions of the course were like small ponds. Wartburg heads to the KollegeTown Invitational in Oshkosh in two weeks where Collet will once again face off against Lawler.

6. Laurel Felt, Sophomore, Coast Guard

This has been a breakout season for Laurel Felt. She opened the season with a win at the Trinity Bantam Invitational running 18:58 for 5k, cross the line alongside teammate Kaitlyn Mooney (TSR #1). This might have been just a workout for the two as they finished nearly a minute ahead of the next competitor. Felt then finished 3rd at the Bowdoin Invitational in a time of 22:12, finishing only behind Mooney and Sophia Gorman from Colby. The hot streak continued at the Paul Short Invitational where she ran nearly a minute faster than she ran on the same course last year. She finished in 4th (21:17) behind two D1 runners as well as Genny Corcoran from SUNY Geneseo. This is a great start to her season and hopefully she can continue getting faster as the season progresses. It also doesn't hurt to have one of the best runners in D3 as your training partner.

5. Kassie Rosenbum, Sophomore, Loras

Kassie Rosenbum came into the season on a high after winning the 10k at Outdoor Nationals. That fitness has definitely carried over as she won the Kohawk Relays 5k, placed 4th to D1 competition at the National Catholic Invite, and then placed 2nd at the Dan Hutson Invitational. The race at Dan Hutson looks promising for Rosenbum as she ran 22:45 on a wet course and finished only four seconds behind reigning national champion Paige Lawler from Wash U. If she can close that gap, Rosenbum looks poised to challenge anyone in D3 come November.

4. Paige Lawler, Senior, Wash U.

I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous when it was the end of September and Paige Lawler had yet to open her season up. She raced sparingly during the indoor and outdoor seasons and I thought that maybe she had the injury bug and would not run this cross season. I was wrong. Lawler had her first race of the season at the Dan Hutson Invitational running 22:41 for the win over a slew of talented women. There is still a lot of the season left for improvements to be made (or for injuries to appear), but Lawler is the reigning national champion and that should not be discounted, especially during championship season.

3. Sophia Gorman, Junior, Colby

After finishing 11th last year at Nationals last year, Sophia Gorman went on to have a rough track season, but it looks like she has put that behind her and has come out on fire this cross season. She won her first meet of the year, the Colby vs Bates Race, and then went to the Bowdoin Invitational and finished runner-up to Kaitlyn Mooney in a time of 22:03. This looks like it will be a rebound season for Gorman. If she is able to close the gap between her and Mooney, she could possibly contend for a national title.

2. Genny Corcoran, Senior, SUNY Geneseo

After setting numerous personal bests on the track, Genny Corcoran has kept that momentum going into this cross country season. She has been unbeaten so far this season, running 21:50, 21:19, and 20:42 for her three 6k races. That 20:42 is a PR which came at the Paul Short Invitational where she beat runners across all three divisions. This senior did not come to play around this year. In two weeks, the team travels to the Rowan Inter-Regional Border Battle where Corcoran will get to run against other top talents, including the ladies from Johns Hopkins.

1. Kaitlyn Mooney, Junior, Coast Guard

Coming into the season, Kaitlyn Mooney was one of the favorites to be a national champion. She finished 4th last year, set the indoor D3 5k record, and finished 3rd in the outdoor 5k. It looks like Mooney has decided that this fall will be more of the same. She barely finished 2nd to her own teammate (Felt) at the Trinity Bantam 5k and then went on to win the Bowdoin Invitational over Felt and Sophia Gorman. She later ran 21:48 at Bowdoin to beat Gorman by 15 seconds. Right now, she looks untouchable, especially with Lawler coming back from injury and not being at peak fitness. We’ll see if that is actually the case as Mooney is set to race at either the Connecticut College Invite or the Rowan Inter-Regional Border Battle. Whichever she chooses, she will have many fierce women to compete against.

JUST MISSED (in no particular order)

Riley Harmon (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps)

Parley Hannah (Ithaca) Aryn Embretson (Wheaton (ILL.)) Ariel Keklak (Johns Hopkins)

Calista Ariel (Bridgewater (VA.)) Bryony Hawgood (St. Olaf)