Updated: Apr 8
Recruit rankings data has been manually collected by TSR contributors from multiple, reliable sources. Transfers and foreign recruits who are not expected to have four years of eligibility are excluded from these rankings. Order of rankings was decided by all TSR contributors. Despite our research, it is possible that certain names have been erroneously omitted.
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So far in our recruit rankings, we've had a handful of powerhouse programs dominate our Top 10. For the most part, it's understandable. These are established teams who have thrived off of their elite recruiting classes for decades. It's only natural that they will continue to be some of the better teams in the NCAA.
However, the Oregon State women are the first team to break that trend in our 2019 rankings. Although they may not be known as a program that traditionally brings in a ton of young, talented recruits, that narrative has changed as we enter this summer.
Truthfully, this recruiting class is a bit divided. Half of these women will be immediate impact pieces for the Beavers while the other half will likely be developmental building blocks for the future, and frankly, that is the greatest recipe for success.
I want to begin with Meagen Lowe who will bring a stacked resume with her to Oregon State. Her 4:43 (1600) and 10:12 (3200) PR's are elite high school times which also make her a very strong distance runner on nearly any collegiate team in the country. Her immediate firepower will be a big deal for a group that will lose Julia Mount after she finishes up her eligibility on the track this winter and spring.
Lowe has done more than just run fast times. She is also extremely familiar with racing top-tier talent. She finished 34th at NXN this past fall and has been a top three finisher at the California State Championships (in both track and XC) on four different occasions. That experience will be highly valuable when toeing the line against the high-powered PAC-12 conference.
Speaking of runners with outstanding 1600/3200 credentials, Gabrielle Peterson is another incoming freshman with impressive personal bests. With 4:47/10:23 PR's, Oregon State's newest addition will likely have an early-impact in her first year with the program. Funny enough, her profile mirrors the results that we saw with Meagen Lowe. Peterson won the California XC state title this past fall and followed that up with a 23rd place finish at the 2018 Footlocker National Championships.
Emily Perez may not have run at a national championship meet, but she wasn't far behind Peterson at the 2018 California XC State Championships where she finished 4th overall...but that wasn't even her best result. Back in 2017, she also had a silver medal performance at the same state meet. With a three-mile personal best of 16:43 (which converts to roughly 17:18), Perez is essentially on the same tier of talent that Peterson are Lowe are.
Portland, Oregon native Elizabeth Rinck is another key pickup for Oregon State. If you convert her 10:05 3k time, then Rinck would have a 3200 time that roughly equates to 10:46 for 3200 meters. Oh, and did I mention that she ran at the 2018 NXN Championships this past fall?
Through four recruits, the Beavers have three women with national championship experience, four women with 3200 times (or equivalents) under 10:50, and two women under 4:50. Having four women who could be contributors as soon as they step on campus is wildly useful and something that most people will overlook. Oregon State is a great squad and they will only be better with this incoming group.
As for the rest of the rest of these recruits, it's fair that to suggest that they will be in the developmental stage over the next couple of years. Luckily for them, Coach Louie Quintana has shown that can get strong results in a short period of time. After all, he helped Oregon State qualify for NCAA's last fall in just his second year with the team.
The good thing about these developmental pieces is that they are predominantly middle distance focused - an area that Oregon State may need to improve. Yet, what is odd about these middle distance specialists is that they also have respectable range.
Liv Downing, Paige Sefried, and Nyah Songster all have 800 PR's of 2:20 while Sydni Nedza has run 2:21. At the same time, they all have 5k results that range from 19:13 to 19:47. If you give them enough time, this group could have one or two standouts who develop into high-potential scorers.
How about Elizabeth Khoury? She's run 2:16 for 800 meters and has run 4:35 for 1500 meters (which is roughly 4:55 for 1600 meters). Don't let the overwhelming distance talent of the four women mentioned earlier in this article distract you from the fact that Khoury could be a key roster addition for Oregon State.
The Beavers are in a uniquely special situation that couldn't be more ideal. They bring in four to five women who could be legitimate scorers in their first year with the team. Meanwhile, a handful of other recruits will be building their fitness for the future. In both the short-term and long-term, there may not be a better situated team than the Oregon State Beavers.