2019 XC D2 Top 10 Teams (Men): Update #2

Updated: Jan 13


KEY

(Unranked):

Was not ranked the week before.


(#/#):

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

The second number indicates where the team was ranked the week before.

10. Queens (N.C.) Royals (0 / 10)

The men of Queens battled their way to a 4th place finish at the Capital Cross Challenge this past weekend. Senior Anthony Raftis led the way with a time of 24:30, giving him a 16th place finish overall. Yannik Duppich and Erick Sanchez were the next two scorers for the Royals as they crossed the line virtually together, both running a time of 24:47 which yielded 32nd (Duppich) and 34th (Sanchez) place finishes. Felix Wammetsberger (45th, 24:53) and Seb Anthony (66th, 25:05) rounded out the Queens scorers.


Their team finish was probably not the result they were looking for, but the good news for the Royals was that they averaged a time of 24:48 over the 8k distance. Queens' next race will be October 5th at the University of South Carolina-Upstate Invite as they look to get on the right track heading into the latter part of the season.


9. UC San Diego Tritons (Unranked)

The Triton men are the newest team to enter our team rankings debuting at #9. They impressively beat previously ranked teams such as Queens (N.C) and Cal St. San Marcos en route to a 3rd place overall team finish, only finishing behind conference rival Chico State and D1 team Cal Poly. UC San Diego’s top five scorers were split up into two groups as Aren Johnson and Elijah Howard finished together in 22nd and 26th place. The second group of Brett Beattie, Tim Corvese, and Samuel Blake finished together in 41st, 46th, and 47th.


Although their top five were split up in the scoring, they still boasted a strong average time of 24:48. It wasn't perfect, but they ran well enough to knock off a few top-ranked programs. They have a lot of room for growth which makes them an enticing top 10 team.


8. Sioux Falls Cougars (-2 / 6)

Sioux Falls drops two spots in our rankings after placing 3rd at the Roy Griak Invitational. The Cougars finished behind Michigan Tech and Augustana (S.D.). Steven Brown took home the win with a time of 25:03. Following Brown was Mason Phillips in 7th place with a time of 25:31. Next up was Zach Lundberg in 15th, Daniel Armstrong in 29th, and David Ecker in 52nd to round out the scorers.


Their firepower was strong, but the backend of their lineup will need to improve. That is the main area of vulnerability for them right now. Sioux Falls's next meet is October 12th at the Lewis Conference Crossover meet as they look to get back on track.


7. Augustana (S.D.) Vikings (Unranked)

Along with UC San Diego, the men of Augustana (S.D.) are also one of the new teams to enter our rankings, but they are the most shocking as they took home the win at the Roy Griak Invitational over a tough field of D2 teams, including ranked Sioux Falls. Aaron Runge and Jesus Urtusuastegui led the charge as they placed 2nd and 3rd overall with times of 25:10 and 25:17. Nathan Schroeder was next up for the Vikings in 6th place, along with Matt Steiger in 8th. To round out the scorers was Henry Klitzke finishing in 24th. What made this team's win so impressive was their close pack-running. If they keep doing what they did this past weekend, then you can expect Augustana to climb in our rankings.


6. Missouri Southern Lions (-1 / 5)

Did not compete. Their next race is October 5th at the Arkansas Chile Pepper Invite.


5. Chico State Wildcats (+2 / 7)

Chico State continues to climb in our rankings simply due to the fact of how dominant they have been this season. The Wildcats have consistently impressed each week, especially after their outing at the Capital Cross Challenge. Chico flexed their muscles against some of the best D2 teams in the nation this past weekend in a field that included UC San Diego, Queens (N.C.), and Cal St. San Marcos. The Wildcats placed 2nd overall and had a team score of 67 points, a total that put them 109 points ahead of the 3rd place team.


Chico State may arguably have the best top three runners in the nation, as they had three finishers inside the top seven of the race. Trad Berti led the way with a 3rd place finish of 24:10 while Matthew Herrera and Wyatt Baxter placed 6th and 7th respectfully with times of 24:15 and 24:17. To round out the scorers for the Wildcats was Remington Breeze in 23rd (24:41) and Raymond Lopez in 28th (24:44). If Chico State continues to do what they have been, then the sky is the limit for this team.


4. Grand Valley State Lakers (0 / 4)

The Lakers had a strong outing at the Ohio State Buckeye Preview as they had five runners in the top 25, capping off a 2nd place team finish behind only Penn State. Tanner Chada was the individual winner, claiming the crown with an impressive time of 24:27. Ben Zaremba finished in 16th (25:15) while Garrett White placed 19th (25:18), giving GVSU three men inside the top 20. Jesse Becker finished 24th place and Jacob Domagalski placed 25th to close out the scoring. In the grand scheme of things, it was tough to be critical of Grand Valley's outstanding team effort.


Beating Division One programs such as Michigan (who ran their "B" team) and Ohio State while having a relatively close pack between their #2 and #5 runners shows us that the defending national champions are right on track for another great finish at Nationals this year.


3. Adams State Grizzles (0 / 3)

Did not compete. Their next race is October 5th at the Paul Short Run.


#2 Colorado Mines Orediggers (0 / 2)

Did not compete. Their next race is October 5th at the Arkansas Chile Pepper Invite.


#1 Western Colorado Mountaineers (0 / 1)

Did not compete. Their next race is October 5th at the Arkansas Chile Pepper Invite.

ADDED

UC San Diego Tritons

Augustana (S.D.) Vikings


KICKED OFF

Alaska Anchorage Seawolves

Cal State San Marcos Cougars


JUST MISSED (in no order)

Cal State San Marcos Cougars

Michigan Tech Huskies

NW Missouri Bearcats


HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no order)

Western Washington Vikings

Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles

Saginaw Valley State Cardinals

Lee (Tenn.) Flames

Charleston (W.V.) Golden Eagles


SURPRISE OF THE WEEK

Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles

We could keep harping on Sioux Falls and my concern for them, but I’ll go somewhere else. However, Southern Indiana had a very good meet this past weekend. They beat a strong Lee (Tenn.) team that we’ve mentioned before and they’re slightly underrated with Austin Nolan and Titus Winders leading the way for them in 2019.


TEAM OF THE WEEK

Augustana (S.D.) Vikings

This section easily goes to Augustana (S.D.). Sure, Chico State had a strong meet at the Capital Cross Challenge, but the Vikings dominated at Roy Griak over the weekend with a strong team performance. They’re one of the deepest teams in the country right now, and as we mentioned on the podcast, we have severely underrated them heading into the 2019 season. Keep an eye out for Augustana (S.D.) as we enter October and November.