Updated: Jan 13
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. Seattle Pacific Falcons (-1 / 9)
The Falcons placed 4th at the Western Washington Cross Country Classic without top runner Kaylee Mitchell. Instead, it was Dania Halmberg who led the way with a 5th place finish in 22:01, followed by usual low-stick Kate Lilly in 8th (22:14). Further back in the results were Katherine Walter (34th) in 23:03, Elizabeth Thompson (47th) in 23:24, and Sedona McNerney (53rd) in 23:38 to round out the scoring five.
Seattle Pacific will clearly need to tighten their pack to improve their results, but not having someone who could have been a top three finisher is certainly something that we need to consider. This performance emphasizes just how vital Kaylee Mitchell is to the success of this program.
9. UCCS Mountain Lions (-1 / 8)
The Mountain Lions hosted the UCCS XC Open this past weekend. Layla Almasri placed 2nd in 18:19 followed by Kayla Wooten (5th) in 18:35, Marissa Kuik (11th) in 18:53, Katie Novak (15th) in 19:01, and Maia Austin (20th) in 19:25.
Almasri, Wooten, and Kuik have been front-runners and supporting pieces for the Mountain Lions so far this year and I think they are much better than what this performance shows. It may have been an off-week for UCCS, but my guess is they did not race all-out as they gear up for the postseason.
8. U-Mary Marauders (-1 / 7)
Did not race.
7. Lee Flames (+3 / 10)
Heat rises...and so do the Flames.
They jump up three spots this week after another terrific performance at the Royals Cross Country Challenge. They beat several respectable Division One programs, including runner-up Furman (who admittedly didn't race their top runners).
Once again, the dynamic duo of Celine Ritter and Chloe Flora led the way. Ritter was 4th in 17:18 while Flora was 5th in 17:20. Next was Charlee Boxall (19th) in 18:02 and Toni Moore (21st) in 18:07. About 30 seconds back was the trio of Chloe Veilleux (44th), Emma Clark (45th), and Olivia McLain (54th).
The consistency and continued progression of this team is extremely impressive. Their segmented packs within their top seven allows for a unique balance between firepower and (somewhat) reliable scoring in the latter half of their lineup.
6. Augustana (S.D.) Vikings (0 / 6)
The Vikings had a runner-up performance at the Lewis Conference Crossover. Nicolette Schmidt led the way through the wind and mud to place 10th in 23:04. Consistent low-sticks Claire Boersma (15th) and Cait Savey (28th) didn't have their usual scoring potency, but still put together strong performances with times of 23:09 and 23:22, respectfully.
Next up was a quartette of Rebekah Rairdon (36th), Rachel Rairdon (40th), Callin Naddy (41st), and Patty Jo English (45th) who all finished between 23:29 and 23:39.
The Vikings seemed to struggle a bit at this meet as I was expecting them to be a little closer behind Grand Valley in the scoring. However, strong competition and terrible conditions can also be to blame.
Regardless, it was still a nice showing by the Vikings as they continue to have some of the best pack running (at least on their backend) in all of Division Two.
5. Chico State Wildcats (0 / 5)
The Wildcats hold their #5 ranking after winning the Western Washington Cross Country Classic. Talia Swangler led the way in 22:09 for a 7th place finish, followed closely by Destiny Everett in 22:18 for 10th.
Next up was a Wildcat pack consisting of Grace Dupuis in 22:23 (15th), Haley Boynton in 22:26 (16th), and Nora Pizzella in 22:27 (17th) to round out the scoring five. This was another solid performance by Chico State, but not anything that was necessarily surprising. Just like their men's team, depth continues to be their major source of success.
4. Colorado Mines Orediggers (0 / 4)
The Orediggers placed 2nd on the FHSU Tiger Open without their top runners. Molly Maskin was 4th while Brin Strouse was 5th, both crossing the line in 17:57. Close behind was Melina Endsley in 6th, followed by Mackenzie Duck (13th), Alex Raichart (18th), and Sydney Fesenmeyer (26th).
Earning a runner-up finish and having two runners under 18 minutes on their “B” team shows us just how deep Colorado Mines is this year.
3. Western Colorado Mountaineers (0 / 3)
Western Colorado’s top runners sat out this week.
2. Adams State Grizzlies (0 / 2)
Adams State’s top runners sat out this week.
1. Grand Valley State Lakers (0 / 1)
The Lakers easily won the Lewis Conference Crossover scoring only 32 points. Allie Ludge won the race in 22:12, followed by consistent low-sticks Hannah Groeber (3rd), Madison Goen (7th), Jessica Gockley (9th), and Natalie Graber (13th).
Rounding out the top seven were Abby Crouch (17th) and Molly Schmidt (20th).
The course was a mess and the weather was awful, but this team pulled through and came out on top with a performance that flexed their incredible talent. Depth and consistency are still the common themes for this group and things seem to be going well for them as championship season comes into view.
JUST MISSED (in no particular order)
Walsh Cavaliers Saginaw Valley Cardinals Western Washington Vikings Michigan Tech Huskies Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles
HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order)
Wayne State Warriors UC San Diego Tritons Southwest Baptist Bearcats Alaska Anchorage Seawolves
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Grand Valley State Lakers 32 points. Easy money.
SURPRISE OF THE WEEK
Western Washington Vikings The Vikings placed 2nd at their home meet behind TSR #5 Chico State. They’ve been a team to watch since the beginning of the season, but I would consider beating Alaska Anchorage and Seattle Pacific a breakthrough for them. They were 4th at Roy Griak, not too far behind UCCS. If the Vikings keep up their momentum they should find themselves in the rankings fairly soon.