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. Western Washington Vikings (Unranked)
The Vikings finally make their way into the top 10 after being a “Just Missed” team for most of the season. Earlier in the year, they placed 4th at Griak behind UCCS and second at their home meet behind Chico State.
This past weekend, the Vikings won the GNAC Championship to beat Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage for the title. They had an incredible pack of four finish together to keep their point total surprisingly low. Jane Barr (8th), Rebecca Lehman (9th), Tracy Melville (10th), Sophia Galvez (11th), and Talia Dreicer (20th) were the five women who brought home the conference title for Western Washington.
Hopefully, we’ll see this progression continue for the Vikings at the regional and national meets.
9. UCCS Mountain Lions (0 / 9)
The Mountain Lions placed 4th at the RMAC Championships this past weekend. Front-runner Kayla Wooten led the way once again with an 11th place finish. Layla Almasri also placed in the top 20 with a 17th place finish of her own.
Their 3-4-5 runners finished in a pack consisting of Maia Austin (30th), Marissa Kuik (33rd), and Hannah Ellis (38th). This was another solid performance by UCCS and they are still looking to place in the top 10 at Nationals, but closing the gap between their #2 and #3 runners will be the key for them this postseason.
8. Lee Flames (-1 / 7)
The Flames had an easy win at their conference meet, scoring only 27 points. They had a trio take the first three spots in the race as Celine Ritter took home the win. She was followed by Chloe Flora and Charlee Boxall. Toni Moore (7th) and Olivia McLain (14th) rounded out their scoring five to give Lee an easy victory.
However, what's important to note is that not too far behind that scoring five was Becca Umborger (15th) and Emma Clark (19th). Lee has a good balance of talent and depth with Ritter and Flora leading the way and Boxall closing the gap between their top two and backend.
The Flames aren’t burning out anytime soon.
7. Chico State Wildcats (-2 / 5)
The Wildcats continued their momentum by winning the CCAA Championship with 23 points. Destiny Everett won the race, followed by Gracie Dupuis (3rd), Talia Swangler (4th), Nora Pizzella (5th), and Haley Boynton (10th) for their scoring five. Desirae Jones (12th) and Carrie McDonough (14th) also had solid performances as Chico’s #6 and #7 runners.
Putting five runners in the top 10 shows just how dominant Chico State is in their conference and on the west coast in general. Much like their men, they will continue to rally around their impressive for the rest of the postseason.
6. Western Colorado Mountaineers (-3 / 3)
The Mountaineers were 3rd at the RMAC Championships in a result that truthfully wasn't too surprising. They were led by Alexia Thiros (11th) and Alexa Rodriguez (14th) who have led this team from the front for most of the season.
Western Colorado then had four runners finish within four seconds of each other. Malindi Congour (20th), Katie Doucette (21st), Alyssa Tatum (22nd), and Bailey Sharon (24th) demonstrated very impressive pack-running and gave Western Colorado a lot of insurance when it came to team scoring.
Although their performance was solid and a perfect example of team-orientated cross country racing, the Mountaineers drop three places this week due to other results that were simply more impressive.
5. Augustana (S.D.) Vikings (+2 / 7)
4. U-Mary Marauders (+4 / 8)
A team scored 37 points and finished 3-4-9-10-11 at their conference meet.
You would think that would be enough to win the conference title...right?
The Augustana Vikings had a very encouraging performance at the NSIC Championships, but it simply wasn’t enough. The Vikings were led by Claire Boersma (3rd), Cait Savey (4th), Nicolette Schmidt (9th), Rebekah Rairdon (10th), Haley Waterfall (11th) to give the team an impressive scoring five that truthfully didn't hold many flaws.
However, it was the U-Mary Marauders who took home the title with 21 points. They finished 1-2-5-6-7 en route to the conference victory while Ida Narbuvoll won the race by a minute and 24 seconds. This was an incredible display of overwhelming talent and depth from the Marauders.
These two teams will meet again in two weeks at their regional meet where it should be another fun competition to watch unfold.
3. Colorado Mines Orediggers (+1 / 4)
The Orediggers continue to prove that they are a top-level team despite the fact they do not have the legacy and tradition of schools like Adams State and Grand Valley State.
Colorado Mines took home runner-up honors at the RMAC Championships, which is no easy task considering the number of powerhouses program in the conference.
Leading the way for the Orediggers was Chloe Cook who had an impressive 4th place individual finish in a field that is crowded with elite talent. The second half of the dynamic CSM duo (Zoe Baker) also recorded a top 10 finish by placing 8th.
Following that 1-2 punch was a very nice pack consisting of Morgan Molesworth (13th), Madeline Geesen (15th), and Molly Maskin (19th). After another fantastic performance, it is clear that Colorado Mines could very easily finish on the podium come NCAA's.
2. Grand Valley State Lakers (-1 / 1)
The Lakers easily dominated at the GLIAC Championships. They scored 17 points going 1-2-3-4-7 in a race where they should have been handed the title beforehand. The Lakers then casually had their final two varsity runners in 10th and 11th.
As expected, Allie Ludge won the race and waas followed closely by low-sticks Hanna Groeber (2nd), Klaudia O’Malley (3rd), Madison Goen (4th), and Jessica Gockley (7th). Those final two varsity runners were Natalie Graber (10th) and Lucy Karpukno (11th).
The firepower and depth in this lineup is absolutely insane.
Yet, somehow, they drop down to the #2 spot this week…
1. Adams State Grizzlies (+1 / 2)
It is pretty hard to make the RMAC Championship race look like a walk in the park, but the Grizzlies did just that. They completely obliterated the competition (which included three other top-ranked teams) by scoring only 21 points. The Adams State women placed 1-2-3-7-8 and just to emphasize their insane talent, their #6 and #7 runners were 10th and 16th.
The biggest surprise (and maybe the biggest reason for their dominance) was the return of Stephanie Cotter who won the race (by 14 seconds I may add) in her season debut. Taking runner-up honors was Eilish Flanagan.
The next surprise was the return and season debut of Roisin Flanagan who took 3rd, only adding the already incredible scoring potency of this team. Consistent supporting pieces Kaylee Bogina and Haleigh Hunter-Galvan (who would be legitimate low-sticks on nearly any other team) were 7th and 8th, followed by Brianna Robles and Tiffany Christensen in 10th and 16th to round out their top seven.
Adams State is dangerously good and proved to be more dominant than we had initially expected. The battle between the Grizzlies and Lakers is going to be tight, but the return of two superstars in Stephanie Cotter and Roisin Flanagan swings the title race in favor the Grizzles.
Western Washington Vikings
Seattle Pacific Falcons
JUST MISSED (in no particular order)
Seattle Pacific Falcons
Saginaw Valley Cardinals
Northern Michigan Wildcats
HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order)
Southwest Baptist Bearcats
Michigan Tech Huskies
Cal St. East Bay Pioneers
Northern Michigan Wildcats
Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles
Alaska Anchorage Seawolves
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Adams State Grizzlies
Read our #1 spot above for the definition of dominance.
SURPRISE OF THE WEEK
Adams State Grizzlies
Yep, we gave them both of these honors. The surprise here is the return and season debuts of Stephanie Cotter and Roisin Flanagan. Without these low-sticks, the results would have been much closer and Grand Valley would still hold the top spot.