2019 XC Top 50 Men: Update #2

Updated: Jan 13


KEY

(Unranked):

Was not ranked the week before.


(#/#):

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

The second number indicates where they were ranked the week before.

50. Danny Kilrea, Sophomore, Notre Dame (-10 / 40)

Tough day for Kilrea as he dropped to 80th on his home course this past weekend. Despite the rocky start, it should be noted that he was rumored to have fallen during the race. We're not sure how accurate that is, but if even it's not, we're not going to dismiss Kilrea from our rankings just because of one bad race. He'll be better in the future.


49. Farah Abdulkarim, Senior, Ole Miss (Unranked)

Really nice result for Abdulkarim who locked down a 12th place finish at Joe Piane. We saw this Ole Miss veteran in a similar spot of our Top 50 last year, but he eventually fell off. Hopefully he'll be able to stick around throughout 2019.


48. Talon Hull, Junior, Washington (-3 / 45)

47. Andrew Jordan, Senior, Washington (-3 / 44)


46. Curt Eckstein, Junior, Purdue (+3 / 49)

45. Brodey Smith, Junior, Purdue (+3 / 48)

I wanted to give them a better ranking, but could only offer so much room. Even so, they finished 16th (Smith) and 20th (Eckstein) this past weekend at the Joe Piane Invite. Along with Carpenter, that is now two straight races where they've put together some solid results. We knew Carpenter was going to be good this season, but Purdue now has a legitimate top three thanks to these guys.


44. Waleed Suliman, Junior, Ole Miss (-9 / 35)

It wasn't at all a bad result for Suliman at Joe Piane, but a 17th place finish probably wasn't going to be enough to maintain his previous rank. Nonetheless, it's a strong way to start his season. If he puts up consistent performances like that over the next month and a half, then I don't see how he'll drop from our Top 50.


43. Dylan Jacobs, Rs. Freshman, Notre Dame (Unranked)

All eyes were on Jacobs this past weekend as he faced his first real test of collegiate cross country. Unsurprisingly, the 2017 Footlocker champion lived up to the hype by putting together a very respectable 15th place finish at the Joe Piane Invite. He gives Notre Dame that extra up-front scoring potency that they were looking for last year.


42. Emmanuel Cheboson, Sophomore, Louisville (0 / 42)

He finished 5th at the Louisville Classic, but the names that he lost to are all inside the top 14 of our rankings currently. Cheboson is talented and he knows how to hang with the top names in the nation. I'm not too concerned about him right now.


41. Addison DeHaven, Rs. Senior, Iowa State (0 / 41)


40. Tibebu Proctor, Junior, Washington (-6 / 34)

He's still in the rankings because unlike a few of the names that we had to drop, we know that Proctor is actually healthy and is capable of racing this fall. He finished runner-up at the Curtis XC Invite this past weekend, running unattached in a race that was essentially just half of the Washington roster. If he's not in the Huskies' lineup the next time they race, he'll drop from our rankings.


39. George Kusche, Sophomore, Nebraska (0 / 39)


38. Eduardo Herrera, Junior, Colorado (+9 / 47)

A 14th place finish at Joe Piane is about what we expected from Herrera this past weekend. Nonetheless, it's a really nice result for someone who is expected to be the key #3 man for his team as they attempt to get back on to the podium this fall.


37. Ben Veatch, Junior, Indiana (+6 / 43)

He dropped to 5th at the Commodore Classic and although that wasn't a bad run, it left us wanting more. Luckily, Veatch bounced back in a big way this past weekend with an 11th place finish at Joe Piane. He hasn't run a cross country race since 2017, so it's possible that he's still adjusting to racing on grass and dirt rather than a mondo surface.


36. Ezekiel Kibichii, Freshman, Eastern Kentucky (Unranked)

35. James Mwaura, Sophomore, Gonzaga (Unranked)

The two young stars put on a show at Joe Piane this past weekend with Mwaura finishing 8th and Kibichii finishing 9th. For Mwaura, this was a result that was a long-time coming. We knew that he wasn't afraid to push the pace and make the race fast, so a course like this favored his racing style.


As for Kibichii, he's a bit of an unknown, but EKU has a history of recruiting extremely well from overseas. We shouldn't be surprised to see yet another standout distance star on this Eastern Kentucky roster. If Sugira is out for the season, Kibichii becomes immensely more valuable.


34. Steven Fahy, Stanford, Senior (-2 / 32)

33. Alek Parsons, Junior, Stanford (-2 / 31)

32. Aidan Tooker, Senior, Syracuse (-2 / 30)


31. Cooper Teare, Junior, Oregon (-2 / 29)

30. James west, Senior, Oregon (Unranked)

The Oregon duo got the job done at Bill Dellinger by finishing 3rd and 4th overall. James West made the sudden jump from being a strong supporting scorer in 2018 to now a very legitimate low-stick in 2019. He was closely followed by Teare who seems to be backing up the performances that we saw from him on the track this past winter and spring. Together, these two make a very lethal 1-2 punch.


29. Ian Shanklin, Junior, NC State (Unranked)

There was some speculation by a few of our writers at TSR that Shanklin could be a big name to watch this season. Much like Tuntivate, he was right on the cusp of making our Top 50 until we ultimately decided to leave him off. Shanklin, however, had other plans as he dropped a huge 7th place finish at Joe Piane this past weekend. It is without question the single greatest result of his career. The Wolfpack now have more than just great depth. Now they have a legitimate low-stick...


28. Kieran Tuntivate, Senior, Harvard (0 / 28)


27. Jaret Carpenter, Senior, Purdue (0 / 27)

A 13th place finish at Joe Piane is a really good sign for Carpenter. Not just because he put up a strong result in a talented field, but because it shows that he can now be a reliable front-runner despite a few inconsistencies in previous years. I still want to see how he handles the postseason, but it's been so far so good for the Purdue standout.


26. Brodey Hasty, Rs. Freshman, Northern Arizona (0 / 26)

25. Abdi Nur, Rs. Freshman, Northern Arizona (0 / 25)

24. Theo Quax, Rs. Freshman, Northern Arizona (0 / 24)


23. Paul Roberts, Senior, Wyoming (-9 / 14)

Tough result for Roberts at Joe Piane. He dropped to 25th in a race where he could have been top 10 on the right day. I'm not ready to overreact yet, it's not like he completely blew up in this race, but it was not the way you wanted to handle your first real test of the season.


22. Yared Nuguse, Junior, Notre Dame (+11 / 33)

It shouldn't be a surprise that Nuguse ran well at the Joe Piane Invite. The race was on his home turf and the course is extremely flat, which favors track-oriented runners. That is exactly why Mau, Hoare, and the Ole Miss men ran so well. Still, Nuguse has shown that he is now capable of being a star on both the grass and track. He'll be a juggernaught in the ACC this year.


21. Ashenafi Hatte, Senior, Oklahoma State (0 / 21)

Hatte was the top (attached) collegiate at the Chile Pepper Festival, taking down a handful of respectable individuals in the process. It's not a crazy result, but it shows us that he's at least fit and ready to contend for an All-American spot once again.


20. Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse, Senior, Portland (-1 / 19)

19. Geordie Beamish, Senior, Northern Arizona (-2 / 17)

18. Alex Ostberg, Rs. Senior, Stanford (-2 / 16)


17. John Dressel, Rs. Senior, Colorado (-4 / 13)

Dressel's 10th place finish at Joe Piane was a very solid result. It's not a super flashy finish, but he ran well. I would have liked to see him closer to the top five, but that's not anything I would panic about. Good result, but nothing more and nothing less.


16. Kyle Mau, Senior, Indiana (+21 / 37)

A huge 4th place finish at Joe Piane tells us that Mau was not content with being the #2 option for Indiana this year. Mau has turned into an aerobic beast, taking down Choge at Commodore Classic and now a handful of other big names in South Bend this past weekend. Admittedly, that course does favor runners who own quick times on the track, but that shouldn't hurt the fact that he just had a monster race.


15. Blaise Ferro, Rs. Junior, Northern Arizona (0 / 15)


14. Jacob Choge, Rs. Junior, Mid. Tenn. State (+24 / 38)

13. Kigen Chemadi, Rs. Junior, Mid. Tenn. State (+23 / 36)

They didn't sweep the top two spots this past weekend, but taking down both Kemboi and Cheboson shows us that this duo is capable of putting together consistently dominant performances. After Chemadi beat out the Indiana duo at Commodore (while Choge beat Veatch), it's hard to ignore that this tandem is going to be a very real problem for their South region rivals this year.


12. Robert Brandt, Rs. Senior, UCLA (+6 / 18)

Brandt finished runner-up at the Bill Dellinger Invite, but really made Mantz work for his win in the final moments of the race. Taking an aggressive front-runner like Mantz to the line is awfully impressive and I think it shows us that Brandt is in top form right now.


11. Peter Seufer, Senior, Virginia Tech (0 / 11)


10. Amon Kemboi, Junior, Campbell (-5 / 5)

The Campbell distance star made his season debut this past weekend, finishing 4th overall in a race that he was expected to win. He finished behind recent breakout star (and teammate) Athanas Kioko as well as the MTSU duo. This isn't necessarily a poor performance, but for someone who expected to be in the top five at NCAA's this wasn't an ideal result.


9. Oliver Hoare, Senior, Wisconsin (+3 / 12)

Hoare's 5th place finish at Joe Piane was really great to see. That course played into his strength of being a speed-oriented track runner and he took full advantage of that. I think we're going to see big things from this Wisconsin ace come November.


8. Athanas Kioko, Junior, Campbell (Unranked)

It looks like Campbell has found yet another overseas star to give them some lethal front-running. In a race that was crowded with elite talent (such as Kemboi, Cheboson, and the MTSU duo), Kioko ran away from the field in a HUGE time of 22:58 for 8000 meters. It's a bit of an extreme jump going from unranked to #8, but beating out that field with that kind of time is scary impressive.


7. Luis Grijalva, Junior, Northern Arizona (+3 / 10)

6. Thomas Ratcliffe, Rs. Junior, Stanford (+2 / 8)

Neither of these men have run since the John McNichols Invite, but seeing a handful of top stars dropping out of the rankings leaves us with no choice but to put them at the #6 and #7 spots in our rankings.


5. Conner Mantz, Rs. Junior, BYU (+2 / 7)

Mantz took home a big win at the Bill Dellinger Invite, beating out a strong challenge from UCLA star Robert Brandt. We expected this from Mantz, but it doesn't make his win any less encouraging.


4. Joe Klecker, Rs. Senior, Colorado (0 / 4)

A very solid, but expected 3rd place performance for Klecker who held his own in a deep field at Joe Piane. The Alabama duo were simply too strong, but Klecker got the job done. Nothing too special here, but it was a nice start.


3. Gilbert Kigen, Rs. Senior, Alabama (-1 / 2)

2. Vincent Kiprop, Rs. Senior, Alabama (+1 / 3)

The Alabama duo went 1-2 this past weekend at Notre Dame, pulling away from a respectable field which was crowded with strong All-American talents. Kiprop took home the win over teammate Kigen which is why the two switched spots in this week's updated rankings. It was a very encouraging pair of results, but I'm not sure their performance makes them any larger favorites for the national title than they were the week before.


1. Edwin Kurgat, Senior, Iowa State (0 / 1)

ADDED

Farah Abdulkarim (Ole Miss)

Dylan Jacobs (Notre Dame)

Ezekiel Kibichii (Eastern Kentucky)

James Mwaura (Gonzaga)

James West (Oregon)

Ian Shanklin (NC State)

Athanas Kioko (Campbell)


KICKED OFF

Jake Brophy (Navy)

Zach Facioni (Wake Forest)

Casey Comber (Villanova)

Gilbert Boit (Arkansas)

Clayson Shumway (BYU)

Isai Rodriguez (Oklahoma State)

James Sugira (Eastern Kentucky)


JUST MISSED (in no order)

Kashon Harrison (Colorado)

Ryan Adams (Furman)

Garrett Reynolds (UCLA)

Jake Brophy (Navy)

Zach Facioni (Wake Forest)

Gilbert Boit (Arkansas)

Clayson Shumway (BYU)

Isai Rodriguez (Oklahoma State)

James Sugira (Eastern Kentucky)

Kasey Knevelbaard (Florida State)

Alex Masai (Hofstra)

Albert Kosgei (Louisville)


HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no order)

David Too (Iowa State)

Johnjack Millar (Iona)

Patrick Dever (Tulsa)

Jacob Heslington (BYU)

Miler Haller (Boise State)

Callum Bolger (Stanford)

Ryan Raff (Northern Arizona)

Christian Ricketts (Southern Utah)

Kenny Vasbinder (Columbia)

Casey Comber (Villanova)

Colin Burke (UCLA)

Devin Myrer (Michigan)


NOTES

- Many of the top-ranked runners who haven't run yet this season were dropped from our rankings due to either injury rumors, clear understanding that they will be redshirted, or just blatant impatience on our part. Guys like Roudolff-Levisse and Tibebu Proctor stay in our rankings because it is very possible that their respective coaches will still run them later this fall.


- Casey Comber drops from the rankings after a brutal 55th place finish at Paul Short. Hopefully it was just a bad day and not an introductory race from being injured this past summer.