2019 XC Top 50 Men: Update #4

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. Amir Ado, Sophomore, Washington State (-9 / 41)

After a breakout race at Nuttycombe, the Washington State sophomore recorded a DNF at the PAC-12 Championships. I won't overreact to this result as I still think there is a lot of value in placing 20th at such a large, national-caliber meet, but this wasn't great to see.


49. Garrett Reynolds, Senior, UCLA (+1 / 50)

An 10th place finish at the PAC-12 Championships is about what I expected from Reynolds who has simply been very consistent and very strong throughout the entirety of this season.


48. Brodey Smith, Junior, Purdue (0 / 48)

47. Curt Eckstein, Junior, Purdue (+2 / 49)

Smith had a minor off-day at the BIG 10 Championships placing 11th while Eckstein stepped up and did a nice job by placing 8th overall. For the most part, neither of these results are particularly surprising. These two have been solid front-runners for Purdue all season and this past weekend doesn't change my thoughts on them.


46. Eduardo Herrera, Junior, Colorado (-1 / 45)

He doesn't necessarily offer the same scoring potency that we've seen from him in year's past, but Herrera continues to show that he is an extremely valuable scorer for the Buffaloes this year after placing 13th at the PAC-12 Championships. He hasn't necessarily had one standout race this season, but he's consistent and I like that about him.


45. James West, Senior, Oregon (Unranked)

After a breakout 3rd place finish at the Bill Dellinger Invite, West dropped back to 58th place at Nuttycombe. That was enough to barely push him out of the rankings in our last update, but a 9th place finish at the PAC-12 Championships was enough to get his name listed in our XC Top 50 yet again.


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

Much like West, we saw Dylan Jacobs underwhelm (a lot) at Nuttycombe after putting together an excellent result at the Joe Piane Invite. Luckily, the redshirt freshman bounced back at the ACC Championships to secure a 5th place finish, validating himself as a true low-stick for the Irish this season.


43. Kenny Vasbinder, Senior, Columbia (Unranked)

Vasbinder has been one of the most underappreciated distance runners in the country this season, but we have decided to finally give him the recognition that he deserves. After winning the Roy Griak Invite and placing 32nd at Nuttycombe, Vasbinder proved that he was the real deal by winning the Ivy League title. This guy is at another level right now and hasn't shown us any signs of slowing down.


42. Colin Burke, Senior, UCLA (-7 / 35)

It wasn't necessarily a poor performance, but an 11th place finish at the PAC-12 Championships, compared to a few other results that we saw this past weekend, was enough to put a few other runners ahead of Burke. Regardless, the UCLA senior is still a top talent in the NCAA and a realistic All-American contender.


41. Waleed Suliman, Junior, Ole Miss (+6 / 47)

It was a very underrated and strong performance from Suliman who nearly edged out Gilbert Kigen on a slightly short SEC course. He continues to emerge as a far more consistent low-stick for Ole Miss this year compared to what we saw from him in 2018.


40. Johnjack Millar, Junior, Iona (-2 / 38)

39. Ehab El-Sandali, Junior, Iona (-2 / 37)

It was a team effort from the Gaels this past weekend as their entire top five cruised through the line together. They'll face tougher competition at the regional and national meets in a few weeks.


38. Drew Bosley, Freshman, Northern Arizona (+4 / 42)

We shouldn't read too heavily into this result, but seeing a true freshman battle through brutal conditions at the BIG Sky Championships to win the individual title (albeit, with a few NAU veterans being sidelined) is awfully impressive. Bosley is showing tremendous poise and courage for someone so young.


37. Kashon Harrison, Freshman, Colorado (+9 / 46)

This true freshman continues to blow away expectations. Harrison put together yet another solid result, finishing 7th this past weekend at the PAC-12 Championships ahead of John Dressel. He has yet to have a poor performance and he is only improving every time he toes the line. Don't sleep on the young Buff...


36. Peter Lynch, Junior, Tulsa (-4 / 32)

Much like the Iona men, the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes packed together to easily clinch the conference win at the AAC Championships. Lynch only falls in the rankings due to other performances.


35. Theo Quax, Rs. Freshman, Northern Arizona (-10 / 25)

An 18th place finish at the BIG Sky Championships is...concerning. That said, the course conditions were (probably?) brutal and Bosley's winning time of 26:50 further confirms that suspicion. Runners are allowed to have an off day every now and then, so I won't look too heavily into this result.


34. Brodey Hasty, Rs. Freshman, Northern Arizona (-4 / 30)

He finished 3rd at the BIG Sky Championships to give his team an easy 1-2-3 finish (and the conference title). Hasty is still a top talent, especially after his McNichols performance, but being sidelined for the Nuttycombe Invite makes gauging his overall talent a tricky task.


33. Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse, Senior, Portland (-5 / 28)

I try not to overreact to results, specifically in meets where the team has a history of not going all out. However, finishing 8th at the WCC Championships and still running under 24 minutes shows me that there was at least some effort going into the race. We don't need to hit the panic button yet, but I'll be interested to see how Roudolff-Levisse performs throughout the rest of the postseason.


32. Athanas Kioko, Junior, Campbell (+4 / 36)

Kioko absolutely destroyed teammate Amon Kemboi at the BIG South Championships. The newest Campbell star dropped a time of 23:30, beating Kemboi by over 40 seconds.


I am not at all doubting that Kioko has the talent and fitness to contend with some of the most elite distance runners in the nation. However, despite his ability to throw down incredible marks in time-trial scenarios, his race planning and execution is still lacking in larger, more competitive meets (as seen at Pre-Nationals where he finished 22nd).


31. John Dressel, Rs. Senior, Colorado (-10 / 21)

This may seem like a bit of a harsh drop in the rankings, but there haven't been too many standout performances for Dressel this season. This past weekend, the Colorado veteran finished 8th overall in what was yet another strong performance. Still, it didn't tell us that he was convincingly better than a handful of men who are currently ranked ahead of him. Even so, I see Dressel as someone who could finish inside the top 20 at NCAA's later this month.


30. Jaret Carpenter, Senior, Purdue (+1 / 31)

Carpenter's 5th pace finish at the BIG 10 Championships this past weekend finally adds some legitimate scoring potency to his greatest strength: consistency. The Purdue veteran seems to have turned a corner this year and now seems like a legitimate All-American contender in 2019.


29. Ian Shanklin, Junior, NC State (0 / 29)

After a DNF at the Nuttycombe Invite, I had minor concerns about Shanklin and what his future would hold. However, his 3rd place finish at the ACC Championships confirmed what we already knew: Shanklin is super talented.


28. Ben Veatch, Junior, Indiana (+6 / 34)

Veatch continues to get better every time he races. After shaking off the rust at the Commodore Classic (where he finished 5th), Veatch went on to place 17th at Nuttycombe before placing 4th at the BIG 10 Championships this past weekend. The Indiana junior is picking up a ton of momentum at the right time and could be a very dangerous top 20 contender for the Hoosiers come Nationals.


27. Andrew Jordan, Senior, Washington (+12 / 39)

After an ugly start to the season at the Battle in Beantown, Andrew Jordan has rebounded in a big way. He finished 7th at Pre-Nats a few weeks ago and recently placed 3rd at the PAC-12 Championships in what may have been the best non-Nationals race of his career. Ironically, Jordan now falls back to the same spot that we had him in for our preseason rankings.


26. Yared Nuguse, Junior, Notre Dame (0 / 26)

Nuguse finished 2nd to Seufer at the ACC Championships, beating out Shanklin and Wake Forest's Zach Facioni in the process. Truthfully, I'm not sure we have much more to talk about. This was about what we expected from Nuguse.


25. James Mwaura, Sophomore, Gonzaga (-1 / 24)

Mwaura was simply overwhelmed by the BYU men at the WCC Championships as they put three Cougars ahead of the Gonzaga sophomore. Carney barely held off the Bulldog ace at the line, forcing Mwaura to finish 4th. While it's not exactly ideal, I'm not ready to say that he performed poorly. WCC's are always a very odd race that BYU always dominates.


24. Jacob Heslington, Rs. Senior, BYU (+3 / 27)

After earning a convincing 2nd place finish at the WCC Championships, it's hard to not give Heslington yet another boost in the rankings. He has looked very good in every race that he has toed the line for this season.


23. Ezekiel Kibichii, Freshman, Eastern Kentucky (0 / 23)

Kibichii led an EKU contingent that ended up finishing 1-2-3-4 at the Ohio Valley Championships. He'll face stronger competition at the Southeast Regional Championships two weeks from now.


22. Peter Seufer, Senior, Virginia Tech (+18 / 40)

After a sightly underwhelming performance at Pre-Nats, the Virginia Tech star made sure to show the rest of the country that he was still the real deal. Sure enough, he did just that by securing the ACC individual title on his home course, beating out Nuguse by nearly 40 seconds.


21. Ryan Adams, Senior, Furman (-1 / 20)

Adams secured the individual conference title at the Southern Conference Championships, beating out teammate Daniel Bernal for the win.


20. Kyle Mau, Senior, Indiana (-4 / 16)

The Indiana ace finished 6th at the BIG 10 Championships this past weekend in a race where I expected him to be in the top five. Regardless, this was still another strong result and it continues to show the country that Mau is one of the most consistent top talents that the NCAA has to offer.


19. Abdi Nur, Rs. Freshman, Northern Arizona (-2 / 17)

18. Geordie Beamish, Senior, Northern Arizona (-3 / 15)

Nur stayed in Flagstaff this past weekend while Beamish was tasked with bringing home the BIG Sky title. Beamish would go on to finish 2nd overall behind Bosley.


17. George Kusche, Sophomore, Nebraska (+16 / 33)

An outstanding runner-up performance from Kusche at the BIG 10 Championships validated the Nebraska star as more than just a miler. I love the range this guy has as well as his ability to handle tactical races. He could end up being the face of the BIG 10 one day.


16. Kigen Chemadi, Rs. Junior, Mid. Tenn. State (-3 / 13)

15. Jacob Choge, Rs. Junior, Mid. Tenn. State (-3 / 12)

Despite going 1-2 this past weekend at the Conference USA Championships, we haven't seen this duo compete against any top-tier competition lately. That doesn't make them any less talented, but I felt like they shouldn't be a roadblock to other individuals who had standout performances.


14. Isai Rodriguez, Rs. Sophomore, Oklahoma State (0 / 14)

A runner-up finish to Kurgat at the BIG 12 Championships is exactly what we (and everyone else) expected from the Rodriguez this past weekend. Our biggest question coming into this season was if Rodriguez was the "real deal" after a breakout 4th place finish at the NCAA Championships last year. So far, he has prove that his race at NCAA's wasn't a fluke.


13. Cooper Teare, Junior, Oregon (+7 / 20)

You can say what you want about who should be ranked ahead of who, but finishing runner-up at the PAC-12 Championships is extremely impressive. Teare pulled away from an elite field, giving chase to only Joe Klecker this past weekend. With wins over Ostberg, Ratcliffe, Brandt, and Jordan, Teare's confidence has to be at an all-time high.


12. Morgan Beadlescomb, Rs. Junior, Michigan State (+6 / 18)

I don't think Beadlescomb gets enough credit. After finishing 7th at Nuttycombe, the Michigan State star put himself in the top group at the BIG 10 Championships and came away with a 3rd place finish, beating out guys like Mau, Carpenter, and Veatch. Beadlescomb is an absolute stud and I wish I could convince myself to rank him inside the top 10.


11. Amon Kemboi, Junior, Campbell (-2 / 9)

Kemboi finished far behind his teammate Kioko at the BIG South Championships to finish 2nd overall. That said, I'm more interested to see what the results will look like in a regional or national setting with stronger competition.


10. Robert Brandt, Rs. Senior, UCLA (0 / 10)

A 5th place finish at the PAC-12 Championships isn't too far off from what we expected to see from Brandt. It would have been nice to see him compete for a top three finish, but he's done too much this season to make us doubt his overall talent.


9. Alex Ostberg, Rs. Senior, Stanford (+2 / 11)

A 4th place finish at the PAC-12 Championships sounds about right for Ostberg when you consider all of the top-tier talents in the conference this year. Beating both Brandt and Ratcliffe was an encouraging result.


8. Luis Grijalva, Junior, Northern Arizona (0 / 8)

Did not run this past weekend.


7. Thomas Ratcliffe, Rs. Junior, Stanford (-1 / 6)

A 6th place finish at the PAC-12 Championships isn't great for someone who we thought could be the top American at NCAA's this year. Even so, if this ends up being his "worst" race of the season, then that's something Stanford fans will happily accept.


6. Joe Klecker, Rs. Senior, Colorado (+1 / 7)

After underwhelming a little bit at Pre-Nationals (where he finished 9th overall), Klecker came back this past weekend at the PAC-12 Championships to let the nation know that he is still one of the NCAA's elites. The Colorado veteran pulled away from Teare, Jordan, and Ostberg in the final moments of the race to clinch the individual title.


5. Oliver Hoare, Senior, Wisconsin (0 / 5)

The PAC-12 may be the most competitive conference in the country, but the BIG 10 isn't too far behind. This past weekend, Oliver Hoare pulled away from an absolutely stacked field to take home the individual title. Beating out guys like Kusche, Beadlescomb, Mau, Veatch, and Carpenter is awfully impressive. It's clear that Hoare has translated his success on the track to the grass.


4. Conner Mantz, Rs. Junior, BYU (+1 / 5)

It was a somewhat easy win for Mantz at the WCC Championships as he led a 1-2-3 finish for the Cougars this past weekend. We will likely see the BYU ace cruise the regional meet as he prepares for an all-out assault at Nationals a couple of weeks from now.


3. Gilbert Kigen, Rs. Senior, Alabama (0 / 3)

2. Vincent Kiprop, Rs. Senior, Alabama (0 / 2)

The Alabama duo finished 1-2 (as expected) at the SEC Championships this past weekend. Kigen nearly let Suliman edge him at the line, but outside of that, it seems like the Crimson Tide men are primed for yet another big postseason.


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

A convincing win at the BIG 12 Championships doesn't change our thoughts on Edwin Kurgat. He's still the top distance runner in the NCAA this season.

ADDED

Kenny Vasbinder (Columbia)

James West (Oregon)

Dylan Jacobs (Notre Dame)


KICKED OFF

Kieran Tuntivate (Harvard)

Ashenafi Hatte (Oklahoma State)

Blaise Ferro (Northern Arizona)


JUST MISSED (in no order)

Zach Facioni (Wake Forest)

Alex Masai (Hofstra)

Farah Abdulkarim (Ole Miss)

Titus Cheruiyot (UTEP)

Dallin Farnsworth (Utah State)

Ryan Smeeton (Oklahoma State)

Olin Hacker (Wisconsin)

Devin Myrer (Michigan)

Kieran Tuntivate (Harvard)

Ashenafi Hatte (Oklahoma State)

Blaise Ferro (Northern Arizona)


HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no order)

Caleb Webb (Portland)

Evert Silva (Portland)

Anthony Russo (Penn)

Brandon Garnica (BYU)

Jake Brophy (Navy)

Alec Hornecker (Colorado)

Kasey Knevelbaard (Florida State)

Emmanuel Cheboson (Louisville)

Nathan Mylenek (Iowa)

Ahmed Muhumed (Boise State)

Sam Worley (Texas)

Euan Makepeace (Butler)

Daniel Carney (BYU)


NOTES

- It pains me to leave Zach Facioni out of our XC Top 50. If we had to give someone the #51 spot, it would be him. Finishing 4th at the ACC Championships is impressive, but unlike Jacobs, he doesn't have any other standout performances this season. Amir Ado's 20th place finish at Nuttycombe is still more valuable in our eyes.