2019 XC Top 50 Women: Update #1

Updated: Jan 13



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. Amanda Vestri, Junior, Syracuse (Unranked)

49. Abbey Wheeler, Senior, Providence (Unranked)

These two women duked it out in Boston at the Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown with Wheeler barely pulling away from Vestri in the final moments of the race. These were two had great performances against a respectable field. Wheeler continues to be a veteran ace for the Lady Friars while Vestri has finally given the Orange women a legitimate low-stick to rally around this season.

48. Emily Covert, Freshman, Colorado (-3 / 45)

Covert has yet to race for the Buffaloes, but her high school resume proves that she could make an immediate impact in our Top 50.

47. Camille Davre, Rs. Sophomore, Michigan (-14 / 33)

Davre was Michigan’s #5 at the John McNichols Invite over the weekend when she finished 24th overall. Davre has the ability to race near the front, but will need to find her groove if she wants to crack the top 40 this fall.

46. Dominique Clairmonte, Junior, NC State (-2 / 44)

NC State raced much of their roster at the Adidas XC Challenge, but Clairmonte was not one of them to toe the line. The next meet for NC State is the Joe Piane Invitational.

45. Amy Davis, Senior, Wisconsin (-3 / 42)

Davis has not yet raced this season. Wisconsin has only had one meet thus far, so Davis not racing is no big deal. Wisconsin has the Loyola Lakefront Invitational on deck next.

44. Rachel McArthur, Junior, Colorado (-4 / 40)

McArthur did not make her season debut with the rest of the Colorado team at the Wyoming Invite, but will look to make an impact for the Buffaloes at the Joe Piane Invitational.

43. Christina Aragon, Senior, Stanford (-5 / 38)

Aragon did not race for Stanford this past weekend at the John McNichols Invite, but could make her season debut at the Nuttycombe Invite October 18th. Her history of injury makes us a little uncertain about her current status.

42. Devin Clark, Senior, Arkansas (Unranked)

After a phenomenal spring track season where she ran a personal best of 9:48 in the steeplechase, Clark has made sure to maintain her fitness. The Arkansas veteran secured a clutch 7th place finish at the John McNichols Invite this past weekend, giving her team an additional low-stick to lean on while Katrina Robinson and Lauren Gregory were out of the lineup. She made the most out of her opportunity.

41. Ella Donaghu, Junior, Stanford (Unranked)

The Cardinal women are so incredibly deep and it's easy to forget about a few underrated talents. Ella Daonghu is one of those underrated talents. The Stanford junior finished an outstanding 6th place at the John McNichols Invite this past weekend, acting as Stanford's #2 runner on the day. This was, without question, the greatest cross country race of her collegiate career.

40. Clare O’Brien, Senior, Boise State (-5 / 35)

O’Brien has not made her season debut yet, but that is not unheard of. Boise State has only competed at a small meet. Oregon’s Bill Dellinger Invite is up next for the Broncos and that should be O’Brien’s opener.

39. Winny Koech, Senior, UTEP (-2 / 37)

Koech took the win at the 2019 Lori Fitzgerald Memorial and did so easily, beating 2nd place by 12 seconds. The next meet on tap for UTEP is the Joe Piane Invitational.

38. Isabelle Brauer, Rs. Senior, Oregon (-2 / 36)

Brauer did not race at Oregon’s season opener, but that isn’t to say she won’t be a contender this fall in the top 40. She was 52nd last year at NCAA's and should improve on that come this November. Oregon has their Bill Dellinger Invite on schedule next and Brauer should be toeing the starting line soon.

37. Winny Koskei, Junior, Wichita State (-3 / 34)

Koskei started her 2019 season with a win at the JK Gold Classic, beating teammate Rebekah Topham by five seconds. Koskei will be back on the grass at the Bill Dellinger Invite this weekend and she will have the opportunity to take on the nation’s best.

36. Lilli Burdon, Senior, Washington (-4 / 32)

Unlike last season where Burdon did not race until late in the season, she has already raced twice. Burdon was 4th at the Washington State Duals and then backed that performance up with a respectable 16th place finish at the John McNichols Invite. Burdon was Washington’s #3 this weekend and should keep progressing from there. The postseason is where she usually thrives.

35. Whittni Orton, Senior, BYU (+12 / 47)

During the 2018 cross country season, Orton was sidelined with an injury following Notre Dame’s Joe Piane. However, after a strong track season, Orton returned to the grass and won her first race back at the Big Wave Invitational. Just seeing that she is not only healthy, but also fit, should be a hugely positive sign for the BYU women.

34. Jessica Lawson, Junior, Stanford (+7 / 41)

Lawson missed out on All-American honors last fall, but had a successful outdoor track season when she finished 10th in the 1500 at NCAA's and ran a 4:11 PR. At the John McNichols Invite, Lawson was Stanford’s #3 runner and placed 9th overall in what was likely the best performance of her cross country career. So far, it seems like the new coaching staff has not interrupted her progress.

33. Kelsey Chmiel, Freshman, NC State (+6 / 39)

Chmiel came to NC State as one of the nation’s top recruits from the 2019 graduating class. In her first race, Chmiel was runner-up to teammate Elly Henes at the Adidas XC Challenge. Chmiel gets a real taste of college racing at the Joe Piane Invite next week and proved that she could be a contributor.

32. Samantha Drop, Junior, Georgia (+3 / 35)

After redshirting the 2018 cross country season, Samantha Drop began 2019 with a win at the Bulldog Invitational where she finished 12 seconds ahead of 2nd place. For someone who hadn’t raced cross country since a 30th place finish at the 2017 NCAA XC Championships, Drop looks to be in good shape heading into this season.

31. Jacqueline Gaughan, Sophomore, Notre Dame (-1 / 30)

She has not yet raced this season, but will likely be making her 2019 debut with teammate Anna Rohrer and the Joe Piane Invite in two weeks.

30. Melany Smart, Freshman, Washington (Unranked)

Smart, hailing from Australia, made her presence known upfront this past weekend at the John McNichols Invite when she finished 5th in a monster field. She arrives at Washington with a 2:08 800 PR and a 16:08 5k PR. With this range, Smart should find herself competing with the best at every meet she toes the line for.

29. Katie Izzo, Senior, Arkansas (Unranked)

Izzo transferred to Arkansas this fall after competing for Cal Poly. She was an individual qualifier last year for NCAA's and finished 82nd. This past weekend, Izzo was 3rd at the John McNichols Invite, beating plenty of All-Americans. Her finish was surprising because no one was prepared to see her name pop up that high in the results.

28. Maggie Farrell, Junior, Michigan State (-1 / 27)

Farrell was Michigan State’s #5 runner at the MSU Spartan Invite. It is hard to gauge where Farrell is with this performance considering it was her first race since late April. But nonetheless, she is still a contender for the top 30 heading into her next meet.

27. Annie Fuller, Rs. Junior, Michigan State (+2 / 29)

Fuller has raced once this season, finishing 3rd at the MSU Spartan Invite alongside two other teammates. This race proves that Fuller is in decent shape before taking on top women at the Virginia Invitational or BIG 10 Preview.

26. Carina Viljoen, Senior, Arkansas (+2 / 28)

Viljoen cracked the top 10 at the John McNichols Invite and was Arkansas’ #4 runner. After strong indoor and outdoor track seasons, Viljoen will look to bring her foot-speed to the grass. Her experience on the national level should easily elevate her into the top 30 come November.

25. Lauren Gregory, Junior, Arkansas (0 / 25)

Gregory did not race at the John McNichols Invite for the Razorbacks. She should make her season debut at the Chile Pepper Festival.

24. Cailie Logue, Junior, Iowa State (-1 / 23)

Logue has not raced for the Cyclones yet this season. Iowa State is set to compete at the Joe Piane Invitational in two weeks.

23. Bethany Hasz, Senior, Minnesota (+3 / 26)

Hasz raced at the Oz Memorial and placed 3rd, but she competed unattached. The Roy Griak Invitational is this upcoming weekend and that should be a great place for Hasz to make her uniform debut for this season.

22. Courtney Wayment, Senior, BYU (0 / 22)

Wayment raced at the Big Wave Invitational and walked away with a 4th place finish. After her All-American finish last fall, Wayment should see even more success in 2019. Oregon’s Bill Dellinger Invite will be a chance for Wayment to prove that she belongs upfront with the nation’s best runners.

21. Ericka VanderLende, Freshman, Michigan (Unranked)

VanderLende entered college with experience on the national stage and racked up countless wins in high school. She has stuck her nose right into college racing and has done so fearlessly. VanderLende dominated the Michigan Open and backed up that performance with an excellent 4th place finish at the John McNichols Invite, taking down countless All-Americans along the way. We have her ahead of 3rd place finisher Katie Izzo because we like that she has proven herself in multiple races while also offering much more potential upside given her youth. It would have been very easy to be overwhelmed in an elite-field of talent, but the freshman hung tough and emerged with a top five finish.

20. Jessica Pascoe, Senior, Florida (+4 / 24)

Pascoe ran away with the win at the Mountain Dew Gator Cross-Country Invitational. She was 58 seconds ahead of runner-up, easily solidifying herself as one to watch as the season progresses. The Virginia Invitational will be Pascoe’s next opportunity to race.

19. Jessica Drop, Senior, Georgia (-1 / 18)

Drop began her 2019 season at the Commodore Classic and was just nipped at the line by Indiana’s Bailey Hertenstein. Drop was the runner-up finisher by a half second. Drop will welcome back her sister, Samantha, to the grass when the two take to the Paul Short Invitational.

18. Adva Cohen, Junior, New Mexico (+1 / 19)

Cohen will not race until the Mountain West Conference XC Championships due to competing at the World Championships in Doha this fall.

17. Savannah Carnahan, Senior, Furman (0 / 17)

Carnahan of Furman last raced at the Charlotte Cross Country Opener and placed 2nd behind teammate Gabriel Jennings. Furman will send their top seven to Oregon for the Bill Dellinger Invite and Carnahan will see where she stacks up against some of the nation’s top runners.

16. Katrina Robinson, Sophomore, Arkansas (0 / 16)

Robinson sat out this weekend for Arkansas while the team raced at the John McNichols Invite. She has not competed since NCAA's last fall when she finished 41st, just missing out on All-American honors. The Chile Pepper Festival could be the return of Robinson, but her absence is slightly concerning...

15. Katie Rainsberger, Senior, Washington (0 / 15)

Rainsberger has raced twice this fall. She won the Washington State University Dual and was 8th at the John McNichols Invite. She looks to have found her groove at Washington after dealing with some injuries in the past. Washington recently spent three weeks at altitude in Colorado and Rainsberger is likely feeling the benefits right around now. Much like teammate Lilli Burdon, she will only get better as the season goes on.

14. Hannah Steelman, Junior, Wofford (0 / 14)

Steelman has yet to race this fall, but after such a superb indoor and outdoor track season, there is no reason why Steelman shouldn’t be in the top 15 at NCAA's this fall. Steelman will most likely make her season debut at the Virginia Invitational.

13. Emily Venters, Junior, Colorado (0 / 13)

Venters has yet to race for Colorado after transferring from Boise State this fall, but with a new coach and teammates, Venters should see success. The Notre Dame Joe Piane Invite could be her season debut.

12. Aubrey Roberts, Senior, Northwestern (-1 / 11)

Roberts has a new coach this season after Northwestern hired Coach Jill Miller, formerly of Wisconsin. Coach Miller has had success with her athletes and Roberts could reap the benefits. Roberts has not competed this fall yet with the Wildcats, but with the BIG 10 Preview this weekend, expect to see her on the starting line.

11. Tabor Scholl, Senior, Colorado (+1 / 12)

Scholl raced unattached at the Wyoming Invite a few weeks ago for Colorado. She was 3rd overall and finished side-by-side with three teammates. The Joe Piane Invite is next for Colorado and we're hoping Scholl will be in a singlet for the Buffs by then.

10. Sage Hurta, Rs. Senior, Colorado (0 / 10)

Hurta ran at the first meet on Colorado’s schedule, but did so unattached. Hurta placed 4th overall, crossing the line with three teammates. It is not unheard of for Coach Mark Wetmore to race athletes unattached, so do not count out Hurta just yet. She had a great spring of racing unattached, setting PR's in various distances. The next race for Colorado is the Joe Piane Invite.

9. Dorcas Wasike, Senior, Louisville (0 / 9)

Wasike has yet to race this season for Louisville. She did not compete during the outdoor track season, but hopefully her training over the summer was consistent. Wasike’s next possible race will be the Greater Louisville Classic, a race she won last fall.

8. Anna Rohrer, Rs. Senior, Notre Dame (-2 / 6)

Rohrer has yet to race this season, but is expected to open up at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational on October 4th.

7. Elly Henes, Senior, NC State (+1 / 8)

Henes easily won the Adidas XC Challenge, running 16:46 for 5000 meters. She beat teammate Kelsey Chmiel by 11 seconds. Henes redshirted the outdoor track season, but ran a 15:31 PR in June. Joe Piane, next on NC State’s schedule, will give Henes a chance to show how much she has developed over the last year.

6. Ednah Kurgat, Senior, New Mexico (-2 / 4)

After a rough ending to her 2019 outdoor track season, Kurgat will look for redemption this season and another NCAA Championship. Kurgat and the Lady Lobos are slated to run their top seven at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational.

5. Fiona O’Keeffe, Senior, Stanford (+2 / 7)

O’Keeffe is already a three-time cross country All-American and is already starting her senior season off strong. At the John McNichols Invitational, O’Keeffe placed 2nd to Arkansas’ Taylor Werner. O’Keeffe ran 16:34 for 5000 meters and put up a good fight for Stanford. She will be back on the grass for the Nuttycombe Invitational where she will once again race some of the nation’s best.

4. Alicia Monson, Senior, Wisconsin (-2 / 2)

Monson did not race at the Badger Classic, but neither did any of their projected top seven for Wisconsin. The next possible race for Monson will be the Loyola Lakefront Invitational. She was derailed by injury late into the outdoor track season, but hopefully put in a strong summer of training and is coming back healthy.

3. Erica Birk-Jarvis, Senior, BYU (0 / 3)

At the Big Wave Invitational in Hawaii, Birk-Jarvis placed 2nd overall, two seconds behind teammate Whittni Orton, to help the Cougars pick up their first win of the 2019 season. Birk-Jarvis did not race at the BYU Autumn Classic, but will return for the Oregon Bill Dellinger Invitational.

2. Taylor Werner, Senior, Arkansas (+3 / 5)

A 10 second win at the John McNichols Invitational slides Werner up in the rankings. Werner started the 2019 year off with strong performances on the track and has brought that same drive to the grass this fall. Werner will be instrumental to Razorback success because you can count on her finishing in the top five in any race. Werner will have some time off between now and her next race which will be either the Chile Pepper Festival or Nuttycombe Invite.

1. Weini Kelati, Junior, New Mexico (0 / 1)

Kelati has not opened up this season yet and is not slated to compete until the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational in October. Even though there are still two weeks until she races, Kelati’s strength on the grass and her competitive drive keeps her at the #1 spot.


Erika VanderLende (Michigan)

Katie Izzo (Arkansas)

Melany Smart (Washington)

Ella Donaghu (Stanford)

Devin Clark (Arkansas)

Abbey Wheeler (Providence)

Amanda Vestri (Syracuse)


Sinclaire Johnson (Oklahoma State)

Anne Forsyth (Michigan)

Egle Morenaite (Iona)

Haley Herberg (Washington)

Julia Paternain (Penn State)

Emma Grace Hurley (Furman)

Maxine Paholek (Boise State)

JUST MISSED (in no order)

Anne Forsyth (Michigan)

Egle Morenaite (Iona)

Haley Herberg (Washington)

Julia Paternain (Penn State)

Emma Grace Hurley (Furman)

Maxine Paholek (Boise State)

Bailey Hertenstein (Indiana)

Rebecca Craddock (Illinois)

Kathryn House (Michigan)

Taryn O'Neill (Northern Arizona)

Gabrielle Jennings (Furman)

Clio Ozanne-Jaques (Ole Miss)


Rebekah Topham (Wichita State)

Joyce Kimeli (Auburn)

Megan Hasz (Minnesota)

Alissa Niggemann (Wisconsin)

Esther Gitahi (Alabama)

Sara Freix (Virginia Tech)

Alison Willingmyre (Penn State)

Katie Thronson (Tennessee)

Morgan Ilse (UNC)

Paige Hofstad (UNC)

Aneta Konieczek (Oregon) Laura Dickinson (Syracuse)

Susan Ejore (Oregon)

Aneta Konieczek (Oregon)