2019 XC Top 50 Women: Update #2

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. Bella Williams, Junior, Utah (Unranked)

Williams was the leader of a surprise team finish at Joe Piane this past weekend. She placed 11th overall and led the Utes to a 1st place finish over nationally ranked teams. Williams had never placed higher than 31st in a cross country meet before this past weekend, but has shown tremendous growth since her first year at Utah.

49. Abbey Wheeler, Senior, Providence (0 / 49)

Next race: Wisconsin Nuttycombe

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

McArthur’s race neither exceed nor failed to meet expectations at the Joe Piane Invitational. She placed 21st in a deep race, but there were still plenty of unranked women who bettered McArthur’s finish.

47. Mikayla Gallagher, Sophomore, Air Force (Unranked)

Gallagher took down some big names at Bill Dellinger when she finished 6th. She has improved since her first year in the NCAA and now has two top six performances to her name for the 2019 season. Gallagher will be able to use her finish at Dellinger as momentum when she enters a loaded Nuttycombe field.

46. Dominique Clairmonte, Junior, NC State (0 / 46)

Clairmonte was 29th at the Joe Piane Invitational. Although it wasn’t a stellar performance, Clairmonte still has the potential to finish in the Top 50 come the end of the season. Now that she has shaken the rust off, maybe she'll close the gap between her and Chmiel in their next race.

45. Christina Aragon, Senior, Stanford (-2 / 43)

Aragon still has yet to race this season, but take into account that the Cardinal have only competed once. Nuttycombe is up next for Stanford and hopefully Aragon.

44. Samantha Drop, Junior, Georgia (-12 / 32)

Drop raced at Paul Short this past weekend and should have been a top five finisher, but she ended up placing 38th, over a minute behind the winner. Drop will need to put all the pieces together before she races again at Pre-Nationals. We're not ready to kick her out of the rankings just yet, but this wasn't a great sign.

43. Lilli Burdon, Senior, Washington (-7 / 36)

42. Jacqueline Gaughan, Sophomore, Notre Dame (-11 / 31)

Neither of these two ran that well at the Joe Piane Invitational as both Burdon and Gaughan were their team’s #5 runner. Burdon and Gaughan were capable of finishing in the top 20, but they need to figure things out. Burdon will race next at Pre-Nationals and Gaughan will be at Nuttycombe. These two runners need to use their next races for redemption.

41. Ella Donaghu, Junior, Stanford (0 / 41)

Next Race: Wisconsin Nuttycombe

40. Winny Koech, Senior, UTEP (-1 / 39)

Koech raced in the Gold Division at Joe Piane and placed 2nd. If you were to take her time and compare it to the Blue Division, Koech would’ve placed 23rd overall. There isn't much to take away from this performance until she actually races top competition.

39. Winny Koskei, Junior, Wichita State (-2 / 37)

Koskei underwhelmed a bit at the Bill Dellinger Invitational. She finished 13th overall in a fairly deep field, but we were looking for a finish closer to the top eight (roughly). Koskei will get another chance to prove herself at Pre-Nationals.

38. Bailey Hertenstein, Sophomore, Indiana (Unranked)

Hertenstein has been on a roll this season. At the Commodore Classic, she took the win and then followed that up with a 7th place finish at the Joe Piane Invitational. After Indiana lost their two front-runners to graduation, some were concerned that the Hoosiers would struggle a bit in 2019. Luckily for them, Hertenstein looks like she'll be the face of the program for the next few years. She gained some valuable experience after competing last fall and made some improvements during the track season.

37. Joyce Kimeli, Junior, Auburn (Unranked)

Kimeli was a DNF at the Commodore Classic in September, but she bounced back well with a huge 3rd place finish at the Joe Piane Invitational. Kimeli appears to be starting out stronger than last season and as long as she remains healthy, she could challenge for a top two finish at SEC's. Auburn does not have another race on their schedule until the end of October when they travel to Lexington, KY for their conference championships.

36. Emily Venters, Junior, Colorado (-23 / 13)

Colorado debuted what might be their top seven at Joe Piane and Venters was not one of them. Pre-Nationals in two weeks will be the next race where we might see Venters toe the line for the Buffaloes. If not, she'll likely be out of the rankings.

35. Maggie Farrell, Junior, Michigan State (-7 / 28)

Farrell struggled at the Panorama Farms Invite and finished 19th overall. She wasn’t in Michigan State’s top seven, but she is still capable of improving by the time she reaches the championship portion of the season. She is a top talent and we shouldn't let one bad race completely influence her current ranking.

34. Amy Davis, Senior, Wisconsin (+11 / 45)

Davis has displayed great improvement over the course of her career at Wisconsin. At the Joe Piane Invitational, Davis finished 14th in a race that was crowded with strong talents. A coaching change for the Badgers seems to have positively affected Davis’ running. As Nuttycombe approaches, Davis will need to prepare to take on a field that is going to be even more challenging than what she saw this past weekend.

33. Jessica Lawson, Junior, Stanford (+1 / 34)

Next Race: Nuttycombe Invite

32. Devin Clark, Senior, Arkansas (+10 / 42)

Clark has been a consistent #3 option for Arkansas in their past two races. She appears to be trending upward as the season continues, which is a good thing for Clark’s confidence and Arkansas’ dominance. At the Chile Pepper Festival, Clark finished 3rd behind two teammates and immediately ahead of another.

31. Katrina Robinson, Sophomore, Arkansas (-15 / 16)

Bear with me here. Robinson has not raced since last cross country season. So far, Arkansas has raced their top seven twice, once at John McNichols Invite and once at Chile Pepper...but Robinson was not on the line for either of those races. Coach Lance Harter has said that if Robinson is not at full strength, she will be redshirted. Nuttycombe entries will likely be the biggest giveaway about her status this fall.

30. Kelsey Chmiel, Freshman, NC State (+3 / 33)

Chmiel placed 15th at the Joe Piane Invitational. Her performance does not warrant a big jump in the rankings, but she still proved that she is one of the top freshman in the nation this year.

29. Clare O’Brien, Senior, Boise State (+11 / 40)

O’Brien opened up her senior season at Bill Dellinger and did so with an 8th place finish. Her finish helped Boise State secure a 2nd place result in the team standings, beating ranked teams in the process. The Broncos race next is at Nuttycombe where O’Brien has the chance to compete with more top individuals and prove that she is the undisputed leader of the Boise State women this year.

28. Lauren Gregory, Junior, Arkansas (-3 / 25)

Gregory competed unattached at the Chile Pepper Festival and placed 9th overall. She lost to four unranked women, but this finish is still promising for Gregory. The Arkansas junior will have the chance to make her uniformed debut at Wisconsin Nuttycombe. By that point, she'll hopefully be in top form (or at least close to it).

27. Carina Viljoen, Senior, Arkansas (-1 / 26)

Viljoen was 4th at the Chile Pepper Festival, finishing only two seconds behind teammate Devin Clark. Viljoen hasn’t really earned a super performance this season, but she has been consistent and that's all the Arkansas women need this year.

26. Jessica Drop, Senior, Georgia (-7 / 19)

Drop recently raced at Paul Short and came away with a 2nd place finish. Drop did not compete against any big names at Leigh, but her finish was still very solid. Drop has finished in the top three each time she has competed at Paul Short and ran a course personal best this past weekend. It wasn't perfect, but there were still some positives to come out of this as well.

25. Dorcas Wasike, Senior, Louisville (-16 / 9)

Wasike did not race this past weekend at the Louisville Classic, but the field wasn’t deep enough to give Wasike competition. Pre-Nationals is next on Louisville's schedule.

24. Katie Izzo, Senior, Arkansas (+5 / 29)

Who is Katie Izzo? A question most likely running through the brains of coaches, athletes, and fans. Izzo has now made a few big jumps in our rankings as she continues to prove that her transfer to Arkansas was an excellent decision. At Chile Pepper, Izzo placed 2nd and was only five seconds behind Taylor Werner. In a year where Robinson may be redshirted, Izzo's emergence as a top scorer has been huge.

23. Annie Fuller, Rs. Junior, Michigan State (+4 / 27)

At the Panorama Farms Invite, Fuller placed 2nd. Fuller has been consistent so far this season and seems to be on the rise after a pair of top three finishes. Although the Panorama Farms Invite did not have a deep field, Fuller still gained valuable experience and put together another decent performance. Michigan State will next race at Nuttycombe.

22. Susan Ejore, Rs. Senior, Oregon (Unranked)

Oregon’s Susan Ejore placed 3rd at Bill Dellinger two weeks ago, finishing one second ahead of BYU’s Courtney Wayment. Ejore has shown tremendous strength in her running, being competitive in any race from the 800 meters to the 6000 meters. She might end up being Oregon’s #1 this season as the Ducks are struggling a bit to figure out their top seven. Ejore will be able to truly test her abilities at Nuttycombe.

21. Katie Rainsberger, Senior, Washington (-6 / 15)

Rainsberger has not had a disappointing season thus far, but it has been average relative to the expectations surrounding her. The Washington veteran is currently the #2 runner for her team behind freshman Melany Smart this year. At Joe Piane, Rainsberger placed 13th in what was still a very strong result for the Husky ace.

20. Courtney Wayment, Senior, BYU (+2 / 22)

A 4th place finish highlighted Wayment’s time at Bill Dellinger. Wayment was only one second behind 3rd place, and if she had placed 3rd, BYU would have swept the first three places. Wayment was an All-American last fall and has already started 2019 off on a stronger note. At Pre-Nationals last year Wayment was 13th, but expect her to place even higher this fall.

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

Cohen recently raced at the IAAF Track & Field Championships and ran 9:42 in the steeplechase, failing to qualify for the finals. If Cohen ends up racing this fall, don’t expect her to debut until the Mountain West Conference Championships.

18. Jessica Pascoe, Senior, Florida (+2 / 20)

After winning the Mountain Dew Invite, Pascoe won the Panorama Farms Invite by 11 seconds. In a race where her team struggled mightily, Pascoe stood out as the clear bright spot. She continues to be a dominant presence in the SEC.

17. Melany Smart, Freshman, Washington (+13 / 30)

Smart is the real deal. She placed 4th at the Joe Piane Invitational, only two seconds out of 3rd. Smart seems to not fear competition and sticks her nose into any race from the very beginning. Her talents will be tested once again at Pre-Nationals.

16. Cailie Logue, Junior, Iowa State (+8 / 24)

Logue began her 2019 cross country season at the Joe Piane Invitational this past weekend and came away with an 8th place finish. She ran two great PR's during the outdoor track season in the 5k and 10k and has carried that momentum over to the grass. Logue has yet to earn All-American honors, but her 2019 season is showing some early promise. Nuttycombe is next for this Cyclone.

15. Ericka VanderLende, Freshman, Michigan (+6 / 21)

VanderLende is without question one of the top talents in the country. VanderLende recently won the Buckeye Preview by 16 seconds and led Michigan to the win. It's her second win in three races, with her only non-victory taking place at John McNichols where she finished 4th. She will once again have the opportunity to race against other top women at Pre-Nationals, as well as get a preview of the NCAA course (again).

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

Steelman began her 2019 cross country season at Panorama Farms and finished 3rd. For her first race of the season, this is a good starting point moving forward. Wofford does not race at many competitive meets, but that may work in Steelman’s favor as she builds conference before the postseason. The Royals Cross Country Challenge is next on the schedule for Wofford.

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

Roberts still has not raced, but Northwestern has not competed in many competitive races. The Wildcats are scheduled to race at Pre-Nationals. This would be a great opportunity for Roberts to prove herself on the national stage yet again.

12. Savannah Carnahan, Senior, Furman (+5 / 17)

Carnahan placed a solid 5th at the Bill Dellinger Invite. Two top five finishes highlight Carnahan’s season thus far and she is just getting started. Furman next heads to the Royals Cross Country Invitational, but Carnahan most likely won’t race until Nuttycombe the following week where she'll need to be sharp against a talented field.

11. Whittni Orton, Senior, BYU (+24 / 35)

Another race and another win by Orton. The BYU veteran won the Bill Dellinger Invite by five seconds over teammate Erica Birk-Jarvis. Orton has shown tremendous strength this season and has been on a roll since she returned to the grass. BYU will toe the line at Pre-Nationals next where we will be able to gauge Orton's true talent.

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

9. Sage Hurta, Rs. Senior, Colorado (+1 / 10)

Hurta and Scholl are the two leaders of the Colorado Buffaloes this season. At Joe Piane, Hurta and Scholl finished 10th and 12th, respectively. It is promising to see that these two were in uniform this past weekend after racing unattached earlier in the year. However, Colorado just lost to unranked Utah, so these two will need to maintain their top finishes to keep the Buffaloes competitive.

8. Elly Henes, Senior, New Mexico (-1 / 7)

Henes is moving back in the rankings this week after placing 9th at the Joe Piane Invitational. A top 10 finish in her second race of the season (the first being a home meet where she was unchallenged) is still promising as the season unfolds. Like many women in our Top 50, Henes will get another chance to challenge the best of the best at Nuttycombe.

7. Anna Rohrer, Rs. Senior, Notre Dame (+1 / 8)

On her home course, Rohrer started her season and finished 6th in a deep field. This result was about what most expected and it gives Rohrer a great starting point for the rest of the season. Next up is Nuttycombe for the Irish superstar.

6. Ednah Kurgat, Senior, New Mexico (0 / 6)

Kurgat was 5th at the Joe Piane Invitational this past weekend. This performance was Kurgat’s first race for the season and it showed us that she is still going to be a legitimate contender despite a few struggles this past winter and spring. Kurgat could contend for the individual title this fall, but she will need to finish closer to teammate Kelati who was 22 seconds ahead of her.

5. Fiona O’Keeffe, Senior, Stanford (0 / 5)

Up Next: Nuttycombe Invite

4. Erica Birk-Jarvis, Senior, BYU (-1 / 3)

Two 2nd place finishes highlight Birk-Jarvis’s season thus far. Dellinger was her first true test of the season as she took on some of the biggest names in the NCAA, losing only to teammate Whittni Orton. Birk-Jarvis will have another chance at taking on an extremely competitive field at Pre-Nationals.

3. Alicia Monson, Senior, Wisconsin (+1 / 4)

Monson’s first race of her 2019 cross country season saw her place 2nd to New Mexico’s Weini Kelati at the Joe Piane Invitational. Monson, who struggled a bit towards the end of her outdoor track season due to rumored injuries, but returned to the grass and was seven seconds ahead of the 3rd place finisher. Wisconsin saw a coaching change late in the summer, but Monson seems to be acclimating well to a new training philosophy.

2. Taylor Werner, Senior, Arkansas (0 / 2)

Werner took the win at Chile Pepper over the weekend and did so with a course record of 15:45. With Nuttycombe next on the schedule for the Razorbacks, Werner will get the chance to take on Weini Kelati and prove that she is going to challenge for the individual title at NCAA's.

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

Kelati finally made her season debut at the Joe Piane Invitational and did so decisively. A 12 second win over Alicia Monson proves that Kelati had a strong summer of training and is ready to go after her second individual NCAA championship. Kelati will meet Taylor Werner at Nuttycombe which could end up being the most exciting matchup of the 2019 regular season.


Bella Williams (Utah)

Susan Ejore (Oregon)

Mikayla Gallagher (Air Force)

Bailey Hertenstein (Indiana)

Joyce Kimeli (Auburn)


Amanda Vestri (Syracuse)

Camille Davre (Michigan)

Bethany Hasz (Minnesota)

Isabelle Brauer (Oregon)

Emily Covert (Colorado)

JUST MISSED (in no particular order)

Kathryn Munks (Penn State)

Emma Grace Hurley (Furman)

Maxine Paholek (Boise State)

Amanda Vestri (Syracuse)

Rebecca Craddock (Illinois)

Kathryn House (Michigan)

Taryn O'Neill (Northern Arizona)

Gabrielle Jennings (Furman)

Clio Ozanne-Jaques (Ole Miss)

Isabelle Brauer (Oregon)

Poppy Tank (Utah)

Maudie Skyring (Florida State)

HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order)

Rebekah Topham (Wichita State)

Megan Hasz (Minnesota)

Alissa Niggemann (Wisconsin)

Sara Freix (Virginia Tech)

Alison Willingmyre (Penn State)

Katie Thronson (Tennessee)

Laura Dickinson (Syracuse)

Annie Hill (Colorado)

Julia Paternain (Penn State)

Egle Morenaite (Iona)

Anne Forsyth (Michigan)

Sarah Feeny (Utah)