2019 XC Top 50 Women: Update #4

Updated: Jan 13


Written by Maura Beattie + Sam Ivanecky

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. Anastasia Korzenowski, Sophomore, Minnesota (Unranked)

Korzenowski has had a bit of an up and down season, but appears to be putting it together when things matter most. The Minnesota sophomore made huge strides at the BIG 10 Championships this past weekend where she came away with a 7th place finish - 55 places higher than in 2018.


The race proved to be a great rebound opportunity after Korzenowski was only the third Gopher at Nuttycombe two weeks prior. Heading into the Midwest Regional Championships, Korzenowski will be looking to lead Minnesota back to NCAA's with another strong run. She should be in contention for the individual regional title, battling with Cailie Logue, Molly Born, Taylor Somers, and Winny Koskei.


49. Kayley DeLay, Junior, Yale (Unranked)

Over on the east coast at the Ivy League Championships, DeLay took the win by four seconds over a strong field. DeLay enters the rankings this weekend after her conference win and her 13th place finish at Pre-Nationals. She is in a position to vie for a top five finish at the Northeast regional meet in a couple of weeks.


48. Elizabeth Funderburk, Sophomore, Florida State (-9 / 39)

Funderburk dropped a bit in the rankings this week after a good, but slightly underwhelming, performance at ACC's. The Florida State sophomore was coming off of an 11th place finish at Pre-Nationals, but barely bettered that placing in a much weaker field. She finished as the second Seminole behind teammate Lauren Ryan and was 8th overall.


While her ACC meet could have been better, Funderburk has been relatively consistent during her sophomore season and continues to be a key leader for Florida State as they make their push for NCAA's.


47. Sarah Feeny, Senior, Utah (Unranked)

Feeny joins the rankings this weekend after a 10th place finish at PAC-12’s, improving 11 places from her 2018 finish. Feeny took down Colorado’s Sage Hurta and other notable runners in the process. She came out strong last winter during indoor track in the mile and adds national experience to an up-and-coming Utah program.


46. Jordan Oakes, Junior, Stanford (+3 / 49)

Oakes continued on her great season this past weekend with a big performance at PAC-12's to help Stanford capture the team title in dominant fashion. The Cardinal were able to put four runners in the top 10, rounded out by Oakes finishing in 8th. The Stanford junior was 20th at this meet a year ago and took down a handful of women ranked ahead of her, including Susan Ejore and Sage Hurta, en route to her finish this weekend.


Oakes has only run at NCAA's once where she placed 115th overall. After this weekend, she has put herself in serious consideration for All-American honors if her season continues the way it has thus far.


45. Lilli Burdon, Senior, Washington (-3 / 42)

Burdon has been very up and down this season. She will run well at one meet, but the next meet she finds herself further back than expected. At PAC-12’s, Burdon was Washington’s #6 runner and finished 21st. Burdon remains in our Top 50 because she has the talent to finish in the top 40 at the national meet, but she needs to find some consistency in her racing.


44. Sara Freix, Senior, Virginia Tech (Unranked)

Until this weekend, Freix had really only raced in one true competition, finishing 23rd at Pre-Nationals. While the performance was solid, she did not have enough depth to her season to justify entering the ranking - until this week.


The Virginia Tech senior had a big run this past weekend where she finished runner-up at ACC's, taking down three women ranked ahead of her. Freix has never made NCAA's in cross country before, but she looks to be a strong contender in the Southeast region this season. The only woman from ACC's ahead of Freix was Elly Henes of NC State, who will qualify as a team, giving Freix a strong shot at making it to Terre Haute this fall if the Hokies don't also qualify.


43. Abby Nichols, Junior, Ohio State (Unranked)

After a stellar performance at BIG 10’s, Ohio State’s Nichols enters the rankings. Nichols has been on the cusp all season and a 5th place finish in a competitive field brought her to TSR #43. Nichols has been silently putting up solid performances in her regular season meets this season such as a 5th place finish at the Buckeye Preview and a 28th place finish at Nuttycombe. She should not be ignored for the rest of the postseason.


42. Taryn O’Neill, Sophomore, Northern Arizona (-2 / 40)

O’Neill dropped a couple spots this week after a surprisingly underwhelming run at the BIG Sky conference meet. The NAU sophomore was only 6th overall and had her first meet where she was not the first Lumberjack across the line.


Given that the NAU women easily walked away with the team title, beating runner-up Idaho by 54 points, the performance for O’Neill shouldn’t be much of a concern in the bigger picture. Expect her to bounce back in two weeks at the Mountain regional meet where she will face a much stronger field with higher stakes.


41.Clare O’Brien, Senior, Boise State (-4 / 37)

O’Brien should’ve been in the top five this past weekend at the Mountain West Championship, but she faded to the team’s #7 spot and finished 19th overall. She is very capable of running near the front and leading the Broncos. A little hiccup is okay to have during the season, but Boise State needs O’Brien to bring her "A" game for the regional meet and Nationals.


40. Lauren Gregory, Junior, Arkansas (+5 / 45)

The Arkansas junior jumps up five spots in the rankings after another solid showing at SEC's this past weekend. Gregory finished 9th overall, placing directly behind Samantha Drop of Georgia. Of the eight women ahead of Gregory, seven of them came in ranked higher (only Samantha Drop was not) which puts some extra emphasis on her finish this weekend.


39. Susan Ejore, Rs. Senior, Oregon (-6 / 33)

Ejore continues to lead the Oregon Ducks this season, but her low points aren’t enough to elevate the Ducks up in the rankings. Ejore placed 9th at PAC-12’s over the weekend and has been consistently near the front group in all four of her races this fall. If she can break through the Stanford and Washington women, she could find herself competing for a top 40 finish at NCAA's.


38. Bella Williams, Junior, Utah (+3 / 41)

The Utah junior continues to add strong performances to her 2019 resume, most recently notching a 7th place finish in a loaded PAC-12 field. Williams improved almost 30 places from this meet last season and finished ahead of the two Colorado women ranked ahead of her.


Williams has been an integral part of Utah’s surprising success this fall. Along with Poppy Tank, the duo have helped lead the Utes to multiple upsets this season, besting Colorado at both Joe Piane and this past weekend at PAC-12's. Despite having never raced at an NCAA meet, if Williams is able to put together another strong run at the regional meet, she will undoubtedly head into Nationals as a strong contender for All-American honors.


37. Poppy Tank, Junior, Utah (+6 / 43)

Utah has been a surprise team this fall and Tank has been instrumental in that. Tank continues to add key low points for the Utes and even adds newfound confidence heading into the NCAA series of meets. At PAC-12’s, Tank ran to a 6th place finish, crossing the line with teammate Bella Williams. Tank just missed qualifying for NCAA's during the track season, finishing 13th in the 10k at the West Preliminary, but she is using that as motivation to finally go after All-American honors this fall.


36. Kelsey Chmiel, Freshman, NC State (+2 / 38)

Despite coming into NCAA competition with huge expectations on her shoulders, Chmiel appears unphased as she continues to string together strong performances week after week. This past weekend, she finished 4th in her first ACC Championships and helped NC State win their fourth consecutive team title.


Chmiel has been very consistent this season which is something that not many true freshman can do in their first season. She looks poised to make a run at All-American honors a few weeks from now.


35. Olivia Hoj, Senior, BYU (0 / 35)

Hoj has been a solid performer for BYU this fall and continues to finish in the top of the field. At the WCC Championships, Hoj was 5th overall and added low points for the Cougars. She has been consistent all season, steadily improving at each meet. With the way she is running right now, Hoj has the ability to add a fourth All-American runner to BYU's lineup.


34. Molly Born, Sophomore, Oklahoma State (-4 / 30)

Born finished 3rd at the BIG 12 Championships on Saturday with only TSR #32 Taylor Somers and TSR #29 Callie Logue placing ahead of her. The Oklahoma State sophomore has been substantially better than her freshman season and a big part of the Cowgirls success this fall.


Although she bested her 2018 BIG 12 finish by 13 places, there certainly appears to be more in the tank for Born. Through 3000 meters, she was even with Logue and Somers, but had fallen back a bit by the 5k mark, ultimately finishing 26 seconds behind Somers. That gap has been much smaller earlier in the season (two seconds at Pre-Nationals) and should close up some come the Midwest Regional Championships.


33. Jessica Drop, Senior, Georgia (+3 / 36)

Drop bounced back from her 27th place finish at Pre-Nationals to finish 6th at SEC’s. The South regional meet will be another test for Drop as she will have to compete against the Florida State athletes and some SEC rivals. If Drop can continue finishing in the top 10, she should be able to reach All-American honors in cross country for the second time in her career.


32. Taylor Somers, Junior, Oklahoma State (+2 / 34)

Just like her teammate, Somers has made big strides from her team in 2018 season. The Oklahoma State junior was 9th at BIG 12s in 2018, but jumped up seven places this year to finish runner-up behind Iowa State’s Callie Logue.


Somers has yet to finish outside of the top 10 at any race this season and that shouldn’t change heading into the regional meet. She will get another chance to face-off with Logue and will also see challenges from her teammate, Molly Born, as well as Winny Koskei of Wichita State and Kelby Anderson of North Dakota State. Based on her season, Somers looks on pace to nab her first NCAA All-American honors in any discipline.


31. Winny Koskei, Junior, Wichita State (-4 / 27)

The Wichita State junior won the American Athletic Conference Championships this past weekend, but dropped four spots in our rankings as a result of stronger performances by other runners.


Koskei finished 14 seconds ahead of the 2nd place runner at AAC's, but the lack of depth from the field makes it hard to justify bumping her up in this weeks rankings. She should have a better chance to showcase her talents in two weeks when she faces a handful of ranked individuals at the Midwest regional meet.


30. Tabor Scholl, Senior, Colorado (-15 / 15)

Scholl had one of the biggest shifts in the rankings this week after a disappointing run at PAC-12's. Coming into the meet with top 10 aspirations, the Colorado senior fell off the lead group somewhere between 2k and 4k, ultimately finishing 30th overall - her worst finish in her four times racing this meet.


Although the performance was anything but ideal, it would be foolish to disregard Scholl as a threat moving forward. Her previous two races were very strong showings and her run this past weekend may just be a blip on the radar. While her status drops a bit for the time being, there’s a very good chance that she will rebound at the Mountain regional meet in two weeks.


29. Cailie Logue, Junior, Iowa State (0 / 29)

Logue won the BIG 12 Championship, but she only did so by three-tenths of a second. Logue is an experienced runner on the national stage, but she has struggled a bit in the past two meets and is proving to be vulnerable. The Midwest regional meet will be a chance for Logue to compete against the strong Oklahoma State runners (Somers and Born) and Koskei of Wichita State before taking on more national talent in Terre Haute.


28. Savannah Carnahan, Senior, Furman (-6 / 22)

Although Caranhan was 3rd at the Southern Conference Championships this weekend, she finished well behind the top two women, getting gapped by almost 40 seconds. Carnahan came into this season as the top returner for Furman, but has since yielded the number one role to teammate Gabrielle Jennings.


Despite that, Carnahan has still put together a very solid season so far and definitely looks ready to earn All-American honors for the second time in cross country. The Furman senior had similar marks leading into her 20th place run last fall, so it would be unwise to sleep on her heading into the Southeast regional meet.


27. Maddy Denner, Rs. Freshman, Notre Dame (+1 / 28)

Denner jumped into the rankings after her 11th place finish at Nuttycombe and she’s on the move again after a 3rd place finish at the ACC Championships. The Notre Dame runner beat out teammate Anna Rohrer by 11 seconds.


Denner will have the chance to compete against some of the nation’s best at the Great Lakes Regional Championships in two weeks and she has already proven that she is a talented athlete in competitive fields.


26. Amy Davis, Senior, Wisconsin (+6 / 32)

Davis battled all the way to the line at BIG 10’s with Michigan State’s Annie Fuller, but she had to settle for 4th place. Her finish at BIG 10’s was a nine place improvement from where she finished in 2018. Davis has continued to impress this season, finishing closer to teammate Alicia Monson than last season. Based on how she has been performing, big things look to be happening for Davis.


25. Ericka VanderLende, Freshman, Michigan (-8 / 17)

VanderLende didn’t have a disappointing race at BIG 10’s (she finished 6th), but there were other women this weekend who had stronger performances. VanderLende was in the race for the title through 5k, but then she fell off over the last kilometer and had to settle for a finish outside of the top five. Her 6th place finish shows that she is still getting used to college racing tactics, but she will get the chance to prove herself again when she races many of her conference rivals at the regional meet.


24. Jessica Lawson, Junior, Stanford (+1 / 25)

Despite only moving up one spot in the rankings, Lawson may have had the performance of the weekend. The Stanford junior came up huge for the Cardinal with a 3rd place finish, improving 24 places from 2018 and helping the team absolutely dominate the PAC-12 Championships.


Lawson’s “worst” finish this season was a 12th place run at Nuttycombe which is a bit crazy given her best finish in bigger meets from 2018 was a 24th place run at the West regional meet. After narrowly missing All-American status in 2018 (she was 44th), Lawson looks ready to make a run at the top 20 and boost Stanford’s chances at a team title.


23. Gabrielle Jennings, Senior, Furman (+3 / 26)

Jennings battled with Wofford’s Hannah Steelman for the win at the Southern Conference Championships, but she came up three seconds shy of the individual win. Jennings has had a strong season thus far, recently highlighted by an 8th place finish at Nuttycombe. The Furman senior will get the chance to race against some of the Southeast’s best before tuning up for NCAA's.


22. Jessica Pascoe, Senior, Florida (-4 / 18)

Pascoe lost her first race this season, but the end result was not particularly close. The Florida senior finished 7th at SEC's and was 32 seconds behind the winner. After winning this meet in 2018, Pascoe finished behind four runners from Arkansas this season which is a bit concerning moving into NCAA's.


Pascoe has spent much of the season running at smaller meets and hadn’t faced much competition until this weekend. The regional meet should give her a good chance to make a statement against some stronger runners and make her case heading into NCAA's.


21. Annie Fuller, Rs. Junior, Michigan State (+3 / 24)

A 3rd place finish and a team title are what Fuller got to leave BIG 10’s with this past weekend. She was on the cusp of a stellar finish this fall and it came at the right time. Fuller battled down the homestretch with Wisconsin’s Amy Davis for 3rd and beat her by three seconds. Michigan State will rely on Fuller’s low points to possibly put them in contention for a podium finish later this month.


20. Bailey Hertenstein, Sophomore, Indiana (+11 / 31)

What happens when you are the runner-up at BIG 10’s? You move up "BIG" time in our rankings. Hertenstein hasn’t been afraid this season to stick her nose into top-tier competition and she continues to shock the nation with her high-level performances. The Hoosier was in the race from the get-go and didn’t stop fighting. Hertenstein has the ability to finish in the top 20 later this season if she runs the way she has been.


19. Melany Smart, Freshman, Washington (+1 / 20)

Smart didn’t race at Pre-Nationals with the rest of her team two weeks ago because she was rested before gearing up for the postseason and that was a "smart" move on her coach’s part. Smart put together a strong performance at PAC-12’s when she placed 5th overall. She is one of (maybe the) top freshmen in the country this year and should compete well at the regional meet in a couple of weeks.


18. Ella Donaghu, Junior, Stanford (+5 / 23)

Donaghu was a part of the Stanford trio at PAC-12’s that swept the first three places. She has been very impressive this season when taking over the #2 spot for the Cardinal. For someone who didn’t compete on the grass last fall, Donaghu is proving herself to be a top talent this fall.


17. Devin Clark, Senior, Arkansas (-1 / 16)

16. Carina Viljoen, Senior, Arkansas (+5 / 21)

Viljoen and Clark got it done this past weekend for the Razorbacks at SEC’s when they finished 4th and 5th, respectively. This duo provides key points up front for the TSR #1 ranked team. One could argue that Clark had an “off” day because she finished as the team’s #4, but that’s not true. These two ladies are getting into top form at the right point of the season.


15. Hannah Steelman, Junior, Wofford (-1 / 14)

Steelman won the Southern Conference XC Championship by three seconds over the Furman Paladins. Wofford didn't compete in competitive races throughout the regular season, but Steelman has continued to finish in the top three each time and these finishes have definitely given her confidence heading into the NCAA meets


14. Anna Rohrer, Rs. Senior, Notre Dame (-5 / 9)

Rohrer’s finish at ACC’s is a bit surprising. The Notre Dame senior faded to 7th in a race where she should’ve competed for the individual title with Elly Henes (NC State). Rohrer finished 24 seconds behind Henes and was 11 seconds behind teammate Maddy Denner (3rd overall). Rohrer will face some tough competition in two weeks at the Great Lakes regional meet.


13. Courtney Wayment, Senior, BYU (-2 / 11)

The 3rd place finisher at the WCC and BYU’s #3 runner was Wayment. She continues to finish near the front of races and help lead the Cougars to titles. Wayment’s finish will be instrumental in BYU’s success come Nationals.


12. Katie Rainsberger, Senior, Washington (+1 / 13)

Rainsberger has produced two solid back-to-back finishes, one at Pre-Nationals (6th) and another at PAC-12's (4th). If she continues along this path, big things could happen for Rainsberger as the season progresses. Washington needs Rainsberger to be “on” if they want to contend for the podium and Rainsberger needs herself to be “on” if she wants to be an All-American.


11. Whittni Orton, Senior, BYU (+8 / 19)

Orton hadn’t competed since the Bill Dellinger Invite before taking the win at the WCC. Orton has been three for three in her wins this fall and there isn’t any slowing her down soon. She just beat teammate Birk-Jarvis by one-tenth of a second, proving that she has just as much talent as her star teammate.


10. Sage Hurta, Rs. Senior, Colorado (-4 / 6)

Hurta had a respectable 11th place finish at PAC-12’s behind a few solid runners, but she has the ability to finish in the top 10 on any given day. Colorado had some runners struggle this past weekend and Hurta was one of them. The redshirt senior has had a strong season thus far and needs to regroup at the regional meet when she competes against nationally-ranked athletes.


9. Elly Henes, Senior, NC State (+1 / 10)

Henes went unchallenged at the ACC Championships, winning by 11 seconds. She has competed in some deep fields this fall and has proven to be a top 10 contender if all of the pieces come together on the right day. The Southeast Regional Championships will give Henes an opportunity to compete against Furman’s top runners, as well as Hannah Steelman (Wofford) and Sara Freix (Virginia Tech).


8. Ednah Kurgat, Senior, New Mexico (+4 / 12)

Kurgat redeemed herself after her 18th place at Nuttycombe when she finished 2nd at the Mountain West Championships. Even though she was a distant second to teammate Kelati, it was an improvement that elevates her in the rankings. The Mountain Regional Championships will be a tough race, but if Kurgat races well, it will give her confidence heading forward.


7. Joyce Kimeli, Junior, Auburn (0 / 7)

Kimeli of Auburn catapulted herself into the rankings after her 3rd place finish at Joe Piane and she has continued to stay in the top 10. Kimeli took the bronze at SEC’s over the weekend, being sandwiched by two groups of Razorbacks. She has beaten all of her competitors whom she will race at the South regional meet in two weeks and should greatly improve off of her NCAA performance last fall.


6. Erica Birk-Jarvis, Senior, BYU (-2 / 4)

Birk-Jarvis is a true competitor. Each race this season, the BYU senior has finished in the top two, losing only to teammate Whittni Orton. At the WCC Championships, Birk-Jarvis battled all the way to the line with Orton for the win, only to be beaten by one-tenth of a second.


5. Katie Izzo, Senior, Arkansas (+3 / 8)

Izzo continues to impress as a Razorback after transferring this fall from Cal-Poly and she is already strides ahead of where she was last fall when she finished 82nd at NCAA's. Izzo won the SEC crown over the weekend, defeating teammate Taylor Werner and validating herself an NCAA elite.


4. Fiona O’Keeffe, Senior, Stanford (+1 / 5)

O’Keeffe led a strong Stanford trio across the line at PAC-12's. The Cardinal senior won the individual title in a deep field to help lead the Stanford team to the overall title. O’Keeffe has adapted well to the new training philosophy under Coach Ricardo Santos this fall and continues to prove that she is a top five contender this season.


3. Taylor Werner, Senior, Arkansas (0 / 3)

Even though Werner didn’t win SEC’s, she is still a mainstay in the top three of our rankings. Werner placed 2nd at SEC’s, four seconds behind teammate Katie Izzo. Werner most likely raced conservatively here because she wants to ensure she is fresh for NCAA's.


2. Weini Kelati, Junior, New Mexico (0 / 2)

Kelati took the win at the Mountain West Championships by 49 seconds over teammate Ednah Kurgat. Kelati was the favorite heading into the conference meet and she didn’t disappoint.


1. Alicia Monson, Senior, Wisconsin (0 / 1)

Monson easily won the BIG 10 Championships for the second year in a row after taking the lead at 5k. She made a move with one kilometer left and never looked back. Her win continues to solidify Monson as the one to beat as NCAA's fast approaches.

ADDED

Anastasia Korzenowski (Minnesota)

Kayley DeLay (Yale)

Sarah Feeny (Utah)

Sara Freix (Virginia Tech)

Abby Nichols (Ohio State)


KICKED OFF

Rachel McArthur (Colorado)

Mikayla Gallagher (Air Force)

Mahala Norris (Air Force)

Abbey Wheeler (Providence)

Kathryn Munks (Penn State)


JUST MISSED (in no particular order)

Kathryn House (Michigan)

Jeralyn Poe (Michigan State)

Adva Cohen (New Mexico)

Katie Wasserman (Columbia)

Shona McCulloch (Washington)

Annie Hill (Colorado)

Lauren Ryan (Florida State)

Rachel McArthur (Colorado)

Mahala Norris (Air Force)

Kelby Anderson (North Dakota State)


HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order)

Alissa Niggemann (Wisconsin)

Kathryn Munks (Penn State)

Sarah Schmitt (Indiana)

Paige Hofstad (UNC)

Samantha Drop (Georgia)

Alison Willingmyre (Penn State)

Rebecca Craddock (Illinois)

Egle Morenaite (Iona)

Ashley Tutt (Northern Illinois)

Lucinda Crouch (Wisconsin)