Updated: Jul 18, 2018
It was an exciting day of surprise finishes, breakout performances, and establishment of legacies. As we prepare our final individual and team rankings, we broke down each finish from all 31 teams. The number in parentheses is the place that we predicted that team to finish in. Some of these predictions were very close! Others? Not so much...
31. Navy Midshipmen (30th)
- Simply put, Navy was just outclassed. They were inexperienced entering this meet and they just didn't have the firepower to match other squads. Still, you have to commend them for even getting to this stage when others thought that they wouldn't be in the top three of their region.
30. Texas Longhorns (11th)
- Why was Sam Worley a DNF again? Where did Jacob Pickle come from? Why did they run so poorly? Overall, it was just a bad day for a squad that was too inexperienced for the big stage. I thought their depth would be useful in a meet like this, but when everyone has an off day, there is only so much that you can do.
29. Oklahoma State Cowboys (22nd)
- This was just not Oklahoma State's year. Hassan Abdi was outside of the top 40 (All-American) while the rest of the squad failed to even crack the top 150 spots. Barus was inconsistent, Martinez couldn't translate his postseason success to NCAA's, and their depth never really materialized. Things will only get more difficult in 2018 when Abdi, Martinez, Gade, and Barus all graduate.
28. Princeton Tigers (28th)
- Conor Lundy held his own with a 62nd place finish, but the reliable scorers like Garrett O'Toole and Noah Kauppila struggled placing 184th and 226th in the team scoring.
27. Utah State Aggies (27th)
- Dillon Maggard had a huge day by finishing 6th overall, but the rest of the squad was simply too inexperienced to move up throughout the race. This squad may lose Maggard to graduation, but they'll return a heavy portion of this team and stay competitive throughout 2018.
26. Furman Paladins (4th)
- We were wrong...we were so very wrong. I felt that depth, experience, and underrated talent could be enough for a potential podium upset. Unfortunately, that was simply not the case. The Paladins struggled as none of their squad broke the top 120 in the team scoring. Brickell failed to score, Templeton was the 3rd scorer, and Troy Reeder failed to meet the expectations I had for him after an outstanding Southeast regional performance. They may have struggled, but I think it's fair to say that this performance is not indicative of their actual talent.
25. Michigan State Spartans (9th)
- Welp...this is another one that didn't work out. Experience and talent in the 10k doesn't always result in success for a big and crowded field like NCAA's. Morgan Beadlescomb was the only one who cracked the top 100 with a 91st finish. After him, veterans like Clark Ruiz and Max Benoit followed in 126th and 130th.
24. Washington State Cougars (31st)
- The Cougars weren't as strong this season as I had expected, but they held their own with a few gutsy performances. They can thank Chandler Tiegen and Michael Williams (who placed 63rd and 70th, respectively) for keeping them out of the lower end of the results as I had initially predicted.
23. Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (20th)
- As expected, Kigen Chemadi and Jacob Choge held their own with All-American finishes (23rd and 34th). Their 5th man, however, was their main downfall with a finish of 244th.
22. Washington Huskies (12th)
- After such a monster performance in the West region, the Huskies finished in a spot that was more indicative of their regular season performances. Andrew Gardner held his own with a finish of 66th, but the rest of the team failed to crack the top 100. Still, I don't think there is one scorer that you can look at and "blame" for finishing outside of the top 20.
21. UCLA Bruins (17th)
- Robert Brandt and Garrett Reynolds failed to meet expectations after they finished 88th and 121st. The rest of the team wasn't spectacular, but this has been a team that was leaning on their top two for most of the season this year.
20. Virginia Tech Hokies (18th)
- Seufer and Joseph gave the Hokies a nice 1-2 punch with their finishes of 45th and 52nd. Unfortunately for the rest of their scorers, they simply got too spread out during the rest of the race and fell back outside of the top 150 spots in the last few scoring spots.
19. Boise State Broncos (26th)
- The Broncos can thank Addison DeHaven for a breakout All-American performance (31st) while Miler Haller was only five spots behind (also All-American). As a freshman, Ahmed Muhumed settled for 113th. Unfortunately, their final two scorers 189th and 196th. Yusuke Uchikoshi? He was their 6th scorer on the day with a finish of 217th. What happened to the guy who once finished 18th at the 2016 NCAA Championships?
18. Mississippi Rebels (25th)
- I probably overestimated the significance of Mississippi's loss to Middle Tennessee at the South region. The Rebels didn't exactly blow away the competition, but they can thank Sean Tobin for his MONSTER 12th place finish to help carry Ole Miss into the top 20.
17. NC State Wolfpack (29th)
- It was a pleasant surprise to see the Wolfpack put three in the top 100 (74, 75, 95). They lost Sam Parsons to graduation last year and have made up for his absence with a solid and consistent pack. They may have snuck into NCAA's, but now they can walk away knowing that they put together a solid performance.
16. Virginia Cavaliers (24th)
- Much like NC State, UVA barely got into NCAA's despite not having a single Kolas point. Brent Demarest had a huge day with his 19th place finish while Lachlan Cook was 85th. Two other scorers held their own by placing in the top 115, but their 5th scorer placing 197th was the biggest reason why the Cavaliers didn't place higher.
15. Air Force Falcons (19th)
- After coming so close to qualifying for the past few years, Air Force finally made it back to the NCAA Championships. A breakout performance from Mickey Davey (who was 18th) was complemented by Andrew Johnston's 59th place finish. It gave the Falcons a respectable team finish of 15th. Jacob Bilvado falling to 248th certainly wasn't expected, but this group held their own even without one of the top three getting into a scoring position.
14. Alabama Crimson Tide (21st)
- I was very critical of the Crimson Tide earlier this season. Nonetheless, taking spots 4th, 7th, and 37th was enough to put Alabama at 14th overall...only three spots off from their original preseason TSR ranking.
13. Syracuse Orangemen (2nd)
- Justyn Knight was the silver lining in a somewhat disappointing day for the 2015 national champions. Bennie fell off to 56th, Tooker failed to crack the top 100 (109th), Germano struggled on the big stage (a rarity for him), and the options at the 5th scoring position failed to meet expectations. It may not have been the result that Syracuse or fans of the sport were expecting, but I think we have to commend this group for putting together a series of exciting races over the past few years. Knight, Bennie, and Germano will be missed.
12. Iona Gaels (14th)
- They may have struggled during the regular season, but history said that they would perform well at Nationals. Sure enough, that was the case as Kirui came out of nowhere to finish 27th while Johannes Motschmann was 38th. Miller, Dee, and Tario failed to crack the top 100, but none of them were detrimental to the team score in any way.
11. Southern Utah (15th)
- The Thunderbirds placed four in the top 100 (50, 76, 77, and 82), but failed to put anyone in an All-American spot. Still, they stayed close together and didn't have anyone really hurting their team score. It wasn't the prettiest performance, but they ran well and put together a finish that was expected of them based on their TSR ranking.
10. Michigan Wolverines (16th)
- It was a solid showing for the Wolverines who had one of their best finishes at NCAA's in recent history. Ben Flanagan's 20th place finish followed by Mora and Baumgarten's finishes of 48th and 73rd (respectively), was enough to crack the top 10. The bottom two scorers were in the 120's, but just like Southern Utah, there wasn't one scorer who really hurt their overall team score.
9. Colorado State Rams (8th)
- As expected, the Rams walked away from NCAA's as a top 10 team, their best finish in program history since 1978. Cole Rockhold proved that he was the real deal with a 32nd place finish while Grant Fischer continued to thrive at the 10k distance with his 58th place finish. The fact that this team placed 9th overall is incredible when you consider that their top low-stick (Jerrell Mock) fell out of the top pack all the way to 169th (their 6th man for the day). This team was actually fighting for a podium spot for most of the race, but Mock's off day was the reason they fell out. Still, all things considered, this was an impressive showing for the boys from Fort Collins.
8. Colorado Buffaloes (7th)
- Just like Colorado State, the Buffs ran incredibly well when you consider that Joe Klecker ran poorly (67th) and that John Dressel wasn't even in the lineup! Luckily, a boost from Eduardo Herrera (33rd) and Ryan Forsyth (57th) was enough to keep Wetmore's squad competitive. Four of their top five all placed within the top 100 while Zach Perrin, their 5th man, was 107th.
7. Iowa State Cyclones (10th)
- My goodness! I felt that this team was underrated but to pull out a 7th place finish? That is absolutely incredible. Andrew Jordan had a monster day by finishing 15th overall while the rest of the scorers quietly snuck into the top 100 with places of 53rd, 68th, 97th, and 98th. The even crazier thing about all of this? The Cyclones return their ENTIRE squad for next year. Podium favorites in 2018?
6. Oregon Ducks (23rd)
- I owe the men from Eugene an apology. The absence of Matthew Maton, having a freshman low-stick, and a team that had shown some weakness in the final few scoring spots was enough for me to think that this squad was going to fall out of the top 20. Yet, the Ducks had a plan to counteract all of this. Tanner Anderson led the way with a 41st place finish while Cooper Teare was 44th. However, it was the pack running from Reed Brown, Austin Tamagno, and Blake Haney (78th, 81st, and 84th) that helped contribute to the surprise of this team's finish. Kudos to a team that stepped up after looking a little iffy during PAC 12's and regionals.
5. Arkansas Razorbacks (13th)
- In all honesty, I'm not really sure why I had the Razorbacks at 13th. Maybe I just wanted to switch it up and be a little bold? Whatever the reason, on paper, this squad was ready to roll (and roll they did). Jack Bruce continues to be a postseason star after finishing 13th in the team scoring while Austin Dalquist was 43rd and Alex George was 51st. The rest of the team held their own with finishes of 86th and 116th. Unfortunately, the Hogs had to settle for their 2nd consecutive 5th place finish.
4. Stanford Cardinal (5th)
- A podium finish for the Cardinal isn't too surprising after looking so strong all season. Fisher got the job done at front by placing 5th while Alex Ostberg and Steven Fahy continued to impress me with 16th and 17th place finishes. How about Tai Dinger? This guy started off on Stanford's B team earlier this season, but can walk away knowing he was their 4th scorer (and 83rd overall). The only thing holding the Cardinal back was their youth and inexperience at the last few spots as Callum Bolger, and Alek Parsons, and Blair Hurlock finished 138th, 145th, and 155th overall.
3. BYU Cougars (3rd)
- I'd like to be the guy who said "I told you so", but when I look at the way this race evolved, it wasn't really what I was expecting. The Cougars depth definitely came through as six of their top seven placed in the top 71 spots. However, having no one crack the top 20 was probably their biggest downfall. Still, three men finishing as All-Americans and one on the verge of being an All-American is still an outstanding performance. Theoretically, the Cougs return their entire squad in 2018. However, Casey Clinger said in an interview earlier this season that he was going to go on a mission trip after this season. Could he possibly delay those plans to make one more title run next year?
2. Portland Pilots (6th)
- Just as many people assumed, Portland's top three put on a show. Roudolff-Levisse, Thies, and Hauger had excellent races and backed up the hype as they finished 11th, 14th, and 26th overall. Sophomore Caleb Webb was also incredibly clutch with his 54th place finish to give the Pilots some stability in the final scoring spots. Yet, the real surprise came at the 4th scoring position. Minnesota transfer Matthew Welch was injured all season and was slowly regaining fitness throughout the regular and postseason. His first race back? NCAA's, where he put together a huge 46th place finish to give the Pilots some potency at the 4th scoring position. It was a gutsy call by Rob Conner, but the decision definitely paid off.
1. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (1st)
- When you look at that roster, there were just too many weapons to overlook. In our predictions, I even mentioned Lomong (8th) as a "potential sleeper pick" and he was certainly just that. Baxter (2nd) and Day (3rd) were better than expected, Andy Trouard (35th) showed that his 2016 NCAA finish was no fluke, and Geordie Beamish (40th) showed that he was going to be a future leader of this team. When you have three in the top 10 and all five scorers as All-Americans, you're not going to lose.
Now, a new question begins to brew. Are we seeing the creation of a dynasty?