Weini Kelati, a two-time NCAA Champion and multi-time All-American, is turning pro. The New Mexico superstar has signed with Under Armour and will be training with the Dark Sky Distance team, a relatively new professional training group in Flagstaff, Arizona led by Stephen Haas.
Kelati was ranked at TSR #1 in The Stride Report's "If Everything Was Normal" preseason XC individual rankings earlier this year.
Kelati's decision to turn pro is both shocking, yet understandable. The New Mexico ace still had multiple seasons of collegiate eligibility remaining and the Lobo women were in position to potentially contend for a cross country national title should the NCAA Championships take place this winter.
Even so, the current NCAA landscape is still filled with uncertainty and a potential opportunity to transition into a pro career, while unexpected, does make sense for a distance talent of Kelati's caliber.
With Kelati forgoing the rest of her NCAA eligibility, BYU's Whittni Orton will likely be viewed as the favorite to win the next cross country national title, along with the Stanford duo of Ella Donaghu and Jessica Lawson, whenever a regular season returns.