Cusick's D2 Review: Update #5

Week 7 is in the books and we continue to see impressive marks across the country. We have a new name who has added himself to the individual title conversation (which we'll get to tomorrow). We also had some impressive team performances from across the country. As we near conference weekend, teams are finishing up their mid-season performances and are preparing their best squads for early November.

Let’s take a look at this week’s action...

Royals Challenge

Queens (N.C.) hosted their home meet this past Friday and it yielded some FAST results. We’ll get this out of the way right now but, Christian Noble of Lee (Tenn.) covered the course in 23:26 and was 20 seconds faster than 2nd place and 25 seconds faster than the next D2 competitor. Wow...

Queens took home the title on their home course with a score of 58 points and an average time of 24:18. It was good enough for a four point victory over Mount Olive. Daniel Wallis led the Royals on the day in 3rd place with a time of 23:51. Teammate Felix Wammetsberger was three spots behind him in 6th place at 24:02. Yannik Duppich (13th) and Nick Kipkemei (16th) were both inside the top 20 and within one second of each other at 24:22 and 24:23. The final scorer for Queens was Seb Anthony who was 28th and just under the 25 minute threshold at 24:55. This was another solid performance from the Royals who continue to impress. They will be looking to create a name for themselves in the postseason.

Mount Olive was the 2nd place team despite seeing four of their athletes finish within the top 11 of the race. Tai Smith led the Trojans in 7th place and crossing the line 24:03. Jacob Gonzalez was right behind him in 8th place and 11 seconds back in 24:14. Jereamy Hall was two seconds back in 10th and Alexandre Durand was 11th at 24:20. It looked like Mount Olive was going to hold strong except that their number five runner was Altan Cornu and he crossed the line 24 spots back of their fourth runner in 35th.

Lee (Tenn.) was the 4th place team with a 133 points. As we mentioned earlier, they had the top finisher in Christian Noble who ran 23:26. His teammate Caleb Eagleson was the next finisher for the team in 12th place. He crossed the line in 24:21 and serves as a solid second scorer for Lee. Jared Herzog was 38th (25:05), Casey Guthrey was 44th (25:07), and Ben Tabor was 52nd (25:11) to round out the scoring. Despite Noble’s fantastic time, they’ll probably need to see a tighter pack time to stay competitive.

Anderson (S.C.) was the 7th place team with 303 points. They had a pack time of 1:02 starting with Logan Horning in 33rd place at 25:00. Ben Clark was seven seconds back at 43rd and Weston hutto was 49th (two seconds behind Clark). Phillip Quillen (98th) and Thomas Sutcliffe (125th) were the final scorers. A good showing from them, but it shouldn’t affect their ranking within the region too much.

Flagler was the 8th place team and could have really used a victory over Anderson (S.C.) as they are two spots back in the Southeast Region. They had the same amount of points as Anderson (303), but saw themselves on the losing end. Regardless, this is a good performance moving forward. Crisman Jones led the way with a 51st place finish. Anthony Colasanti (62nd), Trenton Liberty (64th), and Evan Fuller (70th) were 2-3-4 on the day with Justin Greene finishing 94th to round out the scoring. The pack time of 30 seconds is huge and should pay dividends going into the postseason.

The last team we want to talk about here is Columbus State who was 9th as a team. Led by Wright Calhoun in 45th, they were able to jump Tusculum who were ahead of them in the Southeast regional rankings prior to the race. Charles Asouzu (72nd), Noah Churchwell (79th), Christopher Oswald (81st), and Noah Hollis (89th), had a collective 11 seconds between them as they finished out the team scoring. Expect Columbus State to move up a few spots in their regional ranking.

Santa Clara University Bronco Invitational

This second time Chico State has toed the line this year and it was yet another dominant performance. The Wildcats took home the 1st place trophy by more than 40 points and took down Santa Clara, Pepperdine, and Loyola Marymount in the process.

Eddie King led the team with a 3rd place finish (and was less than .01 behind the leaders in 23:57). Jason Intravaia was two spots behind him in 5th and just two seconds behind King. Wyatt Baxter was the third scorer for Chico and was also the third runner inside the top 10. He crossed the line in 24:05 and in 9th place.

Jack Emanuel was 16th and covered the course in 24:16 with Jack Johnson three seconds behind him in 21st to act as the fifth scorer. The Wildcats look ready to compete with just about anybody in the country after this weekend.

Fort Hays State Tiger Open

This was supposed to be the much anticipated debut of most of the Colorado Mines runners, and well...we didn’t get that. Instead we got another “B” squad. Regardless, we still saw some impressive performances from other teams.

Missouri Southern was the 2nd place team behind Air Force. Gidieon Kimuati was the winner in 24:54 and bested 2nd place by three seconds. Nickson Kiptoo was 2nd for his team at 12th place and finished the course in 25:29. Cody Berry was the third runner and was 20th. He was 13 seconds behind Kiptoo. Mike Shanahan and Josh Webb were 27th and 28th respectively, which capped the scoring for Missouri Southern. They both finished in 25:46. Theior pack time of 48 seconds is very respectable and will probably be needed to keep pace with their competitors.

West Texas A&M was 3rd place with 102 points. They also had three runners inside the top 20, but Kimutai was the ultimate x-factor on the day. Theo Daeschler finished in 13th (25:30), Briggs Wittlake was behind him in 14th (25:32), and Butare Rugenerwa placed 16th (25:37).

Daniel Haymes was 29th and 11 seconds behind Rugenerwa and Justin Vigil in 49th at 26:08. He was 30 seconds behind Haymes. If the Buffaloes can lessen their pack time, they should be in good shape for regionals.

Fort Lewis was the 5th place team with 172 points. Hosava Kretzmann was 15th with a time of 25:36 and Bismarck Kipkilach was 23rd. They’ll need help from their final three scorers as Preston Charlie (26:05) was 44th, Sylas Schutt (26:20) was 59th, and Shawvan Levi was 67th (26:24).

Minnesota State finished 6th despite having two runners inside the top 15 athletes. Austin Pasch was the 5th place finisher in 25:08 and Austin Yardley was 11th at 25:24. Both are solid low-sticks. Caleb Burke was 30th at 25:51, but scorers four and five were Andrew Ruiz (88th) and Isaiah Rabata (96th).

Warner Pacific XC Classic

Western Oregon saw themselves have a very successful meet in Portland over the weekend. Dustin Nading bounced back from an underwhelming performance at the Lewis Crossover to take home the victory in 24:11. He helped lead the Wolves to a runner-up finish behind Portland. Tyler Jones was the 5th place finisher and 21 seconds behind Nading. Parker Marson (11th) came across the line at 24:53. Justin Crosswhite (12th) was nine seconds behind Marson and Hunter Hutton (13th) was three seconds behind him at 25:05. The Wolves suffered larger regional ranking fall than anticipated, but bounced back in good fashion this week.

Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational

The Vikings of Augustana (S.D.) were the 2nd place team with a score of 57 points and an average time of 25:31. They put their top five all within the top 20 of the race and only lost to a very good Iowa Central Community College.

Aaron Runge finished in 5th place with a time of 25:14. Nathan Schroeder was 10th at 25:27 and Wyatt McLeod was right behind him in 11th. Skylar DeJong (14th) and Bonheur Mvuyekure (17th) were the fourth and fifth scorers for Augustana. The total pack time was 31 seconds and it bodes well for them moving forward. However, I don’t expect Missouri Southern’s performance to leapfrog them in the regional rankings.

Bradley Pink Classic

This is the third time that Grand Valley State has competed this season and it’s the third time they’ve gone up against predominantly Division 1 teams. It’s also the third time that Zach Panning and Enael Woldemichael have finished 1-2 overall in the race.

Panning took home his third victory this season with a time of 24:06. Woldemichael was behind him, however this time he wasn’t as close as prior meets. He finished the course in 24:29, five seconds clear of third place.

Tanner Chada was the third scorer in 15th place in a time of 24:58. Jacob Domagalski was 32nd and Ben Zaremba was 33rd. They both crossed the line in a time of 25:16. The depth of Grand Valley State continues to show and it looks like they’ll have a very good shot of taking home a national title if this trend continues.

DII West Region Preview

Black Hills State scored 16 points at the West Preview this weekend. In a rare 10k race before regionals, it was a good showing of fitness for the Yellowjackets. Jonah Theisen was 1st in a time of 32:29. Keith Osowski was 2nd in 32:43, Jordan Theisen was 3rd in 32:52, Jake Iverson was 4th in 33:09, and Austin Williamson rounded out the scoring with a 6th place in 33:25.

East Texas Shootout

There isn’t much to talk about here as Tarleton State swept the meet with a perfect score of 15 points. Dallas Baptist didn’t run an “A” squad making the competition rather weak. Deleon (1st), Lasseter (2nd), Simcho (3rd), Justin Botello (4th), Kyle Doty (5th) easily cruised past the field. If we’re looking at anything here, it’s the 17 second pack time between them all.


We have the Pre-National Meet coming up this weekend where we should get a better idea of how fast the course will be on December 1st. We also have conference meets now on the radar with the first weekend of November fast approaching. That should be nothing short of spectacular.

We’ll see you next week! Cheers.