By: John Cusick
Really, we never left, but we have been so busy with the D1 Top 25 rankings that we had to delay some of this content.
We’re two weeks into the 2018 season and with some teams still yet to debut there isn’t a whole lot to talk about. As for those who have? Some statements have been made both individually and team wise.
There isn’t a huge shuffling within our individual rankings just yet, but we certainly have had some performances that have turned our heads and caught our attention. Let’s jump right into these.
20. Dustin Nading | Previously: N/R | Movement: N/A
Nading helped lead his team to an almost clean sweep of the top five spots at the Ash Creek Invite. His 21:02 (7K) was four seconds better than the next finisher (his teammate). The Wolves had an outstanding cross runner last year and it looks like they may have another one (or two) for the 2018 season.
19. Josh Hoskinson| Previously: 19 | Movement: None
Hoskinson, like his other teammates, wasn't apart of the competing athletes for Mines.
18. Nadir Yusuf | Previously: N/R | Movement: N/A
Yusuf is a new name on this list. The MSU-Moorhead athlete covered the 7K course in 22:19 in route to an individual win at the Dragon Twilight meet. He was victorious by six seconds, giving the Dragons yet another breakout athlete on their hands.
17. Jacob Klemz | Previously: 18 | Movement: Up 1
Klemz joins the long list of winners after crossing the line in first at the SBU Invite in a time of 21:45 (7K). The next competitor was 56 seconds behind him. Despite the small meet, it looks like Klemz is ready to go this fall.
16. Ross Husch | Previously: 17 | Movement: Up 1
Husch could arguably be higher on this list given his top ten performance at Joe Vigil over the weekend. He was 8th in 25:19 and only a couple spots behind his teammate Taylor Stack. He’ll look to help The Big Red Machine get back on track in 2018 with performances like this.
15. Andrew Curry | Previously: 15 | Movement: None
Curry was another athlete who took home an individual title as he won his home meet (the DBU Patriot/Orville Rogers XC Invite) in a time of 24:53. Curry looks to have benefitted from his summer training as this is the fastest he has ever opened up his cross country season.
14. Bashir Aidrus | Previously: 14 | Movement: None
Aidrus was absent from SW Minnesota State's roster at the Augustana Twilight Meet. He'll stick to 14th while we await his season debut.
13. Ricardo Ocampo | Previously: 12 | Movement: Down 1
What we saw about Aidrus can also be applied to Ocampo. We're still waiting for him to make his season debut.
12. Logan Ramlet | Previously: 11 | Movement: Down 1
Ramlet was absent from the Mines' lineup which competed at Colorado College. Expect him to debut along with the rest of the A squad before the month is over.
11. Marcelo Laguera | Previously: 16 | Movement: Up 5
Laguera was clearly putting some time into his summer training and we got to see that fitness in action at the Colorado College Invite this past weekend. He won the race in a time of 25:31 and bested the next finisher by 10 seconds. Laguera looks primed and ready to compete with the rest of the RMAC athletes.
10. Kale Adams | Previously: 4 | Movement: Down 6
Adams struggled relative to his expectations coming into the season. His 26:04 was only good enough for 9th on his own Grizzly team (don't get it twisted, the Grizzlies are always deep). He falls a couple notches here, but the All-American steeplechaser should bounce back.
9. Joshua Joseph | Previously: 9 | Movement: None
Joseph also had a strong start to his season finishing four seconds behind Taylor Stack at the Joe Vigil Invite. It was good enough for 6th place and a time of 25:06. This could be a matchup that we see regularly throughout the season between these two athletes. Joseph has already started his sophomore campaign strong.
8. Taylor Stack | Previously: 13 | Movement: Up 5
Stack had a good start to his 2018 season, finishing 5th at the Joe Vigil Invite. We talked about how this race might have reignited the rivalry between these two teams, and despite finishing behind four Adams State athletes, it’s a good beginning to a season that should see Stack better his 2017 performances.
7. Grant Colligan | Previously: 5 | Movement: Down 2
The Preseason RMAC Runner of the Year didn’t participate in Mines’ first meet of the year at Colorado College. Despite not competing, Colligan was picked as the RMAC’s Runner of the Year for a reason. When he debuts, we expect him to move forward on this list.
6. Mason Phillips | Previously: 8 | Movement: Up 2
Phillips is coming off a strong race where he earned NSIC Cross Country Athlete of the Week by USTFCCA. He covered the 7K course at the Augustana Twilight Meet in 21:14, winning with a 12 second margin. Phillips has continually improved throughout his college career and is trending that same way early on in the season.
5. Elias Gedyon | Previously: 6 | Movement: Up 1
Gedyon finished 4th at the Joe Vigil Invite behind Gidabuday and two more of his teammates. He came across the line in a time of 25:02. Gedyon is right around where he was last year at this time and if it continues to trend this way, another successful season is sure to come.
4. Enael Woldemichael | Previously: 3 | Movement: Down 1
Woldemichael is in the same boat as Panning who didn’t race when the Lakers opened up their season. For now, he falls down a spot due to Kipkosgei’s performance.
3. Leakey Kipkosgei | Previously: 7 | Movement: Up 4
Kipkosgei won the Adelphi Panthers XC Invite on August 31st in a landslide. His 24:43 was almost a minute and a half faster than anyone else in the race. It's clear that this Kipkosgei is primed for another big year. After all, this was his fastest debut of his career...
2. Sydney Gidabuday | Previously: 2 | Movement: None
Gidabuday dominated the Joe Vigil Invite. The senior looks to be out to claim his sole cross country individual title. Gidabuday ran 24:32 and finished 27 seconds ahead of his teammates at their annual home meet. Whilst doing this, he also outperformed many contenders on this list, making an early case for RMAC Runner of the Year.
1. Zach Panning | Previously: 1 | Movement: None
Although GVSU toed the line, they didn’t race their A squad and that means Panning has yet to start his season. For now, he remains our number one, but is narrowly holding on to that spot after Gidabuday’s performance.
We’ve just begun our cross country season and while things didn’t ultimately change much, there are some new names on our radar. With more teams beginning to debut and other teams debuting their actual A squad, we will see individuals that are going to play a big part when it comes to team scores late this fall.
As always, we welcome your criticism and recommendations of these rankings.