Much like the men’s race, the women’s championship should be one of the deepest in the country. The women of Adams State will be looking to bag their seventh consecutive RMAC Championship title. The women of #2 ranked Western Colorado State and #5 ranked Colorado Mines will also be looking to follow their male teammates in chasing the incumbent Grizzlies. As of right now, four RMAC teams are ranked nationally and eight currently make up the top 10 regional rankings. That just shows you how deep this conference is
Adams State has looked almost unstoppable this year. They finished in 2nd place at this year’s Stanford Invitational, only seven points behind the host Cardinals. They were also comfortably ahead of Washington, another Division 1 power. Eilish Flanagan finished 4th overall, followed by Stephanie Cotter (10th), Kaylee Bogina (16th), and Roisin Flanagan (17th). Kianna Bonnet closed out the scoring, finishing 26th.
This squad has been number one in the nation for the past seven consecutive weeks for good reason. Flanagan is a legitimate low-stick and should be in the mix for an individual title on Saturday. A 48 second gap also bodes well for the Grizzlies, with the potential to shrink even more. Other athletes on the Grizzlies’ roster have proven they have star power as well. Junior Sadie Baker was the number three at Adams’ home opener. She also recently garnered Female Athlete of the Week honors from the USTFCCCA. Any one of these women could step up and contribute. If Western or Mines are to knock off Adams, they will need all hands on deck.
That brings me to the next team I wish to look at. The women of Western State have arguably one of their deepest squads to date. They joined their male teammates in absolutely dominating the Lewis Crossover meet, winning easily with a low score of 38. Their trio of Sophie Seward, Alicja Konieczek, and Aneta Konieczek swept the first three spots, while Kennedy Rufener wasn’t far behind in 8th. Their issue will be consolidating their pack to be even tighter. While their 1:05 gap at Lewis Crossover is solid, they will need more to knock off Adams.
The #5 ranked Orediggers of Colorado Mines also look to be in the hunt for a conference championship. They dominated Pre-Nationals with 37 points, scoring five individuals within the top 20 and four within the top 10. Their top five were all within 44 seconds of each other on a tough National's course. Megan Wenham separated herself a bit from her teammates, but Michaela Reynolds, Madeline Geesen and Zoe Baker were all close and should be in the discussion as well. Their spread is just as impressive as Adams State’s, but they will need women closer to the front in order to make the spread count. Winning battles at the three, four and five spots will prove to be critical.
1. Adams State Grizzlies
2. Western State Mountaineers
3. Colorado Mines Orediggers
1. Sophie Seward (Western State)
2. Eilish Flanagan (Adams State)
3. Alicja Konieczek (Western State)
4. Stephanie Cotter (Adams State)
5. Megan Wenham (Colorado Mines)