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UPDATED XC Top 25 Teams: Week 2 (9/12)



KEY

(Wasn’t Ranked): Was not ranked the week before.

(#/#):

First number indicates how much the individual has moved in the rankings. A plus (with green) means they have improved in the rankings. A minus (with red) means they have regressed in the rankings. Colors may not show on mobile.

The second number indicates where they were ranked the week before.

 

25. Eastern Kentucky Colonels (Wasn't Ranked)

It's hard to rank one team off of just one race in mid-September, but gosh EKU looked scary good. At the Kentucky Bluegrass Invite, the Colonels dominated by placing four men in the top six (and five in the top nine) to earn 22 points for the team win. Steeplechase studs like Jamaine Coleman and Jakob Abrahamsen are perfect compliments to long-distance veterans like Addison Monroe (D2 All-American transfer) and Erick Rotich (5th at 2016 Southeast Regionals). If you add in 8:53 steeplechaser Samuel Abascal as well as freshman Zak Kirk, the Colonels have a formidable varsity lineup that could wreak havoc throughout the 2017 season. 

Some may argue that Ben Young not racing was the reason why Kentucky lost, but even if he had won, EKU still handily defeats Kentucky (27 to 39). 

24. Colorado State Rams (+1 / 25)

23. Michigan State Spartans (0 / 23)

22. Princeton Tigers (0 / 22)

21. Southern Utah Thunderbirds (0 / 21)

20. Tulsa Hurricanes (0 / 20)

19. Georgetown Hoyas (0 / 19)

This past weekend, we got to see some of Georgetown's youth and depth at the Spiked Shoe Invite. Eion Nohilly may not be the top five scoring threat I initially thought he was, but Reilly Bloomer had a respectable performance by placing 5th overall. Maybe we'll see him in Georgetown's top seven come Paul Short...

18. Mid. Tenn. St. Blue Raiders (0 / 18)

17. Iowa State Cyclones (0 / 17)

16. UCLA Bruins (0 / 16)

15. Washington State Cougars (0 / 15)

14. Boise State Broncos (0 / 14)

13. Wisconsin Badgers (0 / 13)

12. Iona Gaels (0 / 12)

11. Alabama Crimson Tide (0 / 11)

10. Oklahoma State Cowboys (0 / 10)

9. Virginia Cavaliers (0 / 9)

8. Oregon Ducks (0 / 8)

It's a bit unfortunate that the Oregon Preview was cancelled. It would have been a great first meet to see what kind of weapons the Ducks have as they enter this season. Watch out for them to take the Bill Dellinger Invite by storm in three weeks.

7. BYU Cougars (0 / 7)

6. Furman Paladins (0 / 6)

5. Colorado Buffaloes (0 / 5)

4. Stanford Cardinal (0 / 4)

3. Arkansas Razorbacks (0 / 3)

2. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (0 / 2)

1. Syracuse Orangemen (0 / 1)

At the Spiked Shoe Invite, we saw the Orangemen use a "B" team to take the overall win against Penn State and Georgetown's "B" squad. Aidan Tooker and Kevin James battled with PSU's Colin Abert up front, but had to settle for 2nd and 4th respectively. Still, those are encouraging results for two guys that will be battling for the final scoring position in Syracuse's top five this season.

 

ADDED

Eastern Kentucky Colonels

KICKED OFF

Kentucky Wildcats

JUST MISS (in no order)

Virginia Tech Hokies

Ole Miss Rebels

Michigan Wolverines

NC State Wolfpack

Florida State Seminoles

Bradley Braves

WHO TO WATCH (in no order)

Eastern Kentucky Colonels

UTEP Miners

Illinois Fighting Illini'

Washington Huskies

Portland Pilots

Utah State Aggies

Texas Longhorns

Eastern Michigan Eagles

Georgia Bulldogs

SURPRISE OF THE WEEK

UTEP Miners:

Last week, they only ran three runners and had three men on their roster. This week, they had five runners finish at the Lori Fitzgerald Invite (but still have three runners listed on their roster). Jonah Koech may not be performing like he did in 2015 or 2016, but freshman Cornelius Kapel just took a win with teammate Antony Kosgei right behind him.

The other UTEP finisher, Carvellion Horn, finished last with a pace of 9:27 for ~6300 meters. Michael Saruni was second-to-last with a pace of 7:11.

So...what happened? Did Horn and Saruni just take the meet as a jog? Does Horn have ANY running experience at all? Did Ereng just need to find another guy to fill his roster?  There is a lot about UTEP that is difficult to figure out. It looks like they have five scorers now, but will that really matter if Horn is racing at 9+ minute pace?

TEAM OF THE WEEK

Eastern Kentucky Colonels: EKU is usually a team thatsteps up and performs best in the postseason (mainly the Southeast regional). However, this may the strongest season debut they've had since I started following the sport. That top four looked strong and the addition of Addison Monroe from Lock Haven (D2) makes the Colonels a legitimate threat in 2017.

NOTES

- It's hard to kick off the Kentucky Wildcats after not running one of their top guys (Ben Young) and taking a loss to a very strong EKU squad. I still believe in this team and I'm sold on the idea that they'll peak during the postseason. Until then, they'll have to settle for #26 in our rankings.

- There has been a lot of positive chatter (from both TSR & other sites) about what the Georgia Bulldogs could bring to the NCAA this year. Unfortunately, their season debut wasn't super exciting. At the SEC Preview meet, the Bulldogs finished 4th overall, but they did not run key scorer Daniel Navarro. Still, how much of a difference would he have made if he had run? The UGA men will be an interesting team to keep track of this fall...

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