UPDATED XC Top 50 Individuals: Week 7 (10/16)



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.

50. Philo Germano, Rs. Senior, Syracuse (-22 / 28)

He may have dropped a good bit in our rankings, but that is only because everyone else ran really well and Germano ran just ok (relatively, of course). The Syracuse post season star finished 31st at Wisconsin this past weekend to act as the Orangemen's 4th scorer for the day. I think we'll see a better performance out of him at ACC's.

49. Josh Brickell, Rs. Senior, Furman (Wasn't Ranked)

48. Aaron Templeton, Rs. Junior, Furman (Wasn't Ranked)

The Furman men have done incredibly well so far this season, but it seems like they have a new low-stick every week. Aaron Templeton was 7th at Louisville and 20th Wisconsin while Brickell was 14th at Louisville and 13th at Wisconsin. I don't think I can rank Furman as high as I want to in the team rankings without having at least one of their guys in our Top 50. At this point, this duo has done enough to deserve a spot. Now, it's just a matter of them staying there.

47. Clayton Young, Junior, BYU (Wasn't Ranked)

A win at Bill Dellinger combined with an impressive 12th place finish at Pre-Nats warrants a Top 50 spot for Young. I like the experience Young brings to the Cougars. He has a lot of big-meet experience which could prove valuable in the post season.

46. Sylvester Barus, Senior, Oklahoma State (0 / 46)

Did not race this weekend.

45. Garrett Reynolds, Sophomore, UCLA (0 / 45)

There were plenty of names not mentioned that defeated Reynolds at Wisconsin after he finished 33rd this past weekend. However, his runner-up finish at Roy Griak is a good enough reason for him to stay in our Top 50 rankings.

44. Emmanuel Rotich, Junior, Tulane (0 / 44)

Rotich domianted the Pre-Nats Open race and took the win by 16 seconds. You can't fault him for the decisions his coaches make in regards to race selection, but why not have Rotich race against the big names? It's difficult to really get a gauge on how good this guy is if he doesn't race big-time competition.

43. Alex Palm, Senior, New Mexico (+6 / 49)

After a breakout performance at Notre Dame, Palm is showing us that he is more than just a one-race wonder after placing 19th at Wisconsin. He'll be in the mix for a top three finish at the Mountain West conference championships.

42. Sean Tobin, Senior, Mississippi (-19 / 23)

20th at Pre-Nats is a respectable finish, but it also means that there are plenty of other individuals that deserve a spot ahead of him. Tobin has had a solid start to his season so far, but he hasn't had an exciting finish like he did last year when he won at Notre Dame.

41. Luis Grijalva, Freshman, Northern Arizona (Wasn't Ranked)

The only true freshman that could possibly challenge Casey Clinger is Luis Grijalva who has had an absolutely incredible first two races to start his college career. After finishing 10th at Louisville, Grijalva kept his cool and placed 21st at Wisconsin. For such a young guy, he handles the big stage incredibly well.

40. Euan Makepeace, Rs. Sophomore, Butler (-2 / 38)

Did not run with team at Pre-Nats. After a poor performance at Notre Dame, this may have been a coaching decision to rest Makepeace so that he can be ready for a postseason where he'll have to face Andrew Marston, Conor Lundy, and Jonathan Green (twice).

39. Ben Flanagan, Rs. Senior, Michigan (-2 / 37)

Flanagan was the first Michigan Wolverine to cross the line at Wisconsin where he finished 23rd overall. I was expecting something closer to a top 15 finish, but this wasn't a bad performance by any means. His first two races this season have been wins and we have to remember that this guy is a post season stud.

38. Clark Ruiz, Rs. Senior, Michigan State (+10 / 48)

Michigan State has seemingly found a reliable ace that they can count on. After a 4th place finish at Roy Griak, Ruiz threw down a strong 15th place finish at Wisconsin to prove that he is a low-stick that the Spartans can lean on this season.

37. Emmanuel Rouldolff-Levisse, Sophomore, Portland (Wasn't Ranked)

What a race from Rouldolff-Levisse! Wait, you've never heard of him? Cool, because I hadn't either until this weekend...

There is very little info on this Portland sophomore, but it appears that he's a transfer from France. He finished 11th this past weekend at Wisconsin and gave Portland a lethal top three. Yes, I know that 37th isn't a fair ranking based on such a strong finish, but we know so little about this guy that I would rather stay cautious before giving him a spot to someone who actually has a resume of times and finishes. With that in mind, ERL definitely has the most up-side of anyone in our rankings right now.

36. Yusuke Uchikoshi, Senior, Boise State (-19 / 17)

It was a tough day for the Boise State leader who finished a dreaded 218th overall at Wisconsin. Obviously, a performance like that is not ideal, but we have to remind ourselves that this is the same guy who finished 5th at Notre Dame two weeks ago. Uchikoshi is still super talented and he will be a difficult opponent for anyone who faces him in the post season

35. Kasey Knevelbaard, Junior, Southern Utah (-5 / 30)

34. Mike Tate, Rs. Senior, Southern Utah (-5 / 29)

For Mike Tate, it was a solid performance as he finished 18th at Wisconsin. As for Knevelbaard, he would have a bit of an off day after finishing 45th. I'm not looking too heavily into these performances mainly because their Notre Dame finishes give us a better idea of what kind of fitness they are in. Plus, I'm not sold on the other individuals that are ranked behind this duo.

33. Brian Barraza, Rs. Senior, Houston (-1 / 32)

It was about what I expected from Barraza at Pre-Nats this past weekend where placed 10th overall in a very deep field. After a spring track season where he broke out in the steeplechase, Barraza is a name to watch as we begin to evaluate who our potential All-Americans are.

32. Lawrence Kipkoech, Rs. Junior, Campbell (-22 / 10)

A preseason ranking of 10th was a bit much for the redshirt junior and it showed after he finished 23rd at Pre-Nats this past weekend. Still, Kipkoech didn't run that well at Pre-Nats last year and ended up placing 26th at NCAA's. I'm a believer that we still a lot more to see from him in the post season.

31. Casey Clinger, Freshman, BYU (Wasn't Ranked)

30. Connor McMillan, Rs. Junior, BYU (Wasn't Ranked)

The men from BYU are scary good and a lot of that can be attributed to these two. Casey Clinger is arguably the best freshman in the country while Connor McMillan is giving the Cougars consistently solid performances. I would argue that this was a statement race for McMillan and Clinger after placing 6th and 7th at Pre-Nats.

29. Alex Ostberg, Rs. Sophomore, Stanford (Wasn't Ranked)

I was big fan of Alex Ostberg when he was in high school due to his gutsy all-or-nothing racing style and willingness to make tactical races exciting. Three years after graduating, Ostberg is finally showing the potential that we all saw in high school after placing 12th at Wisconsin.

28. Colin Bennie, Senior, Syracuse (-21 / 7)

27. Aidan Tooker, Sophomore, Syracuse (Wasn't Ranked)

Colin Bennie may be dropping a bit after finishing 14th at Wisconsin, but he is still a top talent that is now complemented by Aidan Tooker who finished 10th. Admittedly, they probably deserve a better ranking than 27th and 28th, but I just couldn't find enough of an argument to place them elsewhere.

26. Nick Hauger, Rs. Junior, Portland (Wasn't Ranked)

One of the biggest surprises of this past weekend was Portland's Nick Hauger coming out of nowhere to place 9th at Wisconsin! Hauger has been one of Portland's top guys for a while now, but I'd be lying if I told you that I thought he could place top 10 at Wisconsin. It'll be interesting to see how he handles the competition from BYU in two weeks.

25. Geordie Beamish, Rs. Junior, Northern Arizona (+2 / 27)

17th at Wisconsin may or may not be as good as his 4th place finish at Notre Dame, but however you view it, this kid is still super talented and deserves some recognition as a legit top-tier athlete.

24. John Dressel, Junior, Colorado (-5 / 16)

It appears that Dressel did not race this past weekend at Pre-Nats. Wetmore is most likely saving Dressel for the intense post season competition.

23. Jack Bruce, Senior, Arkansas (-9 / 14)

22. Alex George, Senior, Arkansas (-18 / 4)

It was a bit of an off-day at Pre-Nats as George and Bruce finished 16th and 18th respectively. Those aren't necessarily bad finishes, but they certainly aren't what I expected from these two. I'll be looking for this duo to rebound in the postseason, especially in a SEC conference that is steadily improving in competition.

21. Jeff Thies, Rs. Senior, Portland (Wasn't Ranked)

After securing the final spot in our preseason rankings, Thies shattered our expectations by placing 8th at Wisconsin. We saw Thies take it to the next level this past spring track season by becoming an All-American in the 1500, but he has now transitioned incredibly well to the longer distances. Could he challenge Rory Linkletter at the conference championships in two weeks?

20. Robert Brandt, Junior, UCLA (+14 / 34)

I argued before the race that a smarter race plan from Brandt would result in a better finish than his Roy Griak race. Sure enough, that was the case after he made a move with 3k to go so that he could break the chase-pack and secure a top 10 finish (7th overall). Brandt is not only becoming a better runner from a fitness standpoint, but also from a racing strategy perspective.

19. Jonathan Davis, Sophomore, Illinois (Wasn't Ranked)

Wow! What a huge race for the Illinois sophomore who had a breakout performance with his 6th place finish at Wisconsin this past weekend. I was a bit concerned about the amount of racing that Illinois had done, but it clearly did not bother Davis. Illinois may have lost low-stick Dylan Lafond to graduation, but so far this season, Davis has filled those shoes and then some. It will be interesting to see how the underclassman handles the pressure of the post season.

18. Joe Klecker, Rs. Sophomore, Colorado (-3 / 15)

9th at Pre-Nats is a great finish no matter who you are, but I was expecting a bit more from Klecker (mainly a top 5 finish). Still, this is one of the top runners in the nation we are talking about. He could very easily be one of the top three finishers at the PAC 12 championships in two weeks.

17. Jonathan Green, Rs. Senior, Georgetown (+4 / 21)

Jonathan Green continues to show that he is capable of rebounding from his injury problems that plagued him in 2016. Back-to-back solid performances at Paul Short and Pre-Nats makes this guy a name to watch as we enter championship season. Is he the favorite to win the BIG East and Mid-Atlantic region titles?

16. Dillon Maggard, Senior, Utah State (-8 / 8)

A win at Paul Short and a 5th place finish at Pre-Nats have proven that Dillon Maggard is the real deal. Still, I'm not sure I would say he is the 8th best runner in the nation which is why I have him ranked at 16th this week.

15. Azaria Kirwa, Junior, Liberty (+32 / 47)

The Liberty junior had an outstanding spring track season six months ago, but I wasn't sure how that fitness would translate on the grass. Naturally, Kirwa erased any skepticism I had after placing 2nd at Paul Short and then 4th at Pre-Nats. So far, this guy seems like a lock for All-American.

14. Hassan Abdi, Senior, Oklahoma State (+6 / 20)

Nice win for Abdi at the Penn State Open, but I don't think anyone was really surprised when you look at the competition.

13. Peter Seufer, Junior, Virginia Tech (Wasn't Ranked)

After a breakout spring track season, Seufer is proving that he is a top-level ace after finishing runner-up at Pre-Nats this past weekend. A performance like that would usually warrant a top 10 ranking, but his performance at Louisville (where he finished 15th) says otherwise. Still, this was a huge race for Seufer and it shows that he at least deserves to be in the top 10 conversation.

12. Jerrell Mock, Rs. Senior, Colorado State (-6 / 6)

It's probably not fair to say that Mock struggled at Wisconsin when you consider that he finished 16th overall. Still, I was expecting a little bit more out the Roy Griak champion. He's one of the more talented individuals in the nation, but top 10 may be a bit high.

11. Amon Kemboi, Rs. Freshman, Campbell (+25 / 36)

Seufer may have defeated Kemboi, but when you combine a 3rd place finish at Pre-Nats with a win at Panorama Farms, I think that's enough to put him at 11th in our rankings. We knew Kemboi was good, but this meet proved that he was for real.

10. Alfred Chelanga, Junior, Alabama (+3 / 13)

9. Gilbert Kigen, Junior, Alabama (+2 / 11)

8. Vincent Kiprop, Junior, Alabama (+4 / 12)

They may not have won the Crimson Classic, but it's difficult to find anyone else who we can confidently say are better than this trio. They have been super consistent so far and took the top three spots at Notre Dame. If Jacob Choge is the only individual to beat them in the regular season, then I'm fine with having them in the top 10 as we enter conference championships.

7. Jacob Choge, Sophomore, Middle Tennessee State (+11 / 18)

After an upset loss at the Commodore Classic and a 6th place finish at Louisville, Choge rebounded with a huge win over Alabama's top three at the Crimson Classic this past weekend. It's hard to say who is actually the 7th best runner in the country, but no one else was really doing it for me this weekend.

6. Tyler Day, Junior, Northern Arizona (+3 / 9)

5. Matthew Baxter, Rs. Senior, Northern Arizona (0 / 5)

4. Andy Trouard, Rs. Senior, Northern Arizona (+22 / 26)

We keep talking about how Alabama has the best top three in the nation...but is that really true after this weekend? NAU had not one, not two, but THREE individuals fighting Grant Fisher and Justyn Knight for the win. They may not have the kick that those guys do, but it's hard to argue that any others ranked behind this trio deserve their spots in our Top 50.

3. Rory Linkletter, Junior, BYU (+13 / 19)

Despite missing his flight and forgetting his phone in Provo, Rory Linkletter kept his cool and executed his race plan to a T. Pre-Nats may not have had the firepower that Wisconsin had, but that was a deep and talented field that would give any top runner a difficult time. This was a big win and it showed that Linkletter was for real.

2. Grant Fisher, Junior, Stanford (0 / 2)

He may not have won, but aside from being out-kicked by Knight, Fisher ran a perfect race to finish 2nd overall. The result could definitely be different at NCAA's...

1. Justyn Knight, Senior, Syracuse (0 / 1)

Justyn Knight is just as good as we thought he was. He was tactically brilliant in his season debut by staying patient, responding to surges, and throwing down a wicked kick to take the win over Grant Fisher.

ADDED

Peter Seufer (Virginia Tech)

Jonathan Davis (Illinois)

Jeff Thies (Portland)

Nick Hauger (Portland)

Aidan Tooker (Syracuse)

Alex Obstberg (Stanford)

Connor McMillan (BYU)

Casey Clinger (BYU)

Emmanuel Rouldolff-Levisse (Portland)

Luis Grijalva (NAU)

Clayton Young (BYU)

Aaron Templeton (Furman)

Josh Brickell (Furman)

DROPPED

Andrew Johnston (Air Force) (Formerly #50)

Andrew Ronoh (Arkansas) (Formerly #48)

Jacob Burcham (Oklahoma) (Formerly #47)

Michael Williams (Washington State) (Formerly #40)

Jonah Koech (UTEP) (Formerly #39)

Conor Lundy (Princeton) (Formerly #35)

Brent Demarest (Virginia) (Formerly #33)

Thomas Pollard (Iowa State) (Formerly #31)

Chartt Miller (Iona) (Formerly #25)

Gilbert Kirui (Iona) (Formerly #24)

Matthew Maton (Oregon) (Formerly #22)

JUST MISS (in no order)

Thomas Ratcliffe (Stanford)

Andrew Jordan (Iowa State)

Andrew Johnston (Air Force)

Thomas Pollard (Iowa State)

Aaron Baumgarten (Michigan)

Brent Demarest (Virginia)

Conor Lundy (Princeton)

Ryan Forsyth (Colorado)

Erick Rotich (Eastern Kentucky)

Eduardo Herrera (Colorado)

Jacob Thomson (Kentucky)

Matthew Maton (Oregon)

Chartt Miller (Iona)

Kigen Chemadi (MTSU)

Peter Lomong (NAU)

Daniel Carney (BYU)

WHO TO WATCH (in no order)

Tom Nobles (Charlotte)

James Quattlebaum (Clemson)

Meshack Kipruto (Campbell)

Jesse Reiser (Illinois)

Michael Williams (Washington State)

Cameron Griffith (Arkansas)

Cole Rockhold (Colorado State)

Colin Abert (Penn State)

Sean Torpy (Miami, OH)

Colby Gilbert (Washington)

SURPRISE OF THE WEEK

Peter Seufer (Virginia Tech): After placing 15th at Louisville, I think everyone recognized Seufer as a respectable low-stick, but not an elite ace. That, of course, all changed when he kicked hard down the final straight and finished 2nd overall at Pre-Nats only to Rory Linkletter. Seufer can no longer lay under the radar.

RUNNER OF THE WEEK

Justyn Knight (Syracuse): When you out-kick Grant Fisher and take your 2nd Wisconsin Invite title, you're going to earn Runner of the Week honors. Knight is back on top and it doesn't look like he'll be leaving that spot for a while.

NOTES

- It appears that the Wisconsin rumors are true. Morgan McDonald, Olin Hacker, and Zach Snyder will be redshirting the 2017 season for an all-out push in 2018. First NAU, then Furman, now Wisconsin...

- Keep in mind that some individuals fell out of the rankings simply because they haven't raced yet (such as Maton and Kirui). Others may not have had great performances, but if they had other solid performances earlier in the season, I take that into account when creating the rankings.

#rankings #Top50 #gzatlin #analysis #xc #ncaa