UPDATED XC Top 50 Individuals: Week 9 (10/30)



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. Josh Brickell, Rs. Senior, Furman (-1 / 49)

49. Aaron Templeton, Rs. Junior, Furman (-1 / 48)

Templeton and Brickell went 1-2 at the Southern Conference Championships where their only competition came from their teammates. In fact, Furman took eight of the top nine spots in this meet.

48. Jacob Thomson, Senior, Kentucky (Wasn't Ranked)

SEC's has been increasingly competitive over the past few years and 2017 may have been the most competitive it has ever been (or at least in a very long time). After the Alabama trio took the top three spots and Alex George finished 4th, we saw Kentucky ace Jacob Thomson round out the top five. You could argue that this is the best race of his season so far. Hopefully he uses this as momentum for his final few races of the season.

47. Clayton Young, Junior, BYU (0 / 47)

Crossed the line with teammates at the West Coast Conference Championships in what appeared to be a controlled effort.

46. Alex Palm, Senior, New Mexico (-3 / 43)

After breakout races at Notre Dame and Wisconsin, Alex Palm had his first off day of the season by placing 12th at the Mountain West Championships. In a field that held established conference leaders, Palm's inexperience at the top level got the best of him. Hopefully he can rebound at the Mountain Region Championships.

45. Sean Tobin, Senior, Mississippi (-3 / 42)

In the past few years, 8th at SEC's wouldn't typically have been considered an achievement for someone of Tobin's status. However, when you begin to mix in Arkansas, the Alabama trio, and a slew of talented individuals like Thomson, Kamau, and Long, then 8th doesn't seem all that bad...

44. Andrew Johnston, Senior, Air Force (Wasn't Ranked)

One of the reasons why Air Force has been so successful this season has been because of the consistency that Andrew Johnston has brought to this Falcon's squad. He was 9th at Notre Dame, 35th at Wisconsin, and now 4th at the Mountain West Championships. We saw Johnston have some solid success at the 10k distance this past spring season, so don't be surprised if he prospers at the Mountain Region Championships and (hopefully) Nationals.

43. Garrett Reynolds, Sophomore, UCLA (+2 / 45)

At PAC 12's, we saw the UCLA sophomore finish 14th overall in what was a very average performance for him. After a runner-up finish at Roy Griak and then placing 33rd at Wisconsin, I expected Reynolds to place inside the top 10. Still, this kid has done a lot this season and if 14th at PAC 12's is considered his "worst" race this season then that's not something I would be concerned about.

42. Luis Grijalva, Freshman, Northern Arizona (-1 / 41)

The NAU freshman held his and placed 7th at BIG Sky's. Conference championships are always interesting, but what we should really watch for is how well Grijalva handles the 10k.

41. Brian Barraza, Rs. Senior, Houston (-8 / 33)

Barraza finished 2nd at the AAC Championships to Emmanuel Rotich. Overall, Barraza has been having a solid season and I would say that he at least has a shot at becoming All-American later in the next few weeks.

40. Cole Rockhold, Junior, Colorado State (Wasn't Ranked)

If it wasn't for Oliver Hoare wining BIG 10's, then Cole Rockhold placing 2nd at the Mountain West Championships would have been my pick for the "Surprise of the Week". Rockhold has developed into a reliable low-stick for the Rams this season after placing 8th at Roy Griak, 27th at Wisconsin, and now runner-up at his conference championship. After being overlooked for a heavy portion of the season, he has finally earned a spot in our Top 50.

39. Ben Flanagan, Rs. Senior, Michigan (0 / 39)

I was admittedly a bit disappointed to see Flanagan fall out of the top five at BIG 10's (he finished 6th). Still, it's another solid and consistent finish that will keep him in these rankings. It will be interesting to see how he handles the longer distance.

38. Emmanuel Rouldolff-Levisse, Sophomore, Portland (-1 / 37)

Did not run.

37. Kasey Knevelbaard, Junior, Southern Utah (-2 / 35)

This past weekend, we saw Knevelbaard place 9th at the BIG Sky Championships. I would've liked to see him place closer to the top of the results, but in a race that was essentially a dual meet between NAU and Southern Utah, I'm not looking into these results too heavily.

36. Lawrence Kipkoech, Rs. Junior, Campbell (-4 / 32)

Kipkoech finished 3rd at the BIG South championships behind teammate Amon Kemboi and Liberty's Azaria Kirwa. This doesn't exactly come as a surprise, but Kipkoech just doesn't seem to have the edge that he did last year.

35. Clark Ruiz, Rs. Senior, Michigan State (+3 / 38)

It's hard to dislike Clark Ruiz this season. After placing 3rd at BIG 10's, Ruiz has assured me that Michigan State now has a top-tier ace who can contend with the big boys of the NCAA. His consistency and veteran status gives him an edge as we approach the later portion of the postseason.

34. Mike Tate, Rs. Senior, Southern Utah (0 / 34)

In a field that held elite NAU talent, Mike Tate emerged in 4th place overall behind Day, Baxter, and Trouard. This is about what I expected from the Southern Utah senior who has been relatively consistent all throughout this season.

33. Emmanuel Rotich, Junior, Tulane (+11 / 44)

Rotich was rarely challenged this season due to an easy race schedule set forth by the Tulane coaching staff. Still, that didn't seem to hurt Rotich this past weekend after he took down AAC rival Brian Barraza to take the conference crown.

32. Oliver Hoare, Sophomore, Wisconsin (Wasn't Ranked)

After an impressive 8th place finish at Louisville, I was almost ready to put Hoare into our Top 50. Unfortunately, a bad day at the Wisconsin Invite kept him out of the rankings for another few weeks. Luckily for Hoare, he was able to rebound with a huge upset win to take the BIG 10 individual title. This was a major statement race for Hoare who has now put himself into the All-American conversation.

31. John Dressel, Junior, Colorado (-7 / 24)

Once again, Dressel was absent from Colorado's lineup at PAC 12's. Wetmore is always trying new tricks with who he decides to run and when, but we've only seen Dressel race once this season and that's a bit concerning.

30. Casey Clinger, Freshman, BYU (+1 / 31)

29. Connor McMillan, Rs. Junior, BYU (+1 / 30)

The men from BYU took the top five spots at the West Coast Conference. Portland made it clear that they weren't putting all of their effort into this meet, so I'm not looking too closely into this result.

28. Alex Ostberg, Rs. Sophomore, Stanford (+1 / 29)

After a breakout 12th place finish at Wisconsin, Ostberg followed that up with a 4th place finish at PAC 12's. One great race is always a good sign, but I'm a big fan of consistency and this seems like another great result for him.

27. Nick Hauger, Rs. Junior, Portland (-1 / 26)

Just like I mentioned with Thies, Portland's lack of emphasis on this meet has me thinking that this past weekend isn't a proper representation of what we should expect from Hauger and Co. in the future.

26. Colin Bennie, Senior, Syracuse (+2 / 28)

25. Aidan Tooker, Sophomore, Syracuse (+2 / 27)

At ACC's, we saw some strong performances from the Syracuse men. Bennie placed 3rd overall while Aidan Tooker was 6th. This is about what I expected from these two and I'll be interested to see how they make the transition to 10k as the season progresses (especially with a younger guy like Tooker).

24. Geordie Beamish, Rs. Junior, Northern Arizona (+1 / 25)

Did not run.

23. Jeff Thies, Rs. Senior, Portland (-2 / 21)

The West Coast Conference Championships were a little odd in regards to how the men's race played out. BYU absolutely dominated the race by placing five ahead of Thies. Then again, Portland didn't run a full squad and even said beforehand that they weren't going to put an emphasis on this meet. Because of that, I'm not really going to look too closely into Thies' ranking.

22. Jonathan Davis, Sophomore, Illinois (-3 / 19)

Davis' inexperience and youth got the best of him at BIG 10's where he finished a respectable 9th overall. It's not quite up to par with his performance at Wisconsin, but this kid is still plenty talented and should do well on the big stage as we move forward.

21. Robert Brandt, Junior, UCLA (-1 / 20)

6th place at PAC 12's is a solid finish for Brandt, but he was 7th at Wisconsin. I think there was probably more we could have seen out of him this past weekend.

20. Jack Bruce, Senior, Arkansas (+3 / 23)

Much like George, Bruce had a strong bounce-back race after struggling at Pre-Nats. The Arkansas senior placed 6th at SEC's losing only to Alabama's top three, Kentucky's Jacob Thomson, and teammate Alex George. He will most likely thrive as the racing distances move up to 10k.

19. Jonathan Green, Rs. Senior, Georgetown (-2 / 17)

As expected, Jonathan Green took the BIG East title over Villanova's Andrew Marston. He'll face a similar field at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships in two weeks.

18. Dillon Maggard, Senior, Utah State (-2 / 16)

It was a solid run for Maggard who finished 3rd overall at the Mountain West championships with his 3rd place finish. I would've liked to see him finish closer to Mock and Rockhold though.

17. Peter Seufer, Junior, Virginia Tech (-4 / 13)

Seufer's Pre-Nats performance (where he finished 2nd overall) will be tough for him to repeat throughout the rest of the season. Still, I was looking for something a little bit better than a 7th place finish at ACC's. That is by no means a bad finish, but it's not exactly where his Pre-Nats performance indicated he could be.

16. Alex George, Senior, Arkansas (+6 / 22)

After a sub-par race at Pre-Nats, George rebounded and finished 4th overall at a very competitive SEC race. Alabama's top three were the only ones to emerge victorious over the Arkansas senior. This is a strong result for George who is looking to regain momentum as we enter Regionals and Nationals.

15. Azaria Kirwa, Junior, Liberty (0 / 15)

Kirwa put up a hard fought effort against Campbell's Amon Kemboi at the BIG South championships this past weekend. He didn't get the win, but he kept it close and made Kemboi work for it.

14. Joe Klecker, Rs. Sophomore, Colorado (+4 / 18)

The Colorado ace finished runner-up to Fisher and took down a deep field behind him. Klecker has had a really solid season, but PAC 12's was finally the race I was looking for him to have.

13. Hassan Abdi, Senior, Oklahoma State (+1 / 14)

There was plenty of surprises at the BIG 12 championships, but the one result that I think most people expected was Abdi taking the individual win. This was probably the toughest meet of his season, but it appears that he handled it with relative ease.

12. Jerrell Mock, Rs. Senior, Colorado State (+1 / 12)

Mock's 16th place finish at Wisconsin was respectable, but it left something to be desired. Sure enough, the CSU senior rebounded to take a convincing win over the field at the Mountain West championships. I think a lot of people expected Mock to take the win, but when you have guys like Dillon Maggard and Yusuke Uchikoshi in the field, it's not easy as it may seem...

11. Amon Kemboi, Rs. Freshman, Campbell (0 / 11)

The redshirt freshman continues to impress after securing a win over Liberty standout, Azaria Kirwa. It's tough not to like what Kemboi has done this season. He has defeated some of the best names in the nation so far.

10. Alfred Chelanga, Junior, Alabama (0 / 10)

9. Gilbert Kigen, Junior, Alabama (0 / 9)

8. Vincent Kiprop, Junior, Alabama (0 / 8)

As expected the Alabama Crimson Tri took the top three spots at SEC's. We shouldn't be surprised anymore, but rarely do you ever see a group of three quite like them.

7. Jacob Choge, Sophomore, Middle Tennessee State (0 / 7)

It was no surprise to see Choge take the win at the Conference USA Championships. He's beginning to show some promising signs of consistency as we approach the later portion of the season.

6. Tyler Day, Junior, Northern Arizona (0 / 6)

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

4. Andy Trouard, Rs. Senior, Northern Arizona (0 / 4)

The trio got the job done at BIG Sky by taking the top three spots. Trouard was a bit further back in regards to time, but he was still 10 seconds ahead of the 4th place finisher (Mike Tate).

3. Rory Linkletter, Junior, BYU (0 / 3)

The results may say that he finished 4th, but Linkletter finished together with his teammates in what seemed to be a relatively controlled effort.

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

Fisher's signature kick was once again the reason he won. He was able to out-run Joe Klecker who had one of his better races of the season. Is it me, or did Fisher look relatively relaxed taking that win?

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

Knight once again got the job done by taking the ACC crown over a deep field. No surprises here...

ADDED

Jacob Thomson (Kentucky)

Andrew Johnston (Air Force)

Cole Rockhold (Colorado State)

Oliver Hoare (Wisconsin)

DROPPED

Philo Germano (Syracue) (Formerly #50)

Sylvester Barus (Oklahoma State) (Formerly #46)

Euan Makepeace (Butler) (Formerly #40)

Yusuke Uchikoshi (Boise State) (Formerly #36)

JUST MISS (in no order)

Andrew Jordan (Iowa State)

Thomas Pollard (Iowa State)

Sam Worley (Texas)

Nahom Soloman (Georgia Tech)

Steven Fahy (Stanford)

Mahmoud Moussa (Washington)

Brent Demarest (Virginia)

Lachlan Cook (Virginia)

Joe Hardy (Wisconsin)

Ben Veatch (Indiana)

Cameron Griffith (Arkansas)

Yusuke Uchikoshi (Boise State)

Euan Makepeace (Butler)

Philo Germano (Syracuse)

Ryan Forsyth (Colorado)

Erick Rotich (Eastern Kentucky)

Eduardo Herrera (Colorado)

Kigen Chemadi (MTSU)

WHO TO WATCH (in no order)

Tom Nobles (Charlotte)

James Quattlebaum (Clemson)

Aaron Baumgarten (Michigan)

Jaret Carpenter (Purdue)

Morgan Beadlescomb (Michigan State)

Ryan Thomas (Columbia)

Meshack Kipruto (Campbell)

Jesse Reiser (Illinois)

Conor Lundy (Princeton)

Andrew Marston (Villanova)

Michael Williams (Washington State)

Thomas Ratcliffe (Stanford)

Sylvester Barus (Oklahoma State)

Colin Abert (Penn State)

Sean Torpy (Miami, OH)

SURPRISE OF THE WEEK

Oliver Hoare (Wisconsin): While Jonathan Davis, Ben Flanagan, and Clark Ruiz gained all of the attention, Oliver Hoare came out of nowhere to win the BIG 10 title. I would be surprised if anyone outside of Wisconsin chose Hoare to win it all.

RUNNER OF THE WEEK

Vincent Kiprop (Alabama): During conference week, it's never easy to figure out who had the "best" performance. Still, I think Vincent Kiprop deserves some love after taking the SEC title. That conference has some talented individuals and he still walked away with the win. It's probably no surprise that he won, but he at least deserves some recognition.

NOTES

- Joe Hardy and Brent Demarest came up big at their respective conference meets with runner-up finishes. They haven't quite done enough this season to earn a Top 50 spot quite just yet, but it's certainly a great performance for them as they transition to the 10k.

- What is up with Euan Makepeace and Yusuke Uchikoshi? They both had terrific starts to the season, but they have slowly fallen apart as the season has progressed.

- Earlier this season, I recognized Sylvester Barus' talent, but I cautioned that he lacked consistency. Sure enough, Barus fell to the 17th at BIG 12's. That's not the performance I would expect from the guy who won the Cowboy Jamboree.

- Ryan Thomas (Columbia) walked away with a huge win at the Ivy League Championships. When he wants to be, he can be scary good.

- I'm high on a lot of the men from the BIG 12, mainly Worley, Jordan, and Pollard. They looked awfully good this past weekend.

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