Women's XC Top 25: Week 4 (10/1)


(Unranked)Was not ranked the week before.


First number indicates how much the team has moved in the rankings.

The second number indicates where that team was ranked the week before.

25. Yale Bulldogs (Unranked)

After winning the Paul Short Run, Yale enters the Top 25 for the first time this season. It’s a little unclear how good they really are as Georgia and Utah State both appeared to hold out some runners. However, they took home the win and finished with four in the top 25. Like many teams, they are set to race at Pre-Nats where we’ll see if they can hold onto their ranking.

24. Utah State Aggies (-1 / 23)

The Aggies finished 3rd at Paul Short behind Yale and Georgia, but appeared to hold out three key runners. Alyssa Snyder and Ciera Simmons had strong showings finishing 3rd and 10th. Had Utah State run a full squad, they likely would have been contending for the win. Expect everyone to run in two weeks when they race in Madison.

23. Columbia Lions (Unranked)

After a huge 11th place finish at Nuttycombe, Columbia is another new team in our Top 25. They beat both Portland and Penn State (who appeared to have off days), and finished ahead of a strong field. While they don’t have an individual who stands out, the top five finished between 43rd and 81st (with their sixth close behind in 93rd). The KOLAS points will be important for the Lions down the stretch as they face stiff competition in the Northeast region.

22. Ole Miss Rebels (0 / 22)

One of the few teams that did not race this weekend.

21. California Golden Bears (-1 / 20)

20. Penn State Nittany Lions (-4 / 16)

The Nittany Lions drop four spots this week after finishing 13th at Wisconsin. Their drop is partially influenced by a wealth of teams over-performing, along with a somewhat disappointing finish of their own. Julia Paternain once again led the team, but their second runner from Spiked Shoe (Elizabeth Chikotas) finished last on the team in 137th. While she still finished, it appears something must have been off for her on race day. Expect her to have a much better race the next time they toe the line. A high point for Penn State was Danae Rivers finishing in 50th and third on the team in her 6k debut this season. If Chikotas returns to form, the Nittany Lions should look much better in their next competition.

19. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (0 / 19)

The Irish dealt with a rough home meet this weekend at Joe Piane. They finished 4th behind BYU, Furman, and Florida State. The top two teams were ranked ahead of Notre Dame while Florida State finished only one point ahead on what appeared to be an off day for the Irish. Their top four placed strong (with Anna Rohrer finishing 3rd), however their likely number two (Allie Heffernan) ended up dropping out. Had she finished, Notre Dame would have likely topped Florida State and been much closer to Furman. Expect the Irish to look better in their next race.

18. Portland Pilots (-7 / 11)

While the Pilots look better than last year, they fell somewhat short at Nuttycombe. Their first four runners looked good finishing with two in the top 25 while the other two placed 46th and 86th. Their fifth runner was all the way back in 141st, the lowest place of any team in the top 18. While they didn’t run freshman Camila Noe, it may be risky to bank on her filling in as a fifth scorer without any collegiate racing experience. They will need someone to establish themselves as a reliable fifth runner if they expect to finish in the top half at NCAA's.

17. Washington Huskies (-4 / 13)

The Huskies are beginning to look less and less like a top-10 team with each passing week. Originally poised for a big fall with a new coach and two huge transfers, Washington used Sundodger as a workout and then finished 3rd this weekend behind a partial Stanford squad and D2 powerhouse Adams State. The Huskies have yet to race Oregon transfer Lilli Burdon this fall, but have raced Katie Rainsberger twice now. It’s worth questioning why they continue to hold Burdon out as they raced the rest of their team this weekend. Given that they were 28 points behind a Stanford team that only ran two of their top five, the addition of Burdon wouldn’t have changed things.

16. Iowa State Cyclones (+1 / 17)

A good showing at Nuttycombe that saw the Cyclones beat Penn State, NC State, and Portland bumps them up one place in this week’s rankings. This was their first race under a new coach and overall they look to have a solid six. Logue and Frisbie led the team with 21st and 31st place finishes while Amanda Vestri appears to have improved this fall, finishing in 54th. The Cyclones could move up in the rankings if their four-five runners can close the gap on Vestri.

15. Furman Paladins (-1 / 14)

The Paladins finished 2nd, well behind BYU, at the Joe Piane Invitational. Despite being over 40 points behind the Cougars, Furman looked strong. The field was not very deep, making it hard to gauge Furman’s team performance, but they’ll be one of many ranked teams heading to Madison in two weeks. They will have a chance to prove themselves then.

14. Georgia Bulldogs (-2 / 12)

In a shocking upset, Georgia finished 2nd behind Yale at the Paul Short Run, 118 to 127. The Bulldogs likely would have run had Samantha Drop competed, but she has yet to race in the two meets Georgia has run. Thus far, there’s no update as to why she has not run. Without her, the Bulldogs performance will decrease greatly. It’s still early, but if she doesn’t race at Pre-Nats, there’s reason to be concerned.

13. NC State Wolfpack (-7 / 6)

An underwhelming performance saw the Wolfpack finish 10th in a Nuttycombe field that featured only three teams ranked ahead of them. Elly Henes led the team with a 23rd place finish, but the rest of the team seemed to have a rough go. Stanford transfer Nevada Mareno had a rough day, finishing all the way back in 137th. With only two runners in the top 50, NC State did not look like a top 10 team. They will need to step up when they return in two weeks.

12. Michigan State Spartans (+6 / 18)

The Spartans had a strong showing at Wisconsin where they beat four teams who were ranked ahead of them. No one ran anything crazy, but the entire team ran a little better than their individual expectations, which led to a big jump in the team performance. It should be noted that Michigan State won the "B" race where they had five athletes run faster than their seventh in the "A" race.

11. Indiana Hoosiers (+10 / 21)

The biggest jump of the week belongs to Indiana after a stellar performance at Nuttycombe. They finished 7th, only 28 points behind 6th place Wisconsin and 60 points ahead of Michigan State in 8th. Senior Margaret Allen had a great performance with an 18th place finish. The talented freshman duo of Sarah Schmidt and Bailey Hertenstein showed that they are ready to contribute this fall, finishing third and fourth for the Hoosiers. Indiana may be even better than their finish suggests with Katherine Receveur and Haley Harris having off days. With these two running to their full capability, Indiana appears ready to crack the top 10 at Pre-Nats in two weeks.

10. BYU Cougars (+5 / 15)

At the Joe Piane Invitational, the Cougars absolutely crushed the field by scoring only 37 points. They beat both Furman and Notre Dame and had six in the top 20. Erica Birk and Whittni Orton went 1-2, beating Notre Dame star Anna Rohrer by 7+ seconds. True freshman McKenna Lee had a strong showing in her first real race, finishing 6th for BYU and 20th overall. After a completely dominant performance over a field that included TSR #14 Furman and TSR #19 Notre Dame, the Cougars look to be on the prowl this fall.

9. Michigan Wolverines (+2 / 7)The Wolverines won the Louisville Classic with relative ease, finishing 84 points ahead of 2nd. The field was relatively weak and Michigan had all seven runners in the top 20.

8. Wisconsin Badgers (0 / 8)

The Badgers had a strong showing at Nuttycombe, but were overshadowed this week by other impressive performances. Alicia Monson was the surprise of the weekend when she beat a loaded field, including the reigning NCAA champion, to win Nuttycombe. Amy Davis and Shaelyn Sorensen also exceeded expectations as they both finished in the top 30. Overall, the Badgers look like they'll be a top 10 squad at NCAA's. However, like a few other teams, they lack depth after their fifth. There was nearly a 100 place gap between their fifth and sixth runners, which would have set them back to 11th at minimum without one of their top five. They’ll race at home again in two weeks with a good opportunity for their final two varsity runners to close the gap.

7. Arkansas Razorbacks (+3 / 10)

After winning a low-key race at the Chile Pepper Festival, the Razorbacks showed that they were for real by finishing 5th at Nuttycombe. Freshman Katrina Robinson continues to lead the team with an 8th place finish and Carina Viljoen was close behind in 14th. Taylor Werner was 20th, giving the Razorbacks a strong group up front. Their fourth and fifth were back in 64th and 67th, but their sixth dropped to 102nd. With a strong contingent up front, the only concern for Arkansas will be their lack of depth in case someone in the top five has a bad day.

6. Villanova Wildcats (+3 / 9)

A big 4th place performance at Nuttycombe vaults the Wildcats up three spots this week. Caroline Alcorta made her debut for Villanova and finished with teammate Nicole Hutchinson to finish 11th and 12th. Rachel McArthur was 29th and appears to have bounced back after a rough day at NCAA's in 2017. The freshman duo of Seibert and Olivere had another solid outing and look like reliable options for the scoring five this year.

One interesting note was that Bella Burden finished 3rd in the "B" race instead of running with the top squad. Last fall, Burden won the Mid-Atlantic region so it’s expected she’ll return to the top seven at some point this fall.

5. Stanford Cardinal (-1 / 4)

Stanford raced a partial squad at their home meet this weekend where they beat D2 powerhouse Adams State and fellow Pac-12 rival Washington. Elise Cranny impressed with the overall win ahead of Washington’s Katie Rainsberger. Teammate Fiona O’Keefe finished close behind in 3rd. Cranny’s performance is particularly impressive given she hasn’t been in the top 50 at NCAA XC since 2014. Beating Rainsberger and O’Keefe indicates she may be in similar fotness to when she finished 12th overall. Besides these two, the rest of the notable names for Stanford sat on the sidelines.

4. Oregon Ducks (-1 / 3)

Did not race this weekend. Scheduled for their next race to be at Pre-Nats on 10/13.

3. New Mexico Lobos (-2 / 1)

This weekend showed that a lack of depth can cripple star-studded teams. The Lobos put three in the top seven, but wound up in 3rd overall. After going undefeated last fall, Ednah Kurgat finished 3rd with teammate Weini Kelati ahead in 2nd. Charlotte Prouse had a strong finish for 7th overall and the trio should be in the top 20 again at NCAA's.

2. Boise State Broncos (+3 / 5)

The Broncos jumped three spots this week after finishing 2nd behind Colorado at Nuttycombe and beating the defending national champions from New Mexico. There was a lot of speculation on whether Brenna Peloquin would debut over the weekend, but it appears that Boise State may not even need her.

Allie Ostrander ran as expected, finishing 5th overall. Behind her, teammates Clare O’Brien and Emily Venters had breakthrough performances where they came in 9th and 10th. They rounded out the top five with Alexis Fuller in 26th and Maxine Paholek in 41st to finish only 11 points by Colorado. One interesting note: even if you replace their fifth with their sixth runner (65th), the Broncos still would have beaten New Mexico (115 to 130).

If they do get Brenna Peloquin back, they add even more depth to their front five. Regardless, Boise State cemented themselves as national title contenders this weekend.

1. Colorado Buffaloes (+1 / 2)

Similar to last fall, Colorado took down New Mexico in their first real race of the season. This past weekend, the Buffaloes were led by Dani Jones in 4th place. Makena Morley, who has been somewhat overlooked in the past, came through with a huge performance to finish 6th, only six seconds behind Jones. Morley is coming off a huge track season and looks to be a reliable frontrunner for the Buffs this fall.

Sage Hurta was just behind in 13th, with Tabor Scholl (19th) and Taylor Tuttle (38th) finishing out their scoring. Val Constien was their sixth in 40th, only two places back of their fifth. That kind of depth will be incredibly valuable as the season goes on. With six in the top 40 this weekend, it wouldn’t be surprising to see five All-Americans by the time NCAA's roll around.







JUST MISS (in no order)

Southern Utah


Oklahoma State


Florida State


Georgia Tech

WHO TO WATCH (in no order)

South Dakota






Boise State Broncos

While they were expected to be strong, the fact that they finished 2nd at Nuttycombe and beat New Mexico without having Brenna Peloquin is incredible. Their whole squad stepped up big behind Allie Ostrander and looked like they could have at least three All-Americans this year. Could this be the year Boise State finally gets on the podium?


Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers beat five teams ranked ahead of them at Nuttycombe and were within striking distance of Wisconsin and Arkansas. This performance came with Katherine Receveur having somewhat of an off-day, finishing only 24th. The Hoosiers stepped up big this weekend and proved that they can contend for the win in a deep Great Lakes region.


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