Women's XC Top 50: Week 10 (11/13)


KEY

(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.

50. Purity Sanga, Sophomore, Tennessee Tech (-21 / 29)

The Tennessee Tech sophomore went to the front in the South regional and really tried to take the race to Pascoe and Mircheva. Her attempts to break away were brought back smoothly and Sanga slipped back into her finishing position of 7th. NCAA's should have a much different race plan since Sanga will be in the front pack, but not in contention for the overall win. This should help her stay in control and not make moves that will hurt her in the final kilometers.


49. Juliana Mount, Senior, Oregon State (Unranked)

The Oregon State senior probably should have earned a “Who to Watch For” slot in our original rankings and she showed why at the West regional placing 12th. With the west being so deep, even a finish outside the top ten is enough to squeak into the rankings. Mount finished 36th at Nuttycombe earlier in the year so she has shown that she can race well in deep races.


48. Sinclaire Johnson, Sophomore, Oklahoma State (-30 / 18)

The entire Oklahoma State squad under performed at the Midwest regional race in both races men and women. Johnson placed 16th, but I have to imagine that there was something going on since the entire team had odd performances. With Johnson’s 15th at Nuttycombe and a 2nd place finish at BIG 12's, she can still challenge for a top 15 position in Madison.


47. Anne Forsythe, Freshman, Michigan (Unranked)

Forsythe had been held out of the Michigan lineup until BIG 10's, but the freshman has come on strong as Michigan attempts to earn a podium finish in the team race. Her 8th place finish at BIG 10's was not quite enough to earn a slot in our previous rankings, but with a 3rd at the Great Lakes regional she most definitely earned a spot this week.


46. Dominique Clairmonte, Sophomore, NC State (Unranked)

Clairmonte is another individual who was on the edge of a ranking in the previous rankings, but Clairmonte only lost to Top 25 athletes at the Southeast Regional meet were she placed 5th. Clairmonte is an important piece of the Wolfpack as they fight for a top 10 team placing.


45. Hannah Miller, Junior, SMU (+3 / 48)

Miller did exactly what she was supposed to at the South Central Regional which was to place 5th behind the top four Arkansas women. Her SMU teammates couldn’t pull out an upset in the team race, but Miller and her teammate Ojstersek will still go to Madison.


44. Katie Rainsberger, Junior, Washington (Unranked)

The Washington women have not had quite the success of the men after the Powell’s move up the coast, but Rainsberger’s finishes have been consistent all year. 11th at PAC-12s and then a 9th at the West Regional signal that she is ready for NCAAs. Don’t forget about her track speed either. It could be the difference between All-American or dreaded 41st.


43. Jacqueline Gaughan, Freshman, Notre Dame (+4 / 47)

The freshman from ND just keeps moving up the leader board after a 6th place finish at the Great Lakes Regional. The success of teammate Anna Rohrer in these last few races also bodes well for Gaughan’s chances of success in Madison.


42. Tabor Scholl, Junior, Colorado (+8 / 50)

It was tough to know what to do with Scholl in our previous rankings after a great 19th at Nuttycombe, but only a 9th at the PAC 12 meet. Scholl, Morley, and Jones all ran 20:01 at the Mountain Regional. This might still be underscoring Scholl’s talent, but it’s tough to improve more than eight slots off a controlled effort.


41. Taryn Rawlings, Senior, Portland (Unranked)

Rawlings was on the “Just Missed” list last week, but moves into the rankings after finishing 10th in the West Regional. Portland will surely be looking for Rawlings to relive her 22nd place at Nuttycombe this week and not her 27th at the Pre-Nats Cardinal race. Either way, the Pilot will be in contention for All-American placing.


40. Courtney Wayment, Junior, BYU (0 / 40)

Wayment finished 9th right behind the trio of Colorado runners at the Mountain Regional and a 13th at Pre-Nats Cardinal reminds us all what she can do on the Wisconsin course.


Fun fact: Outside of the top four athletes in this ranking, Wayment is the only person whose rank did not change.


39. Nicole Hutchinson, Senior, Villanova (-8 / 31)

Hutchinson’s last couple of races have not been her best, but a 5th place at the Mid-Atlantic regional was crucial for the Villanova Wildcats. Hutchinson has been right on the cusp of another standout race like her 11th place finish at Nuttycombe. She might overreach by trying to stay with Alcorta and McArthur, but with a good day, the trio just might challenge for one of the top spots in the NCAA.


38. Jessica Drop, Junior, Georgia (+8 / 46)

Drop was absent from the front of the South Regional race for the first 5000 meters, but appeared in the top three by the finish line. While the South is not particularly deep, Drop displayed great poise and strategy with this race plan. If she can do it again this weekend, Drop should be an All-American.


37. Emily Venters, Freshman, Boise State (-10 / 27)

Venters falls a bit in the rankings this week because of how strong the West Region is. In many others, Venters probably could have been in the top three and maintained her ranking, but an 11th place finish forces her out of the top 30. Venters was 9th at Nuttycombe though and could simply be waiting for a crucial race to return to the top 10.


36. Angie Nickerson, Senior, Southern Utah (Unranked)

Nickerson was another one of the athletes who was tough to rank after conferences because the Big Sky did not particularly challenge her. The Mountain Region did challenge her this weekend though and she rose to the occasion by placing 5th. Nickerson placed 28th at Nuttycombe and you should expect her between 20th and 50th this weekend.


35. Lauren Gregory, Sophomore, Arkansas (-1 / 34)

34. Carina Viljoen, Junior, Arkansas (-9 / 25)

33. Taylor Werner, Junior, Arkansas (+8 / 41)

In previewing the South Central Regional meet, I projected teammate Katrina Robinson to win and that you could see any arrangement of Gregory, Viljoen, and Werner. Well, my prediction would have been correct regardless of how they finished, but the Arkansas trio found a new way to arrange themselves at the South Central with Werner, Gregory, and Viljoen going 2-3-4 in that order. No matter what way they finish at NCAA's, all three should have great races as the Razorbacks aim at the top of the podium with possibly the strongest top four in the NCAA.


32. Winny Koskei, Sophomore, Wichita State (+5 / 37)

Koskei finished 3rd behind Logue and Lokedi at the Midwest Regional to earn her trip to Madison. Koskei has been consistently close to the top in all her races this fall and will likely stay towards the back of the front pack at NCAA's.


31. Jaci Smith, Senior, Air Force (-3 / 28)

While Smith does drop a bit in the rankings, this is no fault of her own. Smith ran a gutsy race at the Mountain Regional by taking a solo lead early on. That did not quite work out to a win for the runner from Air Force, but it was a great race regardless. Too many other great races had harriers jump Smith in the rankings, but Smith should be very happy with this race.


30. Militsa Mircheva, Senior, Florida State (Unranked)

Mircheva upset Jessica Pascoe to become the top runner in the South Region with a win on her home course. Mircheva had missed out on the rankings based on some lackluster early season performances and uncertainty around just how good the ACC was. With the entire league performing well this weekend, Mircheva’s 5th place pushes her into the top 30.


29. Lauren LaRocco, Senior, Portland (-9 / 20)

LaRocco of Portland fell a bit in the rankings after her 8th place finish at the West Regional Championships. It’s a tough drop after a good race in the super-deep West, but the race was not quite good enough to keep her in the Top 25. LaRocco could easily jump back into the top 20 on race day though!


28. Avery Evenson, Senior, Michigan (+4 / 32)

Evenson has been crucial for Michigan this entire season and came up clutch again at the Great Lakes Regional placing 4th just behind her teammate Forsythe. Evenson has yet to be outside the top 10 at the finish of any race this season, but that streak will probably end in Madison. However, a top 20 finish is definitely in the realm of possibilities.


27. Clare O’Brien, Junior, Boise State (+8 / 35)

O’Brien finished 6th in the West region and probably has one of the highest potentials in the 26-50 range of this ranking after a 10th place at Nuttycombe. An 8th place finish at the Mountain West regional is still holding her ranking back, but with Boise State needing great performances out of the entire top five, O’Brien could be a dark horse top 10 finisher.


26. Hannah Steelman, Sophomore, Wofford (-3 / 23)

25. Savannah Carnahan, Junior, Furman (-1 / 24)

The Wofford sophomore was barely beaten by Southern Conference rival Carnahan at the Southeast Regional meet after Steelman beat Carnahan at their conference meet. They have taken different routes to top rankings this season, with Steelman challenging for the win in small, but major meets, while Carnahan has a series of top 10 finishes in larger races like Pre-Nats and Joe Piane. Both should represent the Southern Conference well at NCAA's after placing 3rd and 4th this weekend.


24. Makena Morley, Senior, Colorado (-3 / 21)

Morley is another athlete who had a stellar performance at Nuttycombe whose ranking is hurting from more controlled efforts afterwards. Morley ran alongside teammates Scholl and Jones at the Mountain Regional and placed 7th (pretty great controlled effort), but it’s tough to say just how much further up the rankings Morley can go and with some other runners having great races, Morley slid slightly down the list. That said, Morley has top 10 potential for sure.


23. Shannon Malone, Senior, Syracuse (Unranked)

Malone makes the biggest jump of anyone not ranked in the last poll and is the only one to move into the Top 25. She ran her first race of the season at ACC's and finished 5th, but came away with a victory in the Northeast Regional by a significant margin. While the Northeast region is not particularly deep individually, Malone did win in the snow, a sign that could lead to even better races in Madison should weather turn ugly.


22. Rachel McArthur, Sophomore, Villanova (+8 / 30)

The Mid-Atlantic champion moves into the Top 25 after a great race on the Penn State golf course. McArthur is one of the few underclassmen towards the top of the NCAA and should be considered a candidate for the 2nd best sophomore in the nation (#1 is Kelati, sorry). McArthur did not fair particularly well at Nuttycombe, but hopefully she can overcome that this weekend.


21. Susan Ejore, Senior, Oregon (+21 / 42)

Ejore has had three amazing races this fall – a win at the Bill Dellinger Invitational, a 6th place finish at the PAC 12 meet (which she led for a bit), and a 3rd place finish at the West Regional Championships. The regional result placed her ahead of everyone in the PAC 12 with the exception of teammate Jessica Hull (note: Dani Jones was at the Mountain Regional). Ejore should be a contender if she holds herself together this weekend and learns from an abysmal 61st place finish at Pre-Nats Cardinal race. This could either be a top 15 run, or a disaster. The Ducks team chances will likely depend on it.


20. Fiona O’Keeffe, Junior, Stanford (-1 / 19)

O’Keefe stays relatively stable in the top 20 after placing 5th in the West region. O’Keeffe has yet to really challenge for a win, but she’s never far away from the front. With some people bound to make moves in an effort to win, O’Keeffe will likely be looking to knock off both those who struggle to hold onto moves and those who made them too early.


19. Elly Henes, Junior, NC State (+7 / 26)

Henes is another person who benefited from the overall success of the ACC this weekend after her 2nd place finishes from both the Southeast Regional Championship and ACC meet. Henes stayed close to Wasike, but could not quite get into range to make the Louisville star sweat too much. Henes should thrive when she finally has more competition around her in the 10-30 pack.


18. Weronika Pyzik, Senior, Oregn (-3 / 15)

Pyzik is another big piece to the Oregon title hopes and she’ll need to finish in the top 20 for the Ducks this weekend. Pyzik was 7th in the stacked West region, but after great races all season, she should stay near the front, especially as many in the PAC 12 will likely try to keep each other in sight (Colorado, Oregon, Stanford).


17. Caroline Alcorta, Senior, Villanova (-3 / 14)

Alcorta lost to her teammate Rachel McArthur this weekend as she placed 3rd in the Mid-Atlantic region, but Alcorta should still be expected to lead Villanova moving forward. She placed 12th at Nuttycombe and the Wildcats will also be looking at a longshot for the title which should rely on a top finish from Alcorta.


16. Charlotte Prouse, Senior, New Mexico (-9 / 7)

Based on the results, Prouse ran alongside teammate Adva Cohen at the Mountain Regional Championships where she placed 11th. If this was an all-out effort, Prouse would likely fall to the bottom of the top 50 (if not out of it), but I have to believe it was a controlled race. If it was not, the Lobos can kiss their title hopes goodbye. Prouse can be a top five performer on the right day.


15. Jessica Pascoe, Junior, Florida (-4 / 11)

Watching the South Regional Championships, Pascoe never looked out of control. She did not have quite enough to go with Mircheva towards the end, but she was incredibly taxed by the effort as she crossed the line. Pascoe is still one of the few athletes not to be outside the top two in any race this season, although that streak is likely to end at Nationals. It will be interesting to see which moves Pascoe tries to go with in Madison and whether she was holding back this weekend or could not hold on.


14. Aubrey Roberts, Junior, Northeastern (-4 / 10)

Roberts is probably getting a little benefit of the doubt after a 4th place finish in the Midwest region thanks to strong races at BIG 10's and Pre-Nats Cardinal, although it is tough to say exactly how strong Logue and Lokedi are after Lokedi’s bizarre finish at BIG 12's. Roberts should stick near the front, but will likely be one of the first to be dropped in the final 1000 meters of moves. She should pick up any stragglers who go too early.


13. Elise Cranny, Senior, Stanford (-1 / 12)

Cranny finished 4th in the West region and seems comfortable finishing right outside the top runners. While that’s not the description that any runner really wants, she just has not found her way to the podium in any major races this season. That being said, the only person ranked lower than Cranny to beat her this season is Ejore at the West Regional Championships. Otherwise, she does exactly what she is supposed to. That should bode well for Cranny this weekend and it will likely lead to a top 10 finish.


12. Sharon Lokedi, Senior, Kansas (+5 / 17)

As I mentioned in Roberts description, Lokedi had one of the most bizarre finishes at the BIG 12 conference meet where she dropped 30 seconds in the last 700 meters to Callie Logue. Lokedi could not beat Logue this weekend either, but managed to still place 2nd in a much more competitive race. Lokedi also finished 6th at Pre-Nats White and should be aiming to repeat her upset win from the 10,000 meters on the track.


11. Callie Logue, Sophomore, Iowa State (+5 / 16)

There’s no better way to enter the championship meet than on a three meet win streak and that’s exactly what Logue has done. Logue has not seen major competition since Nuttycombe where she placed 21st, so it will be interesting to see how she handles the large pack in Madison.


10. Anna Rohrer, Junior, Notre Dame (+28 / 38)

Anna Rohrer is back. Rohrer gave Alicia Monson the biggest challenge she’s faced this year outside of Nuttycombe and cemented herself as a name to remember come NCAA's. Rohrer never backed down from a fight and I expect her to make a move to try to win this meet. Will it work out? Who knows, but she’s going to try.


9. Erica Birk, Junior, BYU (+4 / 13)

Birk has silently performed at a high level all year while others have gotten the spotlight. With New Mexico owning the region, Birk’s 3rd place regional finish was overshadowed while the men of BYU have dominated the headlines from Provo throughout the season. That being said, Birk will have her hands full trying to upset any of the runners ahead of her in the rankings.


8. Dani Jones, Senior, Colorado (-2 / 6)

As mentioned before, Jones ran alongside teammates Scholl and Morley to finish 6th at the Mountain region in what appeared to be a controlled effort. There’s no reason to worry about her two spot drop in the ranking, but Jones will need every ounce of effort to win her first NCAA XC title this weekend.


7. Katrina Robinson, Freshman, Arkansas (+2 / 9)

Robinson is by far the best freshman in the NCAA this year and will lead the Razorbacks in Wisconsin as the SEC school tries to win an NCAA title. Robinson beat all of her teammates at the South Central Regional Championships, but with no other major competition, it’s tough to know just where she’ll be at NCAA's.


6. Jessica Hull, Senior, Oregon (+2 / 8)

Hull was 2nd in the West region and has not finished outside the top three in any race this season. She’s also won on the Wisconsin course once this season with her Pre-Nats Cardinal win. Hull is probably the least secure of anyone in the top eight, but should definitely be considered a threat for the title.


5. Allie Ostrander, Junior, Boise State (+1 / 6)

If you had doubts about Allie O after the conference meet, you wouldn’t be alone. Her blowout win at the West Regional Championships should dispel any doubts you have about her challenging for the title. The West was probably the deepest individual region and she absolutely crushed them. It looks like she’s ready to win in Wisconsin...


4. Dorcas Wasike (Louisville) Junior (0 / 4)

3. Ednah Kurgat (New Mexico) Junior (0 / 3)

2. Alicia Monson (Wisconsin) Junior (0 / 2)

1. Weini Kelati (New Mexico) Sophomore (0 / 1)

These four all stayed put in the rankings after their regional meets, so why not talk about them together? Wasike, Monson, and Kelati all won their regions, while Kurgat placed 2nd to Kelati. Outside of each other, no one has really challenged any of these four so far in 2018. Kelati and Monson should still be considered the co-favorites with Kurgat and Wasike right behind them. We will leave the NCAA predictions to another article, but these four have cemented their top spots in the nation after some amazing seasons.

Added

Shannon Malone (Syracuse)

Angie Nickerson (Southern Utah)

Taryn Rawlings (Portland)

Anne Forsythe (Michigan)

Dominique Clairmonte (NC State)

Katie Rainsberger (Washington)

Juliana Mount (Oregon State)

Militsa Mircheva (Florida State)


Dropped

Bethany Hasz (Minnesota)

Katherine Receveur (Indiana)

Alexis Fuller (Boise State)

Adva Cohen (New Mexico)

Cardama Baez Carmela (Oregon)

Maggie Farrell (Michigan State)

Margaret Allen (Indiana)

Julia Paternain (Penn State)


Just Missed

Margaret Allen (Indiana)

Winny Koech (UTEP)

Linda Cheruiyot (UTEP)

Alexis Fuller (Boise State)

Abigail Green (Virginia)

Alison Willingmyre (Penn State)

Danae Rivers (Penn State)

Haley Herberg (Oklahoma)

Joyce Kimeli (Auburn)

Katherine Receveur (Indiana)


Who to Watch

Lindsey Brewis (Loyola (Ill.))

Addi Zerrenner (Arizona)

Destiny Collins (Texas)

Grace Mancini (La Salle)

Annie Fuller (Michigan State)

Egle Morenaite (Iona)

Libby Kokes (Columbia)

Bethany Hasz (Minnesota)

Alison Girard (Texas A&M-CC)

Adva Cohen (New Mexico)