Women's XC Top 50: Week 11 - FINAL (11/20)


KEY

(Unranked):

Was not ranked the week before.

(#/#):

First number indicates the change in a runner's ranking from week prior

Second number indicates where the runner was ranked last week

With the NCAA Championships easily being the most important race of the year, finishes at the Championships in Madison are held in high consideration for the ordering of our final rankings...


50. Bethany Hasz, Junior, Minnesota (Unranked)

Hasz dropped out of the rankings after an 8th place finish at the Midwest regional meet, but sneaks into the final spot after finishing 49th at NCAA's. Hasz had an extremely strong and consistent season with four top five finishes.


49. Sinclaire Johnson, Sophomore, Oklahoma State (-1 / 48)

Johnson almost dropped out of the rankings after a tough run at the Midwest regional, but showed that her result there was indeed a fluke. Johnson finished 48th at NCAA's with her best results coming from Nuttycombe (15th) and Arturo Barrios where she won.


48. Anne Forsyth, Freshman, Michigan (-1 / 47)

Forsyth finished 46th at the NCAA Championships after a 3rd at the Great Lakes Regional and a solid 8th place at the Big 10 Championships. Forsyth appeared to be redshirting the early part of the season, but her presence was an important one for the Wolverines down the stretch. Forsyth will be a big name to watch in the coming years.


47. Caroline Alcorta, Senior, Villanova (-30 / 17)

Alcorta struggled at the NCAA Championships, finishing 243rd as most of the Villanova team performed well below their best this weekend. Alcorta’s consistency and dominance through the early part of the season was simply too difficult to leave off the list.


46. Angie Nickerson, Senior, Southern Utah (-10 / 36)

The BIG Sky Champion stood out after her 5th place finish at the Mountain Regional Championships and followed that up with a 47th place finish at NCAA's. Nickerson was surely looking for an all-American finish, but this is still a great result.

45. Lilli Burdon, Junior, Washington (Unranked)The transfer from Oregon had struggled in her first two races as a Husky, finishing 31st at PAC 12's and 33rd at the West Regional Championships. However, if you told me that you follow those races up with a 33rd place finish at NCAA's, I would have been very happy with Burdon’s progression. Burdon surprised many with this finish and its just too difficult to leave an All-American out of the Top 50.


44. Jessica Harris, Senior, Notre Dame (Unranked)A 1500 meter specialist, Harris has held the fourth scoring spot for the Irish almost all season. In her final XC race, she catapulted into the second spot for the team and earned a 37th place finish at NCAA's. Harris will continue to keep her name in the headlines as she should contend for a top spot in the mile indoors.


43. Adva Cohen, Sophomore, New Mexico (Unranked)

Cohen reentered the rankings after finishing 43rd at the NCAA Championships. I'm sure Cohen would’ve liked to finish in the top 40, but she stepped up after a rough race at the Mountain Regional Championships.


42. Juliana Mount, Senior, Oregon State (+7 / 49)Mount led the Oregon State team to their first NCAA Championships as a team and continued leading them in Madison. Mount just missed All-American status, but her season was historic for her team. A 42nd place finish at the national meet is nothing to be sad about.


41. Cailie Logue, Sophomore, Iowa State (-30 / 11)

Logue had been the best Iowa State runner throughout the season and was looking for a top 10 finish entering the meet. Sadly, Logue had her worst race of the season and finished 53rd. Logue still walks away for 2018 as a Midwest and BIG 12 champion over some impressive names.

40. Sharon Lokedi, Senior, Kansas (-28 / 12)

Lokedi looked like a possible challenger for the individual title after her 6th place at the Pre-Nats White race, but has simply had a rocky season from there. Lokedi just missed All-American status as 45th place finish, but should return stronger on the track than she was on the grass.


39. Camille Davre, Freshman, Michigan (Unranked)

Davre joins fellow Wolverine freshman Anne Forsyth in the Top 50 after a 29th place finish in Madison. Davre had been at the back part of the Michigan top five for most of the season, but a great race at the NCAA Championships should be great motivation for Michigan as they bring back two Top 50 freshmen in 2019.

38. Margaret Allen, Senior, Indiana (Unranked)

Allen has had one of the longest competitive seasons having started all the way back at the Iona Meet of Champions where she finished 3rd. Allen has been yo-yoing from the bottom of the rankings throughout the season, but a 36th place finish earns her All-American honors and a spot in our Top 40.


37. Anne Frisbie, Senior, Iowa State (Unranked)

When Saturday didn’t go as planned for Frisbie’s teammate Logue, Frisbie decided to step up and earn an All-American honor to end 2018. Frisbie had been 6th at regionals and BIG 12's and had been knocking on the door of a ranking throughout the year.


36. Nicole Hutchinson, Senior, Villanova (+3 / 39)

Hutchinson was the bright spot for the Villanova Wildcats this weekend who struggled heavily across the board. Hutchinson had not run her best race since Nuttycombe, but showed she enjoyed the Wisconsin course and earned the last All-American spot at 40th.


35. Avery Evenson, Senior, Michigan (-7 / 28)

Evenson was the second finisher for the Wolverines at NCAA's in 38th after leading the squad all year. Evenson was consistently in the top five at meets throughout the year and provided crucial senior leadership as Michigan earned a trip to the podium.


34. Winny Koskei, Sophomore, Wichita State (-2 / 32)

Koskei finished 35th at the NCAA Championships after a 3rd place at the Midwest Regional Championship. Her consistency throughout the year showed again in 2018’s most important race.

33. Val Constien, Senior, Colorado (Unranked)

Constein had not been in the All-American conversation prior to NCAA's even though she finished 40th at Nuttycombe. Constein has an unbelievable 30th place finish in her final XC season as the sixth Colorado Buffalo across the line. How does someone finish 30th and not score for her team?!? Great race by Constein and Colorado.


32. Egle Morenaite, Sophomore, Iona (Unranked)

Egle Morenaite had one of the strongest ends to the seasons of any runner in the nation. After some average results of being 66th at Nuttycombe and 12th at Penn State respectively, Morenaite finished strong as the MAAC Champion (by a lot) and a 2nd place finish at the Northeast Regional Championships. That result was undervalued due to the weak region, but Morenaite finished as the top woman in the region at Nationals with a 28th place finish.


31. Emily Venters, Freshman, Boise State (+6 / 37)

Venters did her part in the Boise State attempt to earn a spot on the podium when she finished 39th across the line. Venters’ best race was probably her 9th place finish at Nuttycombe. As only a freshman, Venters will be expected to join Ostrander near the front of races in 2019.


30. Carmela Cardama Baez, Senior, Oregon (Unranked)

Cardama Baez was another harrier bouncing on and off the rankings at the end of the season. Her 31st place finish was a reminder of the runner who finished 8th at PAC 12's. Baez should be very proud of her 2018 campaign.

29. Tayler Tuttle, Senior, Colorado (Unranked)

Tuttle was the fifth Buffalo across the line in their team title effort and finished 24th (individually) in the nation. This is after not finishing in the top 15 in a race SINCE AUGUST. Tuttle clearly came ready to race for her team this weekend and it showed in her result.


28. Katrina Robinson, Freshman, Arkansas (-21 / 7)

Seeing Robinson miss out on All-American status in 2018 hurt after how spectacular her season had been. A pair of runner-up finishes at SEC's and the Pre-Nats Cardinal, plus an 8th at Nuttycombe, had Robinson set up for a perfect postseason. Sadly, Robinson and the entire Arkansas team struggled in the snow in Madison. Robinson was 41st.


27. Jessica Pascoe, Junior, Florida (-12 / 15)

Pascoe burst into NCAA contention after a surprise victory at the SEC Championships and followed that with a 2nd place finish at the South Regional Championship. Pascoe finished 32nd in Madison, but should be remembered for how she brought the Gators to the NCAA Championships after being ranked outside the top 10 in the South early in the season.


26. Jaci Smith, Senior, Air Force (+5 / 31)

The Air Force senior constructed a clutch race to finish off her final NCAA XC season, earning a 27th place finish for All-American honors. Smith was also 4th at the Mountain Regional Championships.


25. Sage Hurta, Junior, Colorado (Unranked)

Hurta jumps into the rankings after finishing 22nd at the NCAA Championships. Hurta clearly had the potential for this sort of race after finishing 13th at Nuttycombe, but had remained hidden after that race. Hurta finished 28th at the PAC 12 meet and did not compete at the Mountain Regional Championships, so it was uncertain whether we would see her race at Nationals. She could be considered the biggest surprise of the meet.


24. Annie Fuller, Junior, Michigan State (Unranked)

Fuller almost raced her way into a top 20 finish in Madison, but missed out by one place. Her 21st place finish led the Spartans and backed up her early season successes of finishing 44th at Nuttycombe, 3rd at Penn State, and 5th at the Great Lakes Regional Championship.


23. Taryn Rawlings, Senior, Portland (+18 / 41)

Rawlings has consistently been around the 20th spot in major meets this season with a 22nd place finish at Nuttycombe, a 27th place finish in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race, and finally a 26th place finish at the national meet. Her consistency throughout the season slots her in the #23 spot in our rankings.


22. Militsa Mircheva, Senior, Florida State (+8 / 30)

Mircheva overcame a weak early season with a fantastic postseason to lead Florida State to the NCAA Championships. She won the South Regional Championships and finished 4th at the ACC meet. A 25th place finish for All-American status closes out a strong season for Mircheva.


21. Courtney Wayment, Junior, BYU (+19 / 40)

Wayment has a been a strong second runner for BYU this season and came up big (again) at NCAA's for 23rd. She was a strong 3rd at the West Coast Conference meet and 13th at Pre-Nats Cardinal for her best races of the season prior to NCAA's.


20. Savannah Carnahan, Junior, Furman (+5 / 25)

It took a top 20 finish to enter our Top 20 rankings, and Carnahan did just that. Carnahan had consistently been at the front of races this season and finished 20th at NCAA's.


19. Katie Rainsberger, Junior, Washington (+25 / 44)

Rainsberger benefited from a strong final two races to move into the top half of the rankings. Her 19th place at NCAA's led the Huskies this past weekend. Rainsberger also finished 9th at the West Regional Championship and 10th in the Pre-Nats White race. Her assent in the rankings was tied for the largest of anyone in our Top 50 over the last week.


18. Aubrey Roberts, Junior, Northwestern (-4 / 14)

Roberts continues the trend of athletes being ranked in their exact finish at NCAA's as she finished 18th. Roberts has challenged the top athletes in the NCAA all year and finished well to earn NCAA All-American honors.


17. Tabor Scholl, Junior, Colorado (+25 / 42)

Scholl jumps 25 slots in the final rankings because of her 15th place finish in Madison. Scholl had finished 19th at Nuttycombe and been a solid performer at PAC 12's and the Mountain Regional Championships. However, it was unclear exactly how fast she was. She showed us this weekend and secured a huge 15th place finish.


16. Fiona O’Keeffe, Junior, Stanford (+4 / 20)

O’Keefe finished 17th at NCAA's and has had a wonderful season for Stanford. O’Keeffe had not won a meet all year, but had not finished outside the top five in any invitational throughout the year (and against some tough fields too). O’Keeffe always seems to be in contention and showed she could handle the pressure in Madison.


15. Elly Henes, Junior, NC State (+4 / 19)

Henes continued to move up the rankings this year after a 23rd place finish at Nuttycombe. That finish was followed by placing 9th in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race, 2nd at ACC's, and 2nd at the Southeast Regional Championships. All of those performances helped her to continue inching up the rankings. Henes finished off the season with a 16th place finish at NCAA's.


14. Lauren Larocco, Senior, Portland (+15 / 29)

LaRocco led the Portland Pilots to one of their best team performances ever and finished 13th individually. LaRocco was 2nd at the West Coast Conference meet.


13. Weronika Pyzik, Senior, Oregon (+5 / 18)

The Oregon Ducks relied on transfer Weronika Pyrik throughout the season as they aimed for a national title and Pyzik delivered. Pyzik finished 12th at Nationals and helped Oregon win the PAC 12 with her 4th place finish there.


12. Dorcas Wasike, Junior, Louisville (-8 / 4)

Wasike dropping out of the top 10 at NCAA's was one of my biggest surprises of the meet, but a 14th place finish is still a good result. Wasike won five meets this season and had only lost to Kelati and Kurgat prior to Saturday. A great season for the Louisville star.


11. Elise Cranny, Senior, Stanford (+2 / 13)

Cranny is exactly like her teammate O’Keeffe – always in contention, but never winning (well, she did win the Stanford Invitational). Cranny was 3rd at the PAC 12 meet and 4th at the West Regional Championship before finishing 11th at NCAA's.


10. Anna Rohrer, Junior, Notre Dame (0 / 10)

Anna Rohrer might be the only competitor who finished in their exact ranking from post-regionals this weekend after placing 10th. Rohrer returned to her top form late in the season, but that was not enough for her to pull the upset at the Great Lakes Regional Championship or NCAA's.


9. Charlotte Prouse, Senior, New Mexico (+7 / 1 6)

Prouse dropped in the rankings after regionals where she finished with teammate Adva Cohen in 11th. Prouse returned to the top 10 with a 9th place finish at NCAA's to cement the Lobos with the strongest top three in the nation.


8. Makena Morley, Senior, Colorado (+16 / 24)

Morley has only finished in 6th, 7th, and 8th place this season and picked up that 8th place finish at the NCAA meet. Morley had run alongside teammates Scholl and Jones at the West Regional Championships, so it was unclear exactly how strong she was, but she showed that she is a name to be remembered in any race.


7. Erica Birk-Jarvis, Junior, BYU (+2 / 9)

With the BYU men holding most of the BYU attention, Birk-Jarvis' stellar season was slightly overlooked. Birk-Jarvis won three meets this season with an additional 4th in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race and a 3rd at the Mountain Regional Championships. She finished 7th in Madison to close her season.


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

At this point, you’ve likely recognized the pattern of NCAA finishes matching the rankings. Throughout the season, Ostrander showed that she was one of the top harriers in the country in particular with her convincing West Regional Championship win as well as a 5th place finish at Nuttycombe. Her resume just couldn’t edge out those who beat her in Madison.


5. Ednah Kurgat, Junior, New Mexico (-2 / 3)

Kurgat consistently finished behind teammate Weini Kelati throughout the 2018 season and that trend continued at NCAA's where Kurgat could not defend her individual title. Kurgat finished 5th and was crucial for the Lobos 2nd place finish.


4. Alicia Monson, Junior, Wisconsin (-2 / 2)

Monson jumped to the front of the NCAA ranks after Nuttycombe where she seemingly came out of nowhere to win. She won every race she gave a full effort in prior to NCAA's. Monson could only manage 4th on Saturday, but this breakout season leads us to wonder what Monson will unleash on the track. She is barely nudged by Hull in the rankings, mainly because she had not beaten Hull this season.


3. Jessica Hull, Senior, Oregon (+3 / 6)

Hull finished 3rd overall for the Oregon Ducks, but the Ducks could not pull the upset over New Mexico and Colorado. Hull won her first attempt on the Wisconsin course by beating the Cardinal field at Pre-Nats and was 2nd to Jones at the PAC 12 meet and 2nd again to Ostrander at the West Regional Championship. Still, Hull beat stepped up when it mattered and earned a 3rd place finish for Oregon.


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

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

Okay, this was a tough one. Obviously, Jones beat Kelati at NCAA's, but the rankings in our Top 10 have not matched their NCAA finishes. Here is why Kelati remains at the top of the rankings...

  • Kelati defeated Jones twice this season. Once at Nuttycombe and once at the Mountain Regional Championships (where, admittedly, Jones did not run to win).

  • Kelati won the Mountain Regional Championships, the Mountain West Championships, and the Pre-Nats White Race.

  • Kelati won in more convincing fashion throughout the year than Jones did.

  • Kelati made the biggest move to break the field at NCAA's. In my opinion, a better timed move might have earned Kelati the victory.


Regardless of those things, Kelati did not win the most important race of the year, Jones did. Dani Jones should be celebrated for winning that race, a race that completes her career NCAA Championship grand-slam: a national title in XC, indoor, and outdoor. Jones’ race also led her team to an unbelievably low score for the title. Jones did everything right and it worked out on race day.


Kelati keeps the edge because she was better (just ever so slightly) when looking at the full body of work. Simply, Kelati was 2018’s best women’s cross country runner, but Jones is the champion.

New Additions

Annie Fuller (Michigan State)

Sage Hurta (Colorado)

Tayler Tuttle (Colorado)

Carmela Cardama Baez (Oregon)

Egle Morenaite (Iona)

Val Constien (Colorado)

Anne Frisbie (Iowa State)

Margaret Allen (Indiana)

Camille Davre (Michigan) Adva Cohen (New Mexico)

Jessica Harris (Notre Dame)

Lilli Burdon (Washington)

Bethany Hasz (Minnesota)


Dropped Out

Susan Ejore (Oregon)

Rachel McArthurt (Villanova)

Shannon Malone (Syracuse)

Hannah Steelman (Wofford)

Clare O’Brien (Boise State)

Taylor Werner (Arkansas)

Carina Viljoen (Arkansas)

Lauren Gregory (Arkansas)

Jessica Drop (Georgia)

Jacqueline Gaughan (Notre Dame)

Hannah Miller (SMU)

Dominique Clairmonte (NC State)

Purity Sanga (Tennessee Tech)


Runner of the Week

Dani Jones (Colorado)

She won the NCAA Championship (in convincing fashion), overtaking Kelati in the stretch. The Buffaloes also won the team title, so it’s a double victory for Jones.


Surprise of the Week

Sage Hurta (Colorado)

The Buffaloes earn both honors this week after a historic team victory and I believe it falls significantly on Hurta’s shoulders. Hurta was a key piece in Colorado’s victory at Nuttycombe and had not raced well (or at all) since, in part leading to Colorado’s decline in the team rankings with losses to Oregon and New Mexico. Hurta returning to top form and finishing so high up the standings was a huge surprise as many were not sure she would race at all. Colorado still would’ve won without her, but her contributions to that title were unexpected and extraordinary.