XC Top 50: Week 6 (10/14)


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

50. Eric Hamer, Senior, Colorado State (Unranked)

Hamer hasn't had been a monster low-stick or hasn't necessarily had a breakout performance. However, the CSU senior has finished 22nd in back-to-back races (Nuttycombe and Pre-Nats). I like that consistency and think it should be enough for a ranking in our Top 50.


49. Farah Abdulkarim, Junior, Ole Miss (-1 / 48)

It wasn't the best race from Abdulkarim who finished 35th in the Cardinal race at Pre-Nats. However, I believe this is a minor fluke. I'm still riding the high of his 4th place finish at Beantown. For now, he'll stay in our rankings.


48. Clayton Young, Rs. Senior, BYU (-2 / 46)

Young held his own in the Pre-Nats White race finishing 12th, but most of teammates were battling near the front. BYU has said that they adjusted their training to peak at Nationals, so I'm sure we will see something a bit stronger from Young as we enter the postseason.


47. Mickey Davey, Senior, Air Force (-3 / 44)

Finishing 15th in the Pre-Nats White race is a very solid performance, but I thought Davey would be a contender to finish inside the top 10 this weekend.


46. Miler Haller, Rs. Junior, Boise State (-1 / 45)

Did not race this weekend


45. Tibebu Proctor, Sophomore, Washington (Unranked)

Proctor ran one of the smartest races of the weekend in the Pre-Nats white race. While Mantz did the work up front, the Washington sophomore patiently waited in the chase pack and made a late surge to challenge for the lead. Although he dropped to 6th in the final straightaway, I liked what we saw from this youngster. He'll give the Huskies another low-stick to lean on this season.


44. Brent Demarest, Rs. Senior, Virginia (-9 / 35)

Placing 6th at the Penn State Open is a respectable finish, but I expected something more from someone who was ranked 35th and was racing against a relatively light field (compared to Pre-Nats).


43. Aidan Reed, Junior, Southern Utah (Unranked)

Aidan Reed is one of the best kept secrets of the NCAA. He has put his head down, worked hard, and is now a low-stick for his Southern Utah teammates. His 13th place finish in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race was a nice complement to his 27th place finish at Nuttycombe.


42. Eduardo Herrera, Sophomore, Colorado (-3 / 39)

Herrera had a slightly underwhelming performance in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race, finishing 31st overall. It wasn't ideal, but I think we all know how talented this young man is. He'll be in the All-American conversation next month.


41. Olin Hacker, Junior, Wisconsin (+2 / 43)

Did not run this weekend


40. Caleb Webb, Junior, Portland (+2 / 42)

Did not run this weekend


39. Jaret Carpenter, Junior, Purdue (-1 / 38)

Finishing 9th in the Pre-Nats White race is about what I expected from the Purdue junior. I would have liked to see him closer to the top five, but this was a nice result to have as he enters the postseason.


38. Yusuke Uchikoshi, Rs. Senior, Boise State (-1 / 37)

Did not run this weekend


37. Paul Roberts, Junior, Wyoming (Unranked)

Roberts has been on our radar for a while, and now we can no longer ignore him. Finishing 12th in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race establishes Roberts as a legitimate All-American threat. His decision to transfer from CSU Pueblo seems to be paying off.


36. Clayson Shumway, Rs. Senior, BYU (Unranked)

No one was doubting that Shumway was talented, especially after a spring season where he was one of the best steeplechasers in the nation. We saw him near the front of the BYU pack in the early portion of the season, but I was interested to see how he would handle stronger competition. Sure enough, he delivered on the big stage with a strong 5th place in the Pre-Nats White race. At one point, he seemed like he was in contention to win.


35. Chris Olley, Rs. Junior, San Francisco (Unranked)

Very few people are talking about Chris Olley, the UK native who nearly walked away with a win in the Pre-Nats White race. His 3rd place finish came out of nowhere, but it was a pleasant surprise to see the Imperial College London transfer make a name for himself in the NCAA.


34. Alek Parsons, Rs. Sophomore, Stanford (Unranked)

Alek Parsons was one of the big names on our radar entering this weekend. Ben Weisel even noted in his article Swing Man that Parsons could be a crucial scorer for Stanford this weekend. Sure enough, Parsons stepped up and delivered a clutch 11th place finish in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race. When you pair that performance with his 3rd place finish at the Stanford Invite, you begin to have a great understanding of what Parsons can do.


33. Andrew Jordan, Junior, Iowa State (-1 / 32)

Did not run this weekend


32. Ashenafi Hatte, Junior, Oklahoma State (-1 / 31)

Hatte cruised across the line with teammate Isai Rodriguez at the Arturo Barrios Invite. He settled for 2nd against a relatively easy field.


31. Conner Mantz, Rs. Sophomore, BYU (+9 / 40)

There are few distance runners in the NCAA who are willing to take the pace out hard and run from the front. Mantz may not have won (he was 4th in the Pre-Nats White race), but he made a statement this weekend with his aggression.


30. Steven Fahy, Senior, Stanford (-1 / 29)

We opted to remove guys like Brandt and Veatch out of our rankings since they not have yet raced with in their team singlet this season. However, Stanford is known for holding out some of their top runners until the postseason. That could very easily be the case with Fahy in 2018.


29. Geordie Beamish, Rs. Senior, Northern Arizona (+4 / 33)

Beamish's 14th place finish in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race is about what I expected (maybe slightly better). He is just one of the unlimited scoring options Northern Arizona has at their disposal.


28. Nadeel Wildschutt, Sophomore, Coast. Carolina (+2 / 30)

The older Wildschutt brother cruised to an easy win at then High Point Invite with younger brother Adriaan only one second behind. Expect Nadeel and Adriaan to be in the mix once the postseason begins.


27. Peter Seufer, Senior, Virginia Tech (+9 / 36)

The VT senior walked away with a runner-up finish at the Penn State Open, losing only to James Sugira of Eastern Kentucky. After winning Paul Short last weekend, it's safe to say that Seufer is in the best shape of his collegiate career. It will be interesting to see how he handles the competition at ACC's and the Southeast regional.


26. John Dressel, Senior, Colorado (+1 / 27)

It was a strong 16th place finish Dressel in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race, but I expected him to be closer to the top 10. Still, this is only his second race back in a year so I'm sure the Colorado ace is still shaking off the rust.


25. Azaria Kirwa, Senior, Liberty (+1 / 26)

Kirwa's 19th place finish in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race was respectable, but I thought we would see more of a spark from him. Still, it was a nice run and I'm not looking too deep into this result.


24. Connor McMillan, Rs. Senior, BYU (-4 / 20)

7th in the Pre-Nats White race is about what I expected from McMillan. I thought he would fight for a top five finish, but he was still in the hunt with the top group. In a race that came down to an all-out sprint, there no reason to question McMillan's talent.


23. Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse, Junior, Portland (0 / 23)

Did not run with team this weekend


22. Oliver Hoare, Junior, Wisconsin (-1 / 21)

Did not run with team this weekend


21. Cole Rockhold, Senior, Colorado State (-2 / 19)

After placing 9th at Nuttycombe, it was going to be hard for Rockhold to surpass expectations once again. His 19th place finish in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race was strong, but it left something a bit more to be desired.


20. Blaise Ferro, Rs. Sophomore, Northern Arizona (-2 / 18)

Much like Rockhold, it was going to be hard for Ferro to match what we saw from him at Nuttycombe where he finished 8th overall. In the Pre-Nats Cardinal race he finished 18th and was NAU's sixth man.


19. Alex Ostberg, Rs. Junior, Stanford (+6 / 25)

Ostberg placing 8th in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race only validates his All-American performance from 2017. This guy is for real and he is a truly one of the top distance runners in the Western half of the nation.


18. Lawrence Kipkoech, Rs. Senior, Campbell (+6 / 24)

Kipkoech has raced against these men so many times and has clearly learned what he needs to do in order to be successful. Even the pace lagged, Kipkoech remained calm and opted to stay in the chase pack. He was then rewarded with a 6th place finish at in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race.


17. Aaron Templeton, Rs. Senior, Furman (+24 / 41)

When the pace began to quicken and field began to separate, it was Aaron Templeton who was still with the top group of Baxter, Day, and Fisher. The Furman fifth year finished in 4th overall for what had to be the greatest breakout race of the weekend (and likely the year). The Paladins needed a spark this weekend and that is certainly what he provided.


16. Nick Hauger, Senior, Portland (-1 / 15)

Did not run with team this weekend


15. Luis Grijalva, Sophomore, Northern Arizona (-1 / 14)

14. Peter Lomong, Senior, Northern Arizona (+8 / 22)

For Grijalva, he did his job and finished 15th in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race. He was NAU's final scorer on the day. For Lomong, his 7th place finish was a statement to let everyone know that he is the real deal. Through two races, it's clear that his 8th place finish at the national meet was no fluke.


13. Joe Klecker, Rs. Junior, Colorado (0 / 13)

To finish 5th in his first race of the season is an encouraging result. I would have liked for him to be closer to the top group, but a 5th place finish in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race is about what I expected.


12. Alfred Chelanga, Senior, Alabama (0 / 12)

Did not race this weekend


11. Aidan Tooker, Junior, Syracuse (+5 / 16)

Despite all of the madness happening throughout the race, there was no one more calm and poised than Aidan Tooker. The Syracuse junior was incredibly patient and timed his kick perfectly to take 2nd overall in the Pre-Nats White race. That was a execution that we typically see from a veteran. If you're not already, you need to hop on the Tooker bandwagon.


10. Vincent Kiprop, Senior, Alabama (-1 / 9)

Did not race this weekend


9. Gilbert Kigen, Senior, Alabama (-3 / 6)

Did not race this weekend


8. Rory Linkletter, Rs. Senior, BYU (+2 / 10)

Just like last year, Linkletter unleashed a massive kick in the final straightaway to steal the individual win over a respectable field in the Pre-Nats White race. I wanted to see him rebound after a slightly underwhelming performance at Joe Piane. Luckily, he came through and walked away with a win.


7. Edwin Kurgat, Junior, Iowa State (0 / 7)

Did not race this weekend


6. Amon Kemboi, Sophomore, Campbell (-1 / 5)

Placing 9th in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race is a nice result, but I was hoping for something a bit stronger and closer to the top five. Nonetheless, it's important that we don't read too much into this performance and appreciate the fact that he ran well. Remember, this is the same guy who beat out Aidan Tooker for the win at Beantown.


5. James Sugira, Freshman, Eastern Kentucky (+3 / 8)

Not only did Sugira take the title at Penn State, he won by nearly 10 seconds. It's hard to dislike what he brings to the table. He's competed on the world stage before and has shown that he can handle the competition in the NCAA.


4. Matthew Baxter, Senior, Northern Arizona (-3 / 1)

Yes, he did drop to the 4th spot, but anyone in this top four could win the individual title. Baxter placed 3rd at the Pre-Nats Cardinal race after barely losing to Fisher and Day. He is still very much in the individual title conversation.


3. Tyler Day, Junior, Northern Arizona (+1 / 4)

After a 4th place finish at Nuttycombe, Day nearly edged out Fisher in the Pre-Nats Cardinal race. Instead, he had to settle for 2nd, losing by .04. Like Baxter, Day will be in the title conversation come November.


2. Morgan McDonald, Rs. Senior, Wisconsin (+1 / 3)

Did not race this weekend


1. Grant Fisher, Senior, Stanford (+1 / 2)

Fisher admitted that he may have started his kick a bit early, but I was impressed to see him hold off Day and Baxter at the end of the Pre-Nats Cardinal race. It was a close finish, but with better execution, Fisher could emerge as the clear title favorite next month.

ADDED

Eric Hamer (Colorado State)

Tibebu Proctor (Washington)

Aidan Reed (Southern Utah)

Paul Roberts (Wyoming)

Clayson Shumway (BYU)

Chris Olley (San Francisco)

Alek Parsons (Stanford)


DROPPED

Robert Brandt (UCLA)

Jacob Choge (Middle Tennessee State)

Jonathan Davis (Illinois)

Ben Veatch (Indiana)

Kigen Chemadi (Middle Tennessee State)

Emmanuel Rotich (Tulane)

Noah Affolder (Syracuse)


JUST MISSED (in no order)

Tanner Anderson (Washington)

Daniel Carney (BYU)

Conor Lundy (Princeton)

Gilbert Boit (Arkansas)

Cameron Griffith (Arkansas)

Waleed Suliman (Ole Miss)

Christian Ricketts (Southern Utah)

Festus Lagat (Iowa State)

Kyle Mau (Indiana)

Emmanuel Cheboson (Louisville)

James West (Oregon)

Ryan Forsyth (Colorado)

Noah Affolder (Syracuse)

Isai Rodriguez (Oklahoma State)

Carlos Villarreal (Arizona)

Ehab El-Sandali (Iona)


WHO TO WATCH (in no order)

Thomas Ratcliffe (Stanford)

Colin Abert (Penn State)

Chandler Tiegen (Washington State)

Curt Eckstein (Purdue)

Abraham Chirchir (UT-Rio Grande Valley)

Thomas Pollard (Iowa State)

Casey Comber (Villanova)

Andrew Marston (Villanova)

Yared Nuguse (Notre Dame)

Talon Hull (Washington)

Lachlan Cook (Virginia)

Garrett Reynolds (UCLA)

Dan Curts (Iowa State)


SURPRISE OF THE WEEK

Aaron Templeton (Furman)

We had him ranked 41st in our rankings coming into this weekend. He was going up against some of the best collegiate distance runners in the nation. It would have been easy to crumble under the pressure, but Templeton had no fear. He battled with Day, Baxter, and Fisher in the final straightaway and walked away with a 4th place finish.


RUNNER OF THE WEEK

Grant Fisher (Stanford)

Holding off Baxter and Day after a premature start to his kick is not as easy as it sounds. Fisher clearly had a plan in mind and although it may need some tweaks, it's clear that he'll be considered one of the title favorites a month from now.


NOTES

  • There were so many impressive performances that not everyone could find a spot in our rankings. Ryan Forsyth is the first man out of our rankings after finishing 10th in the Cardinal race this past weekend. We opted to rank certain individuals ahead of them based on how well they have done throughout the entire season so far.


  • Isai Rodriguez cruised to a win alongside teammate Ashenafi Hatte. The two looked relatively comfortably (based on social media posts), but the competition was lacking.