National championships aren't gift-wrapped. Though these perennial powerhouses may have their appeal, recruiting isn't easy. Neither is signing.
The fall will soon be upon us and Flotrack is ranking the top NCAA recruiting classes for the fall. Who will have an immediate impact on a team's top five? What team is built for longevity?
The Vanderbilt Commodores
All statistics are based on the ASICS Fast 100 Rankings. The cutoff times selected were the 100th fastest marks in the country last season. See the complete list here.
# of sub-17:30 5k - 2
# of sub-10:40 3200m -- 2
# of sub-4:55 1600m -- 3
# of sub-2:12 800m -- 2
# of NXN / FL Qualifiers -- 3
"If Coach Steve Keith was not set up enough for a great 2013 season with all of the quality women he brings back, he definitely sealed the deal by signing the best recruiting class in Vanderbilt history."
Let's start with what's really important: quality videos. Thumbs up to the Vanderbilt Sports Information Department for releasing the following video about their signing class. In times when gathering PRs and accolades is a tedious and laborious process, Vanderbilt is a saving grace. Oh, and thumbs up to coach Steve Keith and his staff for signing such an incredible incoming freshmen class. Sorry -- I'm a glutton for good production.
To add to the Commodore spirit, here's Vandy's Blue Carpet interview from the 2013 NCAA Cross Country Nationals Dinner. Coach Keith was the unofficial winner of "Stashies at Nashies" for the rarely seen mechanical eyebrow/mustache glasses.
Reagan Anderson (Wilmington, DE); Tatnall School
800m -- 16th
1600m -- 8th
Delaware's '12 state cross country champion and Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year heads south through Maryland and Virginia to Nashville, TN. Anderson was the '12 Manhattan High School Cross Country Invitational Winner, where Tatnall beat a Jillian Fanning-less Fayetteville-Manlius 81 points to 90.
Along with the storied Tatnall team, Anderson made the trip to NXN each of her four years in high school. Her finishes in Portland, OR were 77th (2009), 93rd (2010), 23rd (2011), and 72nd (2012).
Carmen Carlos (Mobile, AL); McGill-Toolen
800m -- 92nd
1600m -- 26th
3200m -- 11th
Another '12 Gatorade Cross Country Runner of the Year, but this time, from Alabama. Carlos is a four-time Alabama XC State Champion (6A), finished 12th at Foot Locker last fall, and won the New Balance Indoor National two-mile (10:25.30).
Courtney Krieghauser (Southlake, TX); Southlake-Carroll
1600m -- 33rd
3200m -- 97th
Another five-star recruit from another strong high school distance running program. Krieghauser was the Texas 1600m State Champion (5A), finished runner-up at the state cross country meet in 2011, and took fifth the next year in 2012. On the national stage, Krieghauser has made a very strong progression. Like Anderson, Krieghauser (along with Southlake-Carroll) has been to Nike Cross Nationals all four years and finished 136th (2009), 187th (2010), 76th (2011), and 54th (2012).