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#1 Abbey D'Agostino (Dartmouth)
DAGS has been unbeatable since the last time she lost in Louisville last year. Her winning streak should continue in Terre Haute.
#2 Emma Bates (Boise State)
What a year Emma Bates has had. Her only loss came from high school phenom Alexa Efraimson, in what seemed like a controlled effort by Bates. If there is anyone that has a shot to take down D'Agostino, it's Bates.
#3 Juliet Bottorff (Duke)
Although her team had a very sub-par season dealing with injuries, illness and other issues, Bottorff had the best season of her career at Duke. With wins at Notre Dame and ACCs, Bottorff has been one of the top harriers in the country.
#4 Marielle Hall (Texas)
Somewhat a surprise this year, Hall could win the most improved runner award in the NCAA. After a win at the South Central Region where she beat some very good Arkansas girls, she is certainly in the mix as someone who could take down D’Agostino.
#5 Elaina Balouris (William and Mary)
It’s tough to really gauge the top runner on this team between Balouris and Stites, but the edge goes to Balouris on this one because she finished ahead of Stites in 2012 and has a bit more experience at this level.
#6 Emily Sisson (Providence)
Similarly to William and Mary, Providence has three very good athletes that on any given day could beat the other. I like Sisson here also because of her experience and the leadership she has provided to this team all season long.
#7 Elvin Kibet (Arizona)
Every great team needs a low stick in the top-10 to give them a chance to win the crown and Kibet provides just that for the Wildcats. Through the majority of the season, Kibet has been the go-to Ms. Consistency and her placement will set the tone for the rest of the Wildcats in Terre Haute this weekend.
#8 Colleen Quigley (FL State)
Quigley is a wildcard at this spot simply because of her pure talent. Quigley is top-5 caliber on the right day and she is due for a good one.
#9 Sarah Collins (Providence)
The Friars are loaded up front with Sisson and Collins and placing two in the top-10 is a good way to give your team a chance to win the national title.
#10 Aisling Cuffe (Stanford)
Cuffe has played a gigantic part of Stanford’s qualification into this race and has run well all season long to lead the Cardinal. She’s top-10 quality and could finish anywhere from 5-10, but I like her right at 10 here.
#11 Shalaya Kipp (Colorado)
It must be tough to have to come on so late in the year the past couple of seasons because of how long her track season lasts, but Kipp is lucky to have the master of "getting ready at the right time" for a coach and she will be in the thick of the things at NCAAs.
#12 Emily Stites (William and Mary)
The second part of the dynamic duo of William and Mary, Stites is coming off of a big win at the Southeast Regional. If she can keep her momentum up from the Regional, don’t be surprised to see her swap places with teammate Balouris.
#13 Shelby Houlihan (Arizona State)
Houlihan put the Sun Devil team on her back all year long and almost got them to NCAAs. She’s a very solid individual in this field and has run from the front all season long. Look for her to be in the top-5 for the majority of the race. She may just hang on and surprise.
#14 Hannah Walker (FL State)
Walker has taken a lot of the year trying to figure out NCAA cross country and when she does, she will be very good. A very talented athlete that loves to work it from the front, she is afraid of no one and if she can hang on, Walker is a possible top-10 finisher.
#15 Sammy Silva (New Mexico)
This Harvard transfer has been a God-send for Joe Franklin as Silva has been money all year long. After a solid win at the Mountain Regional, Silva will be ready for the biggest race of the year.
#16 Liv Westphal (Boston College)
The French native, like Houlihan, almost single-handedly got her team to Terre Haute. Westphal is a tough runner and in sure to be difficult conditions in Terre Haute, Westphal should thrive.
#17 Erin Finn (Michigan)
Finn is the first true freshman of this group, and is very deserving of this high ranking. Winning the Big Ten meet in your first year is very difficult and Finn has proven she is not afraid of mixing it up with the big dogs of the NCAA.
#18 Kelsey Santisteban (California)
This could be a major underrating as Santisteban has silently been having one of the best seasons of any individual in the NCAA. With wins at the USF Invite, the open race at Pre-Nats, the Sac-State Pre-Regional race and top-5 finishes at Pac-12s, West Regional and Panorama Farms, Santisteban has been through the fire and will be race ready for the intensity at Nationals.
#19 Laura Nagel (Providence)
The three front-runners of Providence are very good and feed off each other very well. If Sisson and Collins run as predicted, Nagel will find herself having a great day and top-20 is not out of the picture for the Friar.
#20 Jessica Tonn (Stanford)
Cuffe’s right hand girl, Jessica Tonn is another huge reason why the Cardinal have even qualified for Nationals. In her senior year, Tonn will be sure to leave it all on the course. Her low-stick points along with Cuffe’s will be huge for Stanford in the team race.
#21 Katie Clark (Butler)
In any national final it seems that Clark is somehow in the mix. This weekend should be no different as Clark will be counted on to help Butler to their best team finish in years, maybe ever.
#22 Laura Hollander (Cal Poly)
The golden girl of 2012 has quietly had a solid year and if she is healthy, Hollander is capable of finishing the way she did in Louisville—9th overall.
#23 Barbara Strehler (Virginia)
Coach Todd Morgan deserves a lot of credit for the way he has shaped his Cavalier women this year as they have come out of seemingly nowhere (granted a great recruiting class) to be a quality team. Much of Virginia’s rise in the rankings is due to Strehler’s solid front-running. Strehler is All-American talented and will hang in the front for as long as she can. She’s definitely top-25 quality.
#24 Cally Macumber (Kentucky)
Considering she was the second top returner from NCAAs last season, Macumber has had a somewhat of a disappointing season this year. Talent does not just fly away and she is a good championship racer. She'll have a good day in Terre Haute.
#25 Cory McGee (Florida)
When I originally projected the meet I had McGee finishing pretty high and was nervous earlier in the season when she was not running at the level I thought she would be. Then all of a sudden at the South Regional, McGee looked very good and almost hung on for the win, but settled for a solid 2nd place behind Quigley. McGee is coming on at the right time and is the last person any athlete wants to see kicking behind them that last and long 400 meters at Lavern Gibson Course.
#26 Crystal Nelson (Iowa State)
Nelson has flown onto the scene in 2013 as the top-dog for one of the upstart teams in the NCAA. She showed her chops at Roy Griak where she was 3rd and has been outstanding since with a 10th at Wisco, 2nd at Big-12s and the individual title at the Midwest Regional. Much of running well is momentum and Nelson might have some of the most momentum of any runner in the NCAA.
#27 Katie Flood (Washington)
After a basic no-show in 2012, Flood has come back to the running world and is starting to look like the Katie Flood who was 7th individually in 2011. Washington will need her to really step up to have a chance to be on the podium (they do have a lot of pieces).
#28 Grace Heymsfield (Arkansas)
The deepest team in the NCAA should have at least one All-American if not more, but Heymsfield had the best performance out of all the Hogs in 2012 and she is not afraid of the Big Dance.
#29 Carrie Verdon (Colorado)
No longer a freshman, Verdon has done a great job leading the slew of solid freshman in Colorado. Verdon has quality experience at the national and world level as she was 20th overall at World Juniors last year.
#30 Julie Accurso (Ohio U.)
The queen of the Great Lakes Regional, Accurso somehow gets it done every year at the Regional meet and is good at carrying her peak onto the National Championships. She was 38th in 2012 and should improve upon that finish in Terre Haute this weekend.
#31 Maria Larsson (Arizona)
The Swedish steeple sensation has been great for the Wildcats this year. With her addition, Arizona has become one of the top teams in the NCAA. Coming off of a sub-par Pac-12s and pretty good West Regional, Larsson’s performance in Terre Haute will be huge for Arizona’s chances for a podium spot.
#32 Samantha Nadel (Georgetown)
Going into the season, Katrina Coogan and Madeline Chambers were seemingly the top dogs at Georgetown. Out of the blue came Nadel and she has been on fire as of late. A 6th place finish at Big East (a loaded meet) and a 3rd place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regional, Nadel is feeling it at the right time.
#33 Rachel Sorna (Cornell)
One of the top steeplers in the NCAA returning, Sorna is never afraid to mix it up from the front and her low-stick points will be huge for Cornell from the team race perspective.
#34 Kayla Beattie (Arizona)
The former Iowa standout and prep phenom, Beattie has come right in and been instant offense for Coach Li in Tucson. She adds another potential All-American for Arizona as they attempt to finish on the podium in Terre Haute.
#35 Kate Avery (Iona)
British transfer who waited all year last year in New Rochelle, New York recovering from an injury, Avery carried Iona all season and has PRs that are better than most of the girls in the field (15:35 5k, 33:27 10k). This could be way too high of a ranking if she runs as well as her PRs show.
#36 Agata Strausa (Florida)
Strausa and McGee are solid training partners in Gainesville as both Gators are looking at potential All-American bids. After finishing 101st in 2012, she has greatly improved her speed on the track, which will pay dividends at NCAAs this weekend.
#37 Linden Hall (FL State)
Speaking of great improvements on the track, Hall came onto the scene this past spring by making the 1500 meter final at NCAAs and ran 4:15. Hall has improved in every race this season and is one of the most underrated runners in the country.
#38 Emily Lipari (Villanova)
After how well Lipari ran this weekend, this could be a farce of a prediction as she could be top-15. Lipari did have her best race of the year at the Mid-Atlantic Regional, by taking home the individual honors and I wonder if she has any gas left in the tank. In all reality, she could prove this wrong and run great this weekend. Either way for sure Lipari is All-American quality.
#39 Leah O'Connor (Mich. State)
O’Connor is one of the best young steeplers in the NCAA and has been a quality leader for one of the best up and coming teams in the NCAA. As her low-stick is so important for the Spartans, O’Connor’s All-American points will be huge as Michigan State seeks to have their best team finish in quite a while (she finished 122nd in 2012).
#40 Katrina Coogan (Georgetown)
A 72nd performance in 2012, Coogan has improved in leaps and bounds since Louisville. She finished 7th indoors individually in the 3000m and has been solid for the Hoyas as a no. 2 runner for G-Town all season.