2017 FloXC Countdown: #21 Villanova Women

Follow our 2017 FloXC Countdown, where FloTrack ranks the top 25 cross country teams and individuals in the NCAA this season which will be LIVE on FloTrack. The No. 21 women's spot goes to Villanova, and here's why:

Probable Top Three:

SR Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (2:01 800; 4:33 Mile; 85th at '16 NCAA XC)
JR Bella Burda (9:20 3K; 16:19 5K; 33:50 10K; 136th at '16 NCAA XC)
JR Nicole Hutchinson (4:13 1500; 9:09 3K; 197th at '16 NCAA XC)

Fourth & Fifth Woman Battle:

SO Kaley Ciluffo (2:06 800; 4:43 Mile; 225th at '16 NCAA XC)
FR Lauren Ryan (4:20 1500; 9:21 3K; 13th at '16 World Jr 3K; 44th at '17 World Jr XC)
SO Ann Campbell (4:25 1500; 9:41 3K; 16:51 5K; 222nd at '15 NCAA XC)
SR Katie Fisher (9:42 3K; 16:53 5K; 210th at '16 NCAA XC)
FR Rachel McArthur (2:05 800; 4:41 1600; 17:16 5K XC; 14th at '15 NXN)
SR Kelsey Margey (2:05 800; 4:17 1500)

Impact Freshmen/Transfers:

Rachel McArthur via Nokesville, VA (2:05 800; 4:41 1600; 17:16 5K XC; 14th at '15 NXN)
Alex Harris via Thiells, NY (10:14 3K SC; 18:23 5K XC; 3rd at '15 Pan-Am Jr 3K SC)
Lauren Ryan via Australia (4:20 1500; 9:21 3K; 13th at '16 World Jr 3K; 44th at '17 World Jr XC)


Led by head coach Gina Procaccio in what will be her 18th year, the Villanova Wildcats play host to a heavy returning class along with some blue chip recruits that could see them eclipse their '16 NCAA finish of 21st.

In 2016, Nova surpassed pre-season expectations in part due to international talent Síofra Cléirigh Büttner, whose range from 800m (2:01.9) to 6K XC is almost unthinkable. How many top-100 NCAA XC runners out there have split a sub-56 400 on the books? The one knock on her is that she extended her season all the way through August to compete in the 800m heats of the London world championships representing Ireland, but should she find herself recovered from that effort she'll be looking to lead the team with a top-75 national finish in her last season of XC eligibility.

In fact, all but one of the Wildcats' 2016 NCAA squad returns -- NCAA mile runner-up and XC frontrunner Angel Piccirillo, who graduated. The two runners behind her and Buttner in that '16 NCAA race are Bella Burda and Nicole Hutchinson, now both XC juniors. They look to remain locks in the scoring lineup, with high school XC standout Burda coming off a 33:50 10K PR and Hutchinson having qualified for indoor and outdoor NCAAs with her 4:13 in the 1500 this spring.

There are a number of middle-distance standouts that will be looking to step up (both literally in distance, and figuratively) to score those crucial fourth and fifth-finisher points for Nova in 2017. '16 NCAA returners Katie Fisher, Ann Campbell, and Kaley Ciluffo all finished between 210th and 225th at nationals last year, and all three are coming off PRs in the indoor season, though Fisher and Campbell also extended their range to the 5K and 10K outdoors.

Nova boasts two freshman recruits who could make an immediate impact on the '17 team, should the coaches choose to not redshirt them -- Rachel McArthur and Lauren Ryan. McArthur achieved national notoriety for winning the Brooks PR 800m this spring, but her distance acumen is nearly as impressive with a 17:16 XC 5K best and a 14th-place showing at NXN in her junior year. The real wildcard for the Cats will be Ryan, who ran as a superstar prep in Australia and has global championship experience that almost no other women in the NCAA have. Ryan not only holds impressive 1500 and 3K PBs, but she has also already competed against the world's best both on dirt with her 44th-place finish at World XC Juniors this year, and on the track in the 3K at World Juniors last year.

Though the loss of Piccirillo will certainly be a blow to the team, Villanova's upward trend looks set to continue this XC season if their middle-distance stars and freshman talents can translate their successes to the grass in Louisville.


Human, Or Super Saiyan? Grant Holloway Keeps The World Wondering

Florida Athletics Grant Holloway.jpg

By Zach Dirlam

Area code 757, tattooed on Holloway’s left wrist, services the southeastern-most portions of Virginia, covering the Virginia Peninsula, Eastern Shore and Hampton Roads.

Big 12 Preview: Divine Oduduru's Coming Out Party, NCAA Record Chase In HJ

http://texastech.com Screen Shot 2018-02-22 at 6.28.03 PM.png

The Big 12 is one of the most well-rounded conferences in the NCAA, with solid sprint matchups, distance races, and even a potential high jump collegiate record battle set to go down in Ames, Iowa, this weekend at Iowa State's 300-meter track. Read on for a rundown of the top events to watch.

14 Athletes Set To Represent Canada At 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Untitled design (6).png

Feb. 14 release courtesy of Athletics Canada:

House Of Run Podcast: Coleman, Nelvis, Brazier Show Out

© Nick Fojud-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_10637940_168383134_lowres.jpg

On this week's episode of the House of Run Jason and Kevin discuss Christian Coleman's world record, Sharika Nelvis's American record, the doubles by Shelby Houlihan and Paul Chelimo and all the other action from the 2018 US Indoor Championships.

Star-Studded 3K, 60mH Tiebraker Headline 2018 MPSF Indoor Championships

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Track and Field: Pac-12 Championships

By Taylor Dutch

Powerhouse teams from the Pac-12 and West Coast Conferences come together this weekend to compete at the 2018 MPSF Indoor Track and Field Championships, which you can catch LIVE on FloTrack.

Teahna Daniels Set To Extend Texas Sprints' Legacy At Big 12s

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Track and Field: 90th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays

By Lincoln Shryack

Texas sprinter Teahna Daniels wasted no time in becoming the fastest woman in Big 12 history. Less than two months into her NCAA career, back in 2016, Daniels won the 60m NCAA crown in 7.11 — the fastest ever by a freshman and then the fourth-best performance in collegiate history. She hadn’t even won a Big 12 title yet, but it was clear that the Longhorn freshman would soon dominate the conference.

The Best Races From The 2017 Big 12 Indoor Championships

© Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_9899787_168383134_lowres.jpg

This weekend Ames, Iowa, will play host to the 2018 Big 12 Championship. Like 2017, FloTrack will have live coverage of the meet as teams chase a conference championship and qualifying marks to the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships. 

On The Run: NCAA Mile Champion Josh Kerr | Ep. 75

Kirby Lee USATSI_9935150_168383134_lowres.jpg

NCAA mile and 1500m champion Josh Kerr of New Mexico joins Jojo and Kevin to discuss his approach to this weekend’s Mountain West Conference Championships, how his life has changed since he finished second at the Millrose Games, beating Edward Cheserek in the mile, following the collegiate scene growing up in Scotland, and choosing to attend New Mexico before he even visited the school. 

Cas Loxsom On Depression And The Realities Of Chasing The Running Dream

Anthony Alvarez cas loxsom

We caught up with Cas Loxsom at this past weekend's USATF Indoor Championships in Albuquerque after the American indoor record holder dropped out of his race. 

Josh Kerr, Ednah Kurgat Highlight Mountain West Championships

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports USATSI_10111911_168383134_lowres.jpg

Some of the nation’s top distance runners will be action during the distance medley relay at the Mountain West Conference Championships. Ednah Kurgat, Allie Ostrander, Dillon Maggard, and Josh Kerr are all expected to play pivotal roles in their team’s chances on Thursday night. Outside of the distance medley relay, the four are expected to be in action throughout the three day meet which you can watch live on FloTrack.