Adams State Upends Colorado Mines; Other DII Squads Punch Tickets To Nats

Adams State Athletics unnamed.jpg
The eight NCAA Division II regional championships went down today across the country as teams and individuals fought for a place at the November 18 NCAA meet in Evansville, Indiana. The top three squads in each race automatically booked their ticket to the Big Dance, while the remaining eight team spots will be revealed after the committee runs through the at-large criteria.

Here's a breakdown of the big storylines from regional weekend that have NCAA championship implications:

Adams State Punches Back Against Mines; Epic Battle Awaits In Evansville

What an entertaining battle we had on Saturday between top-ranked Colorado School of Mines and defending NCAA DII champion Adams State at the South Central regional. Both teams put their top four runners inside the top 10, and ASU just barely squeaked out a 35-38 victory thanks in large part to a sweep of the top two places by Lucio Ramirez and Elias Gedyon. 

With the narrow win, the Grizzlies countered the Orediggers' dominating win from conference two weeks ago. ASU reinserted All-Americans Kale Adams and Sydney Gidabuday into their lineup after they sat out the conference meet, and the champs looked like an entirely different squad. 

But a big question remains for Adams State. While the previously injured Gidabuday was the team's fifth scorer in just his season debut, he finished more than a minute behind the winner and almost certainly won't be up to his NCAA top-five ability this cross country season. Six Colorado Mines runners placed ahead of him on Saturday, and the junior was 23 seconds behind the Orediggers' fifth man. It was enough for the win today, but that's not going to cut it at NCAAs. 

While Colorado Mines lost the battle today at South Central, they certainly have to feel pretty good about their position heading into nationals. The Orediggers had a tiny 27-second spread on Saturday and have now proven they can handle the Grizzlies' best shot. It should be one heck of a show in two weeks between these two and Grand Valley State.

Speaking Of Grand Valley State: Do They Have A Shot?

The Laker men easily won their 16th-straight Midwest regional title and seemed to do so with minimal effort as their top runners, Wuoi Mach and Zach Panning, finished well back of race winner James Ngandu in fifth and sixth. This has typically been the GVSU strategy throughout the years at regionals, as their superiority allows them plenty of breathing room to easily advance onto nationals.

The big test will be in Evansville, as Grand Valley pursues their first men's cross country title. The Lakers have just as solid of a group as they did last season when they finished runner-up to Adams State, as the All-American Panning and Wuoi Mach have top-10 potential. 

Any one of Sean Fontana, Trevor Sharnas, Abe Visser, and Enael Woldemichael could be top-30 on a good day. Of those six men listed above, only Panning and Sharnas have been All-Americans previously, so GVSU is still an underdog at nationals. But this is a sneaky deep team that has a real chance at an upset.

Three Favorites In Women's Team Battle Cruise To Regional Crowns; Who's Favorite?

The top three teams in the FloXC rankings -- Grand Valley State, Adams State, and Cal Baptist -- all won their respective regions on Saturday with relative ease, and those three are far and away the favorites for the NCAA title. The reigning NCAA champs, Grand Valley State, won the Midwest regional for the 17th-straight year with a 46-81 win over seventh-ranked Hillsdale, while Adams State dominated the South Central for their sixth-straight regional win. These two teams have won 13 of the last 14 NCAA DII cross country titles and will each be right there contending once again on November 18.

The major threat to stop those two powerhouses continues to be Cal Baptist, who won the West regional for the first time on Saturday with a solid 68-84 defeat of No. 4 Alaska Anchorage. The Lancers have been the surprise of the season in Division II as they were just ninth at NCAAs last fall but have been propelled by drastic improvements from several runners, including regional third place finisher Emeline Delanis. The junior was 97th at nationals last November, but she has been among the very best runners in the country in 2017.

CBU proved they were for real when they beat Grand Valley State in early October, but six weeks is a long time in a cross country season and history is certainly on the side of the Lakers and Adams State. The Lancers will definitely be motivated as they compete in their final DII cross country race, but GVSU -- with their three All-Americans -- probably pulls out the title in the end. 

Sophomore Allie Ludge, who was eighth in the Midwest, didn't run for the Lakers when they lost to Cal Baptist, and she will make a tremendous difference come nationals. Adams State has looked excellent in their last two races, but they currently have zero cross country All-Americans. The advantage goes to the Lakers.

Below are the 24 men's and women's automatic qualifying teams for the NCAA DII cross country championships. The remaining eight at-large teams and individuals will be revealed after Saturday.

Atlantic Shippensburg Edinboro
Edinboro Shippensburg
Indiana (PA) California (PA)
Central Augustana (SD) U-Mary
Missouri Southern Pittsburg St.
Central Missouri Augustana (SD)
East Stonehill Assumption
American Int'l Stonehill
Merrimack Roberts Wesleyan
Midwest Grand Valley State Grand Valley State
Southern Indiana Hillsdale
Lewis Walsh
South Lee (TN) Saint Leo
Alabama-Huntsville Lee (TN)
Saint Leo Embry-Riddle
South Central Adams State Adams State
Colorado Mines Colorado Mines
Western State Western State
Southeast Mount Olive Queens (NC)
Queens (NC) Anderson (SC)
Augusta Mount Olive
West Chico State Cal Baptist
Cal Baptist Alaska Anchorage
Western Oregon Chico State

Kamworor Goes For The 3-Peat, U.S. Tries For A Medal: World Half Preview

Derik Hamilton/Christopher Hanewinckel USA Today Korir Christopher Hanewinckel.jpg

The 2018 World Half Marathon Championships offers a chance to see Geoffrey Kamworor go for his third straight title, a Kenyan contingent that features five men who have run faster than one hour, and an American team with a legitimate shot at a historic podium finish. 

It's Bullshit That USC Doesn't Have The 4x4 World Record

Image of Sport USATSI_10694636_168383134_lowres.jpg

Dear IAAF,

Let's be real.

It's bullshit that the University of Southern California men won't be recognized as the indoor 4x400m relay world record holders.

MILER MADNESS: Sweet 16 Bracket

milermadness banner.jpg

In the spirit of March Madness, we decided to create a virtual Sweet Sixteen bracket based on each team's most notable miler alum past or present.

Outdoor Track Is Back! Watch Top Races From The 49er Classic

Kirby Lee USA Today USATSI_9136548_168383134_lowres.jpg

Outdoor track is BACK, and we were there to help kick off the season at the 49er Classic!

Buze Diriba, Ben True Kick To United Airlines NYC Half-Marathon Titles

Jane Monti Diriba_Buze_After_Winning_Smaller_NYCH_2018_Jane_Monti.jpg

By Rich Sands, @sands© Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (18-Mar) -- Slow early paces led to fast finishes at the United Airlines NYC Half here, with Ben True of Hanover, N.H., and Buze Diriba of Ethiopia using blazing kicks to take the victories on a cold, windy morning. More than 22,000 runners started the race, an event record.

Ben True Victorious In Half Marathon Debut In New York City

NYRR Screen Shot 2018-03-18 at 8.25.15 AM.png

Ben True’s first foray into the half marathon went about as well as possible. The 32-year-old, best known for his abilities in the 5000 and 10,000m, used his track speed to outkick Dathan Ritzenhein to win the New York City Half Marathon in 1:02:39, becoming the first American man to win the race. 

Briana Williams Passes Marion Jones' World Age Group Record in 100


Briana Williams just made history. 

After Eight-Month Layoff, Costello Returns To Racing At NYC Half

New York Road Runners NYCH_Athletes_PS1_Visit_NYRR_Courtesy.jpg

By Rich Sands, @sands(c) 2018 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

Photo: Liz Costello (third from right, back row) visiting Public School 1 in New York City in advance of the 2018 United Airlines NYC Half.  

NEW YORK (16-Mar) -- When Liz Costello toes the line in Sunday's United Airlines NYC Half it will be her first race in eight months. The Princeton grad had to scrap most of her summer and fall racing plans after her debut marathon left her in a physical and emotional crater.

MSU T&F Grad Assistant Resigns In Protest Of Nassar Case Handling

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 1.09.31 PM.png

Michigan State track and field graduate assistant Kassie Powell resigned from her position on Thursday in protest of the university's handling of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.

Ritz Gears Up For Boston, Sisson Takes On Tough Field: NYC Half Preview

Kirby Lee/Don Jackson Copy of 1280px × 720px – Untitled Design.png

With the 2018 World Half Marathon Championships scheduled for next weekend and major marathons in Boston and London on tap for April, the spring road racing season is in full swing.