Follow our 2018 FloXC Countdown, where FloTrack ranks the top cross country teams in the NCAA this season, which will be LIVE on FloTrack. The No. 1 men’s spot in DII goes to Adams State, and here's why:
Probable Top Six:
SR Sydney Gidabuday (13:29 5K; 29:02 10K; 17th at ’17 NCAA XC)
JR Kale Adams (8:05 3K; 8:45 3K SC; 3rd at ’17 NCAA XC)
SR Elias Gedyon (4:01 Mile; 7th at ’17 NCAA XC)
JR Joshua Joseph (14:10 5K; 9th at ’17 NCAA XC)
SR George Kelly (4:06 Mile; 13:52 5K)
SR Dalton Graham (57th at '17 NCAA XC)
Who else but Adams State? The Grizzlies dynasty added yet another cross country title last fall — their record 13th in Division II history— and they once again return a loaded roster in 2018 featuring four men who have finished in the top-10 at nationals.
Even with the graduation of last year’s 13th place finisher at NCAAs, Lucio Ramirez, Damon’s Martin’s crew has the potential to be even better this season than their low-scoring juggernaut from a year ago. With an experienced top-four of all upperclassmen, and an NCAA individual contender in star Sydney Gidabuday, ASU will trot out one of their strongest teams in recent memory.
Reminder: Adams State won nationals last fall by 20 points despite Gidabuday being hampered by injury— he was their fifth man in 17th place— but a return to health could see the 13:29 5K man claim the individual title in Pittsburgh. To every other DII team: good luck beating a full strength Gidabuday plus three other top-10 threats.
With the graduation of two of their top seven runners from last year, the fifth man slot will be the biggest question mark for the title favorites heading into the fall. But with a 13:52 man in George Kelly coming back as well as last year’s 57th place finisher at NCAAs, Dalton Graham, Adams State is too deep and too accomplished to not have it all figured out by December 1 on the starting line at NCAAs.