New Mexico, Kurgat Kick Off Title Defense At Nuttycombe

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Ednah Kurgat doesn’t hide her preference for cross country. 

After finishing second in the 5000m at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships the senior from New Mexico said as much. Yes, she’s good at track, but she’s more comfortable on the grass and dirt. Her record also bears that out. 

The junior dominated last year at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, taking her first national title, but couldn’t replicate the championship form in either outdoor or indoor track. 

WATCH THE 2018 NUTTYCOMBE WISCONSIN XC INVITATIONAL LIVE ON FLOTRACK

At Friday’s Nuttycombe Wisconsin XC Invitational, she returns to the cross country course for the first time since that championship run last November in Louisville. Kurgat is the big favorite to repeat, but she will be tested by experienced championships runners, both this week in Madison and throughout the season. 

Allie Ostrander enters as the number two ranked runner on the FloXC rankings and should provide the best competition for Kurgat. In the spring, the Boise State junior won the national title in the steeplechase and took eighth in the 5000m. 

In that race, she finished behind Kurgat (6th), but has beaten Kurgat before. At the indoor championships in March, Ostrander took second behind Karissa Schweizer, while Kurgat took eighth.


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But this is friendlier ground for Kurgat. The longer distance and the tougher terrain have suited her well. 

Dani Jones of Colorado sits fourth on the FloXC rankings. The Colorado senior had an eventful last year. In the fall, she placed 10th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Injuries dramatically delayed her season indoors, yet she made it to the NCAA Indoor Championships (off only two races) and placed second in the mile. 

She redshirted outdoor track in the spring, but lowered her 1,500m personal best to 4:07.33. Six kilometers is stretching her range, but there’s nobody in the NCAA with her finishing speed this year.

First Look At Powerful New Mexico Squad, Boise State Begins Their Podium Quest

With Kurgat leading New Mexico, the Lobos are also heavy favorites to take the team title in a field that features 13 ranked teams. New Mexico has an intimidating top four with Kurgat, Weini Kelati (the 7th ranked individual), Charlotte Prouse (#9) and newcomer Adva Cohen (#21). 

This will be Cohen’s first race in a New Mexico jersey after tearing up the JUCO ranks and running 9:29 for Israel at the World U20 Championships. Her performance, as well as fellow Lobo newcomer Hannah Nuttall’s, will show if New Mexico has any vulnerability this year. 

Jones (#2 Colorado) and Ostrander (#5 Boise State) will lead the way for other top five teams in Madison. Colorado has a deep team with five women who have finished in the top 50 of the NCAA meet at some point in their career. In addition to Jones, Makena Morley (#17) is poised to be a low point scorer for the Buffaloes. She’s yet to earn All-American honors in her career, but she did place 11th at the NCAA Championships in the 10,000m in June. 

Boise State also has FloXC ranked runners with Ostrander and Clare O’Brien. O’Brien was just 77th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, but lowered her personal best in the 5000m to 15:42 in the indoor season and placed 12th in the 10,000m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. 

And with more sub 16-minute 5000m depth in Emily Venters and Gracie Tostenson, all the pieces appear to be in place for the Broncos to have their highest NCAA finish in program history. 

Weekend Watch Guide: Bowerman Invades Boston

While distance fans across the country gear up for Saturday's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta, indoor tracks will have plenty of elite competition to whet our collective appetites. From Bowerman TC/Paul Chelimo/Edward Cheserek and more in Boston at the BU Last Chance Meet, plus the Big 10 and MPSF Championships, there's a ton of track to take in from Thursday to Saturday on FloTrack.

U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Women's Preview: Who Emerges From Deep Field?

The ascent of the American women’s marathoning that started with almost 20 years ago with Deena Kastor continues on Saturday at the US Olympic Marathon Trials. Whoever makes the team is capable of getting a medal at the Olympics, and medal-worthy athletes will be left off the team. Here’s a breakdown of the top contenders. 

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U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials Men's Preview: Can Rupp Overcome To Win Again?

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The men’s race at the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials is top-heavy on paper. Defending champion Galen Rupp exists in a league of his own with an Olympic bronze medal from Rio and a 2:06 personal best buoying his position. Injury struggles and Alberto Salazar’s ban have made a potential victory in Atlanta much less certain, but Rupp seems to have steadied the ship after tuning up with a 61-minute half earlier this month. If he makes it through 26.2 miles on Saturday, there’s a strong chance he will break the tape.

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2020 BU Last Chance Preview: Houlihan, Chelimo, Lomong, Centro & More

The championship portion of the 2020 indoor season has come and gone, but that doesn’t mean the pros are ready to head outdoors just yet. On Thursday and Friday in Boston, the best of Bowerman Track Club and several other top U.S. pros will take to the BU track in pursuit of records and standards at the BU Last Chance Meet. Multiple American records could fall in the final hurrah on the famed Boston surface in 2020.

61 Returning All-Americans Currently Are Not Qualified In 2020

With just one weekend left to qualify for the 2020 DI NCAA Indoor Championships a staggering 61 track and field All-Americans from last year have yet to achieve a top-16 mark in 2020.

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Yulimar Rojas Sets Indoor Triple Jump World Record In Madrid

Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas set the women’s indoor triple jump world record on Friday in Madrid with a 15.43m leap. With it, the 24-year-old eclipsed Tatyana Lebedeva’s 15.36m mark that had stood since 2004.

Ababel Yeshaneh, Not Brigid Kosgei, Sets Half Marathon World Record

What was expected to be a coronation of marathon world record holder Brigid Kosgei as the half marathon queen instead turned into an introduction of a worthy counterpart as Ethiopian Ababel Yeshaneh stunned the Kenyan on Friday morning (Thursday night in the U.S.) at the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) Half Marathon by setting a 64:31 world record.

The 10 Best Performances From The Weekend

Between more Mondo Duplantis' theatrics in Glasgow, a ridiculous road 5k world record in Monaco and plenty of excitement stateside, there was a lot to get excited about this past weekend in track and field.

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Don't Look Now... The NAU Lumberjacks Could Win NCAA Indoors

With just two weeks left to qualify for NCAAs a majority of the top-16 fields are coming into form on the distance side. The NAU men are currently slated to qualify ten entries across three distance events.

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Joshua Cheptegei Smashes Road 5k World Record In 12:51

A little over a month after Rhonex Kipruto took down Joshua Cheptegei’s road 10k world record, the Ugandan has answered back in a big way by running 12:51 on Sunday in Monaco to smash Kipruto’s 5k world record. Cheptegei cut a whopping 27 seconds off the 13:18 that the Kenyan ran on Jan. 12, a run that came en route to Kipruto’s 26:24 10k record.