New Mexico, Kurgat Kick Off Title Defense At Nuttycombe

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

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.


2018 NCAA Indoor Women’s 3k - Karissa Schweizer Holds Off Allie Ostrander



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. 

2018's 10 Most Improved In NCAA Cross Country

The Ultimate 2018 DI NCAA XC Championship Highlight

Within every NCAA cross country season there are always individual performers who improve dramatically from one year to the next, from total irrelevance to the very front of the national championship pack.

Tara Davis Reportedly Transferring From Georgia to Texas

Update (Dec. 13): Georgia head coach Petros Kyprianou announced that Tara Davis is transferring to Texas, though she has yet to respond herself with her official plans for the future. 

They Didn't Race XC, But Watch Out For These 5 NCAA Distance Stars

Christina Aragon Feels Like An Experienced Runner Now

Aside from the inherent drama and intrigue present in every NCAA Cross Country Championships, last month’s meet served as an excellent table-setter for the indoor season. 

Which NCAA Stars Will Go Sub-4 For The First Time In 2019?

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Men's Mile, Heat 6

The sub-4:00 mile chase is one of the most compelling facets of the NCAA indoor season, and in 2019 there are plenty of collegiate contenders ready to punch their membership cards for the first time.

House Of Run: Scintillating FL Finish, Another Ingebrigtsen Double

Jason and Kevin discuss the Ingebrigtsen victory party at Euro Cross, an epic finish line fall, a thrilling final 200 meters at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships, Caterine Ibarguen and Eliud Kipchoge winning the IAAF Athlete of the Year, Russia getting its ban renewed and the most important people in track and field of 2018.

Champions Set To Return To Boston Marathon

It Still Hasn't Sunk In Yet For Des Linden

John Hancock Financial announced today that 2018 champions Yuki Kawauchi of Japan and Des Linden of the United States have been contracted to run the 2019 Boston Marathon. Reigning wheelchair division champions Tatyana McFadden of the United States and Marcel Hug of Switzerland are also set to return.

Weekend Recap: Cheserek Cashes In Again, Epic Foot Locker Sprint

Ed Cheserek After Running Fastest-Ever Mile On Hawaiian Soil

With Foot Locker, the European XC Championships and some early season indoor track events all happening over the weekend, it was particularly unique and busy few days in the running world. If that wasn’t enough, Edward Cheserek messed around and ran the fastest mile ever on Hawaiian soil to win his second-straight Merrie Mile in Waikiki in a photo finish.

U-Mary's Emily Roberts Conquered Injuries, Doubts To Crush It At NCAAs

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Race Replay: 2018 DII NCAA XC Championship Women's 6k

When University of Mary senior Emily Roberts crossed the finish line in third place at the NCAA DII Cross Country Championships on Dec. 1, a remarkable comeback that had been nearly unimaginable at the beginning of the season was complete. 

Fun Stats From The 2018 European XC Championships

Courtesy of Ken Nakamura, here are some fun stats from the 2018 European XC Championships in Tilburg, Netherlands.

Successful Marathon Debut For Donn Cabral In Honolulu

Donn Cabral Takes Fourth In Marathon Debut

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