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. 

Nine Of The Biggest Questions For Big Ten Indoors

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Conference championship weekend is upon us with NCAA teams across the nation racing for team titles and pursuing qualifying times that will ensure their place at March’s NCAA Indoor Championships. 

Down Goes Tefera: Jakob Ingebrigtsen Sprints Past WR Holder

The world record honeymoon is over for Samuel Tefera, and his fellow wunderkind Jakob Ingebrigtsen has ended it as the 18-year-old Norwegian defeated the new 1,500m world record holder on Wednesday in Düsseldorf, Germany, 3:36.02 to 3:36.34.

Comprehensive Field Event Coverage At 2019 Big Ten Championships

The 2019 Big Ten Indoor Championships will offer track and field fans the opportunity to customize their viewing experience of this weekend’s meet at the University of Michigan. 

House Of Run: USATF Indoor Preview, Tefera's WR, UK Selection Screw-Up

Jason and Kevin discuss Samuel Tefera stealing Yomif Kejelcha’s thunder and running the 1500m world record, Laura Muir’s 4:18 mile, Great Britain committing another self-inflicted selection wound, the confusing IAAF world records in the 5K and this weekend’s USATF Indoor Championships.

FloSports To Live Stream 2019 Big 12 Indoor And Outdoor Championships

Deal includes live and on-demand coverage of Swimming and Diving, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field, Wrestling, and Softball

Weekend Recap: Tefera Crashes Kejelcha's World Record Party

In recent weeks I have been referring to the 2019 indoor season as the winter of Kejelcha, as the Ethiopian’s string of fast performances have made him arguably the top attraction in the sport so far this year. 

Samuel Tefera Upsets Yomif Kejelcha, Breaks 1500m WR

Ethiopian Samuel Tefera broke the world record in the 1500m on Saturday, running 3:31.04 in Birmingham, England to better Hicham El Guerrouj’s mark of 3:31.18 from 1997. 

Hassan, Wanders To Race Monaco 5K On Sunday

Monaco is typically known as the home for one of the world’s top Diamond League meets. But this Sunday, a few of the biggest names in the world will take to the roads on the French Riviera in a 5K. The men’s field is highlighted by Julien Wanders, who just broke the European record in the half marathon, while Sifan Hassan is the top entrant for the women.

FloTrack Predicts Top-12 NCAA DMRs For This Weekend

This weekend for most mid-distance squads is called ‘DMR weekend’, where majority of the top DMR schools compete for an NCAA qualifier (Top-12 National Mark).

Weekend Watch Guide: Fast Miles & DMR At UW, Austin Marathon LIVE Sunday

With NCAA conference championships next weekend and many of the top pros coming off of the Millrose Games last Saturday, this upcoming Friday through Sunday will be a little quieter for the top track and field athletes. But there's still plenty of entertaining races coming your way on FloTrack this weekend, from fast mid-distance action in Seattle to our race coverage of the 2019 Austin Marathon and more.