Oregon/Boise Women Meet For The First Time: NCAA West Region Preview

Top teams look to safely and smoothly advance to the NCAA Championships, while those teams farther down the projections will vie for at-large qualification out of Friday's NCAA West Regional meet in Sacramento, California. Here's what to watch for in the women's and men's races.

Watch the 2018 NCAA West Regional Live On FloTrack

Women's Race: Oregon, Boise State Finally Meet

Teams that are safe: #1 Oregon, #5 Boise State, #8 Stanford 

Teams that are on the bubble: Washington, Portland, UCLA, Oregon State 

Individuals to watch: #5 Allie Ostrander (Boise State), #7 Jessica Hull (Oregon), #8 Elise Cranny (Stanford), #11 Weronika Pyzik (Oregon), #12 Fiona O’Keeffe (Stanford), #19 Lauren LaRocco (Portland), Katie Rainsberger (Washington)

Current projections have five women’s teams advancing out the West, and the region is both deep and top-heavy. Top-ranked Oregon is coming off a convincing win at the Pac-12 Championships where they beat Colorado and Stanford. 

Oregon senior Jessica Hull finished second in that race, backing up her individual win at Pre-Nationals. Her improvement, and the strength of their supporting cast, has put Oregon in position to take the team title. The offseason departures of Lilli Burdon and Katie Rainsberger to Washington have been patched up by their two San Francisco transfers, Weronika Pyzik and Isabelle Brauer, and their off-race at Pre-Nationals looks to have been an aberration. 

Fifth-ranked Boise State’s formula for success is similar to Oregon’s—one superstar up front and then overwhelming depth. Their tight pack almost helped them upset defending champion New Mexico at the Mountain West Conference Championships. 

New Mexico went 1-2-3, but Boise State’s Allie Ostrander led a parade of five Broncos who finished in the top 10. It wasn’t quite enough to win the meet (they fell two points short of New Mexico), but their two through five of Emily Venters, Alexis Fuller, Clare O’Brien, and Maxine Paholek will help them match strength against strength in their first meeting with Oregon on the season. 

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

2018 Mountain West XC Championship Women's 6k

The daunting presence of Oregon and Boise State mean that Stanford will most likely have to settle for an at-large bid. If the season ended today, they would be the fifth team in by virtue of their three regular season wins. 

From there, it gets crowded. Washington and Portland have enough wins to qualify as does UCLA (though the final Kolas projections have the Bruins losing out on a tiebreaker for the final spot). Washington debuted Burdon at the Pac-12 Championships two weeks ago. If she runs like she did last spring when she was third in the 5000m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, then the Huskies will safely advance to Madison. 

The results are bound to go a bit off script and when they do, keep an eye on Oregon State. The Beavers were sixth at the Pac-12 Championships, but have wins over Texas and Washington. 

Men's Race: Stanford, Portland, Washington And Boise Battle For Auto Qualifiers

Teams that are safe: #3 Stanford, #5 Portland, #7 Washington, #10 Boise State

Teams that are on the bubble: #13 Oregon, #21 UCLA, Washington State, Gonzaga

Individuals to watch: #1 Grant Fisher (Stanford), #7 Nick Hauger (Portland), #23 Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse (Portland), #25 Talon Hull (Washington)

Along with the Mountain region, the West plays an outsized role in determining the men’s qualifiers for the NCAA Championships. Seven teams are predicted to advance out of Sacramento including top 10 squads from Stanford, Portland, Washington, and Boise State. Stanford’s third-ranked team won the Pac-12 Championships on the strength of a Grant Fisher/Alex Ostberg/Alek Parsons 1-3-4 finish. 

Even if they run without All-American Steven Fahy, the Cardinal are unlikely to fall out of the top three. Portland hasn’t run their true top seven this year at all, mixing and matching combinations in the regular season and resting some of their big names at the conference meet. As a result, its hard to pin down the Pilots, but their runner-up finish last year and their third-place finish at the Nuttycombe Invitational in September gives them the benefit of the doubt. 

Washington entered the season just wanting to qualify for the national meet a goal that in retrospect is incredibly modest. They took second at Pre-Nationals and the Pac-12 Championships. In each race, a sophomore led the way (Tibebeu Proctor at Pre-Nationals and Talon Hull at Pac-12s). 

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloTrack!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

2018 Pre-Nationals Men's White 8k - BYU Dominates!

Boise State collected key wins early in the season at Nuttycombe, relieving some of the burden of qualification before the end of September. The Broncos next raced at Mountain West where they took home the title against Air Force, Colorado State, and Wyoming—all teams expected to advance out of the Mountain region. 

Four addition teams from the West region sit between 27th and 38th on the current Kolas projections. 

Thirteenth-ranked Oregon is in a good spot with four wins, while UCLA (three wins) and Washington State (four wins) are among the last teams to qualify. Oregon was comfortably better than both those teams at Pac-12s, beating Washington State by 30 points and UCLA by 52. Outside of the Pac-12, Gonzaga has three wins against projected qualifiers, though two of those are against other bubble teams NC State and Michigan.

Former NCAA Stars Make Their XC Predictions

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

Watch the 2018 DI NCAA XC Championships LIVE on FloTrack, Saturday Nov. 17th!

DIII NCAA XC Women's Preview: Hopkins Hones In On Dynasty

Workout Wednesday: Johns Hopkins Men & Women

The 2018 DIII NCAA women’s cross country championships will feature a favorite in Johns Hopkins looking to expand on their recent dynasty, and a slew of challengers seeking to put an end to the Blue Jays’ dominance. Hopkins will race for their sixth title since 2012 on Saturday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a run that only one other DIII women’s program in history has accomplished. It should be fascinating to watch it all unfold in brutal cross country conditions this weekend.

Deep Field Tries To Take Down New Mexico, Kelati Goes For First Title

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

It didn’t take long for the narrative of the women’s NCAA cross country season to shift. New Mexico entered the fall with three of the nation’s best runners, high profile transfers, and a clear line to their third team title in four years. 

NCAA XC Champs Confidence Picks: NAU Three-Peats, McDonald Edges Fisher

The stakes are clear and the storylines are well established. 

NAU Goes For Three, Fisher/McDonald Finally Meet

2018 Men's DI NCAA XC Rewind

It was only minutes after they stepped off the track at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, that Tyler Day and Matt Baxter were thinking of the fall. 

DIII NCAA XC Men's Preview: North Central Goes For No. 19

Workout Wednesday: North Central Crushes Mile Repeats

The winningest program in NCAA cross country history will look to add another title to their storied legacy as North Central College races for their record 19th DIII XC men's national championship on Saturday November 17, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Cardinals will enter the meet as big favorites to take their third straight NCAA crown on the icy terrain of Lake Breeze Golf Course, but it won’t be easy as they battle experienced foes and freezing cold conditions. Another notch in North Central's hefty championship belt is at stake on race day, but it’s a notch they will really have to earn.

House Of Run: NCAA Sleepers And Storylines

Jason and Kevin discuss the sleepers, spoilers and storylines for Saturday’s NCAA Cross Country Championships. Can NAU and New Mexico continue their winning ways? Will the men’s race come down to Grant Fisher and Morgan McDonald?

DIII Regional Recap: Favorites Look Strong In NCAA Rehearsal

Workout Wednesday: North Central Crushes Mile Repeats

Below are the 32 men’s and women’s DIII NCAA cross country teams heading to nationals in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this Saturday, November 17. We highlight the top stories from regionals underneath the NCAA fields.

PLAY NOW: 2018 FloXC Fantasy League

Introducing the season long FloXC fantasy league. A chance for you to compete against the FloTrack staff and be in the running to win a FloPRO subscription for a year! The final round is upon us where points are worth triple, meaning even if you have not played FloXC Fantasy this past season you still have a chance to win if you play this final round!

2018 FloXC Fantasy Team Standings

After round four of the 2018 FloXC Fantasy league FloTrack's own Gordon Mack has taken the lead with a total of 15,476 points. Be sure to join us for the final round prior to the NCAA XC Championships. Best overall score at the end of the season wins a year subscription to FloPRO! Link to play will be posted next week!