FloTrack's 2018 Upsets Of The Year

The “Best Of 2018” continues today. This time, we look at the biggest surprises of the year. 

5. Dani Jones: NCAA Cross Country Championships

Jones is not new to running fast. She’s also not new to national titles. So how is her victory last month in Madison considered an upset? 

For starters, she did it at a distance that’s at the tail end of her range (or at least what we previously thought was her range). And second, she had to beat an impressive field of women including last year’s champion Edna Kurgat, pre-race favorite Weini Kelati and hometown favorite Alicia Monson. 

When Jones began reeling Kelati in with 400 meters to go the result seemed inevitable. There wasn’t much doubt that the 4:07 1500m runner would kick past Kelati. But the ease with which she closed the race didn’t make the overall outcome any less surprising.  


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4. Courtney Frerichs: Monaco 3000m Steeplechase

It may be hard to classify a world championship silver medalist getting second in a Diamond League race as an upset, so allow me to explain. 

Prior to the race in Monaco, Frerichs was 0-11 all-time against fellow American Emma Coburn. The two had finished relatively close to one another in the past, but Coburn was the undisputed top steepler in the United States. And any time someone has that level of success it’s a surprise when they lose, even if it is to someone as accomplished as Frerichs. 

In this race, Frerichs broke Coburn’s American record, running 9:00.85. She finished 16 seconds behind Beatrice Chepkoech, but five seconds ahead of Coburn. At the end of the season, Coburn edged Frerichs in the Diamond League final setting up an interesting 2019 steeplechase season. 

3. Ben Flanagan: NCAA Outdoor Championships 10,000m

The late start to his season and his lack of championship hardware made Flanagan a long shot in his final NCAA race. Add in the presence of Matthew Baxter, Tyler Day and Vincent Kiprop, and it was inconceivable that a man with a 29:17 personal best could win the race. But with a powerful final 100 meters, Flanagan kicked past Kiprop to get the victory. 

2. Desiree Linden: Boston Marathon

Linden is in the mix in virtually every marathon she runs. That consistency has put her on two Olympic teams and keeps her around late into the race against women with much faster personal bests. It’s also what was rewarded the most in the awful weather at April’s Boston Marathon. Through the rain, wind and freezing cold, Linden kept going when the mere feat of staying in the race was an accomplishment in and of itself that day. 

Her victory was the first by an American woman in the race since 1985 and gave her the biggest win of her career.

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1. Yuki Kawauchi: Boston Marathon

Before the race, Kawauchi’s manager, Brent Larner, told him “This is the day you were born for.” 

Indeed it was. Kawauchi, a volume marathoner with a day job, who was known for his ridiculous racing schedule and racing in panda suits, relished the bad weather. 

He made several surges throughout the races, hoping to thin out the field. In the end, he only had one man to pass, Geoffrey Kirui. When Kawauchi went past him with just over a mile remaining, Kirui had no response. 


NCAA West Preview: Stanford/Washington Battle Again

Top women's teams Stanford and Washington meet for the third time this season, while a loaded men's field features three teams in the top 10. Here's what to watch at Friday's West Regional meet in Colfax, Washington. 

NCAA Moves DI Northeast Regional To Road Course Due To Poor Conditions

Due to treacherous course conditions in Buffalo, New York, for Friday’s Division I Northeast regional, the NCAA has taken the extraordinary step to move the cross country races away from Audubon Golf Course and onto a road course.

NCAA Mountain Regional Preview: NAU Tangles With Colorado, BYU

Friday’s Mountain regional in Salt Lake City features a combined seven top ten ranked teams, the most among the nine NCAA DI qualifying meets. The men’s and women’s national champions have come out of the Mountain each of the last two years, a trend that could very well continue in 2019. As always, the sub-plot aside from the performance of the blue chip teams will be the bubble watch for the squads behind them. At-large bids figure to be in ample supply as teams outside the top two spots jostle for a trip to Terre Haute.

House Of Run: Mary Cain Speaks Out, Diamond League Changes

Kevin and Jason discuss Mary Cain’s experience being coached by Alberto Salazar, the changes to the Diamond League program and the conclusion of the Illinois state meet saga.

One Final Tune-Up For Monson: Great Lakes Preview

The Great Lakes region again looks like one of the best in all of Division I cross country with both genders expected to send multiple at-large bids to the NCAA Championships. In the individual race, Friday’s race in Madison is one final tune-up for NCAA favorite, Alicia Monson of Wisconsin. Here's what to watch for in both races. 

FloSports Announces Multiyear Partnership with MPSF

AUSTIN, Texas — November 12, 2019 — Today, FloSports, the innovator in live digital sports and original content, and Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) announced an extended multiyear partnership to serve as the official broadcast partner. FloSports will provide live and on-demand content and coverage of two Conference Championships exclusively on FloTrack.org and FloVolleyball.tv.

2019 DII NCAA XC Championships Field Announced

The fields for the 2019 DII NCAA XC Championships in Sacramento, California, are set. The 34 teams per gender and individual qualifiers advancing to nationals can be found below.

Which DI Runners Are Still Undefeated This Fall?

With only two meets remaining on the NCAA Division I XC schedule, there are still seven undefeated runners. Some of the names are familiar, while others are lesser-known. Let's take a look at who has yet to lose heading into regionals on Friday. 

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Salazar, Brown Appeal 4-Year Bans

As expected, Alberto Salazar and Jeffrey Brown have appealed their four-year suspensions to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

DII XC Regional Recap: Mines, Adams State Strengthen Their NCAA Cases

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Eight regional meets across the country went down on Saturday in Division II to build the 2019 NCAA XC Championship field.

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