Way-Too-Early 2020 NCAA Cross Country Podium Picks

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The 2019 cross country season may be done, but is it ever too early to talk about next season? Check out our 2020 NCAA cross country podium team predictions below.

#1 NORTHERN ARIZONA (2nd in 2019)

Projected Top Five:

SR Luis Grijalva (23rd in 2018)

SO Drew Bosley (22nd in 2019)

SO Abdihamid Nur (33rd in 2019)

SR Blaise Ferro (26th in 2018)

SO Brodey Hasty (46th in 2019)

The runner-up Lumberjacks only lose one senior from their 2019 roster and look to have the depth to be a formidable title contender once again especially if rising seniors Luis Grijalva and Blaise Ferro return to their 2018 form.

#2 BYU (1st in 2019)

Projected Top Five:

JR Conner Mantz (3rd in 2019)

SO Casey Clinger (24th in 2017, Returns from Mission)

JR Brandon Garnica (42nd in 2019)

JR Clayson Shumway (32nd in 2018, Returns from Injury)

JR Matt Owens (45th in 2019)

The defending champions only return one All-American from their 2019 roster, however they will add two former All-Americans to their 2020 roster via Casey Clinger returning from Mormon Mission and Clayson Shumway returning from a redshirt season.

#3 STANFORD (6th in 2019)

Projected Top Five:

SR Thomas Ratcliffe (13:32 5k PB)

SR Alek Parsons (34th in 2019)

JR Connor Lane (13:42 5k PB)

FR Liam Anderson (2018 NXN Champ)

SO Clayton Mendez (99th in 2019)

Despite a sixth place finish in 2019 the Stanford Cardinal should maintain podium contention based on their returning talent including 2018 NXN Champion Liam Anderson and rising senior Thomas Ratcliffe who had an 'off day' in 2019 but should be a top ten individual finisher in 2020.

#4 MICHIGAN (7th in 2019)

Projected Top Five:

SR Devin Meyrer (16th in 2019)

SR Jack Aho (40th in 2019)

SR Isaac Harding (44th in 2019)

SR Joost Plaetinck (101st in 2019)

SR Jacob Lee (123rd in 2019)

The Michigan Wolverines will battle with Tulsa and Notre Dame for that fourth position on the podium led by a rising senior heavy team that includes three top-45 finishers from 2019.

Honorable Mention: Tulsa, Notre Dame


#1 STANFORD (3rd in 2019)

Projected Top Five:

SR Ella Donaghu (8th in 2019)

SR Jessica Lawson (11th in 2019)

SO Abi Archer (53rd in 2019)

SR Julia Heymach (63rd in 2019)

SR Jordan Oakes (95th in 2019)

The Stanford Cardinal look to be the early favorites in 2020 led by the projected best duo in the NCAA, Ella Donaghu and Jessica Lawson.

#2 N.C. STATE (5th in 2019)

Projected Top Five:

SO Kelsey Chmiel (22nd in 2019)

FR Marlee Starliper (9:54 3200m PB)

SR Dominique Clairmonte (54th in 2019)

SO Mariah Howlett (68th in 2019)

JR Savannah Shaw (102nd in 2019)

The Wolfpack return a majority of their 5th place squad and add multiple impact freshmen from this year's h.s. senior class including Marlee Starliper, a sub-9:55 3200m runner.

#3 NEW MEXICO (4th in 2019)

Projected Top Five:

SR Weini Kelati (1st in 2019)

SR Hannah Nuttall (35th in 2019)

SR Adva Cohen (43rd in 2018)

FR Amelia Mazza-Downie (15:59 5k PB)

SO Gracelyn Larkin (122nd in 2019)

The New Mexico women look to stay on the podium with top returner Weini Kelati at the helm and the addition of a potential impact redshirt freshman Amelia Mazza-Downie, a sub-16 5k runner form Australia.

#4 MICHIGAN (13th in 2019)

Projected Top Five:

SO Ericka VanderLende (25th in 2019)

FR Katelynne Hart (2018 Foot Locker Runner-Up)

JR Camille Davre (29th in 2018)

SO Anne Forsyth (46th in 2018)

SR Micaela DeGenero (97th in 2019)

The Michigan Wolverines should be podium contenders in 2020 after an 'off year' in 2019. They will be led by Ericka VanderLende and incoming freshman Katelynne Hart, the 2018 Foot Locker runner-up.

Honorable Mention: Washington, Michigan State

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