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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The 10 Best Performances From The Weekend

Between more Mondo Duplantis' theatrics in Glasgow, a ridiculous road 5k world record in Monaco and plenty of excitement stateside, there was a lot to get excited about this past weekend in track and field.

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Don't Look Now... The NAU Lumberjacks Could Win NCAA Indoors

With just two weeks left to qualify for NCAAs a majority of the top-16 fields are coming into form on the distance side. The NAU men are currently slated to qualify ten entries across three distance events.

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Joshua Cheptegei Smashes Road 5k World Record In 12:51

A little over a month after Rhonex Kipruto took down Joshua Cheptegei’s road 10k world record, the Ugandan has answered back in a big way by running 12:51 on Sunday in Monaco to smash Kipruto’s 5k world record. Cheptegei cut a whopping 27 seconds off the 13:18 that the Kenyan ran on Jan. 12, a run that came en route to Kipruto’s 26:24 10k record.

Mondo Does It Again, Breaks Pole Vault World Record

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Mondo Duplantis is ushering in a new era of the pole vault, one centimeter at a time. Just a week removed from his world record clearance of 6.17m, the 20-year-old vaulted 6.18m at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow.

U.S. Indoor Women's Preview: Can Purrier Chase Down Houlihan?

The most interesting match-up of the indoor season materialized quickly. Last Saturday evening at the Millrose Games, Elinor Purrier dropped a stunning 4:16.85 mile to break the American record and dispatch a stacked field in a race that turned into a festival of personal bests and national records. It was a career-defining race for Purrier. A run fast enough to legitimately raise the question if she could beat America’s best mid-distance runner, Shelby Houlihan. This weekend at the US Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, Purrier will have two chances (the 3000m on Friday and the 1500m on Saturday) to pull it off. 

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2020 High School Track & Field State Championships Central

2020 High School Indoor Track & Field State Championships:

Weekend Watch Guide: Simpson, Jones Chase Fast 5k At BU

One of the busiest weekends of the 2020 indoor track season is upon us, and FloTrack has you covered with several live events across the country. Boston will once again host some of the top professional and collegiate distance runners in the U.S., including Jenny Simpson, Dani Jones and Tyler Day.

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The stakes for the 2020 USATF Indoor Championships were dramatically reduced in the wake of World Indoors being postponed due to the coronavirus. But prize money and bragging rights are incentive enough for the world’s fastest man and several top domestic distance runners this weekend in Albuquerque.

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