WEEKEND IN REVIEW: October 18-20

This is the biggest regular season weekend in NCAA Division I Cross Country and NCAA Division III Cross Country during the 2019 season, by far.

It’s not even close.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Meets & Results

Between the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Friday and the Under Armour Pre-National Invitational on Saturday, 61 nationally-ranked programs from the most recent NCAA Division I National Coaches’ Polls were in action.

That would be a very comparable number to the total you’d get if you combined all the nationally-ranked programs from the most recent NCAA Division III National Coaches’ Polls competing at either the Connecticut College Invitational or the KollegeTown Sports Invitational, among others.

Allow us to take you through the massive weekend as only we know how.

We’ll continue to update this post with more results as they come through.

2019 Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational – Final Standings

Men’s Teams
Score
Women’s Teams
Score
No. 1 Northern Arizona
59
No. 1 Arkansas
62
No. 5 Stanford
133
No. 4 Stanford
98
No. 28 Tulsa
175
No. 9 NC State
203
No. 6 Iowa State
180
No. 13 Wisconsin
217
No. 20 UCLA
219
No. 10 Michigan State
219
No. 11 Purdue
255
No. 27 Northern Arizona
251
No. 15 Indiana
280
No. 11 Boise State
282
No. 19 Wisconsin
292
No. 21 Air Force
299
No. 8 Portland
295
No. 4 New Mexico
303
No. 7 Oregon
323
No. 18 Furman
309

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS

Men’s 8K Championship Race

Over the past few years, two things are certain in the Men’s Championship 8K Race at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational: Total dominance by top-ranked Northern Arizona and A LOT of parity behind the Lumberjacks.

Such was the case in 2019 as NAU romped to its fourth consecutive team title at the meet behind three runners in the top-10: Luis Grijalva – fifth, Geordie Beamish – eighth, Abdihamid Nur – ninth. The Lumberjacks scored just 59 points, which is surprisingly their second most since beginning their back-to-back-to-back-to-back title reign in 2016 (NAU went for 78 in 2016, 50 in 2017 and then 46 last year).

NAU won by 74 points over No. 5 Stanford, the second largest winning total by a men’s team since 2015 (Syracuse beat BYU by 85 that year). The Cardinal was the only team with two runners in the top-5 as Alex Ostberg and Thomas Ratcliffe finished third and fourth, respectively.

Stanford wasn’t about to let the Lumberjacks post the lowest point total by a champion in meet history. Through the 4K split, NAU was on pace to better the New Mexico Lady Lobos’ standard of 32 points back in 2015 as it had just 26 points and led the Cardinal by 171. Things changed a bit by 6K as Stanford pulled within 95 (40-135) and then slimmed a bit more by the finish.

Tulsa finished a surprising third with 175 points. The Hurricane, who entered the meet ranked 28th in the nation, are due for a big boost in the next National Coaches’ Poll on Tuesday.

No. 6 Iowa State, led by individual champion Edwin Kurgat, ended up in fourth place. Kurgat won by nine seconds over Oliver Hoare of Wisconsin. This was the second major win of the season by Kurgat as he also crossed the finish line first at the John McNichols Invitational.

No. 20 UCLA rounded out the top-5 with 219 points, while No. 11 Purdue (255), No. 15 Indiana (280), No. 19 Wisconsin (292), No. 8 Portland (295) and No. 7 Oregon (323) all finished in that order in the top-10.

Women’s 6K Championship Race

A week after earning its first cross country No. 1 national ranking in program history, Arkansas took a step towards another goal – a first-ever cross country national title – by winning the loaded Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational with 62 points. Stanford, co-No.4 with New Mexico, was the closest pursuer with 98 points.

Six top-10 schools were among 20 nationally-ranked squads in the 36-team field. Winning the individual battle was Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson, repeating as Nuttycombe champion in 19:39.3 over the 6K course. Weini Kelati of New Mexico was second, followed by Taylor Werner of Arkansas as the Razorbacks placed four runners in the top-9.

The race started with just two teams asserting themselves, as Stanford held an 85-86 lead over Arkansas after the first 2K with no one else within 150 points.New Mexico’s Ednah Kurgat – the 2017 champion of this meet – led a huge pack at 6:37.2.

By 4K, a Lobo was still in the lead, but it was Kelati as Kurgat dropped back to 13th. Kelati’s leading split was 13:22.0, with Monson, Werner and Stanford’s Fiona O’Keeffe right with her. Team-wise, Arkansas began a push, putting Katie Izzo (6th) and Devin Clark (7th) in the top 10, with Carina Viljoen close by in 12th. The Razorback’s score at this point was 60 with Stanford (108) still the only school within 150 points.

The final 2K saw Monson take control on her home course, finishing 8.9 seconds up on Kelati (19:48.6) followed by Werner and O’Keeffe as Izzo finished 5th. Also strong for the Razorbacks were Clark (7th) and Viljoen (9th) as their top-4 finished within 18 seconds of each other. Fifth runner Lauren Gregory was another 28 seconds back in 38th as Arkansas was an easy winner with 62 points.

Stanford closed the gap a little in the final 2K, trimming 10 points off its score to end up with 98. The Cardinal were the only other team with two in the top-10, as Ella Donaghu was 6th.

NC State was the next closest team, taking third with 203 points, followed by the host Badgers (217) and Michigan State (219). Finishing 6th was Northern Arizona (251), a major leap for the Lumberjacks who were ranked No. 27 in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll. New Mexico finished 9th (303) as Kurgat wound up 19th and the Lobos have yet to insert steeple star Adva Cohen into the lineup.

2019 Under Armour Pre-National Invitational – Final Standings

Men’s Teams
Score
Women’s Teams
Score
No. 2 BYU
81
No. 8 Washington
84
No. 3 Colorado
83
No. 2 BYU
87
No. 21 Iona
140
No. 3 Colorado
126
No. 4 Washington
160
No. 7 Michigan
164
No. 8 Ole Miss
174
No. 11 Florida State
204
No. 30 Florida State
250
No. 20 Illinois
268
No. 29 Virginia Tech
252
RV Virginia Tech
292
RV Villanova
297
RV Butler
306
NR Weber State
307
No. 26 Boston College
358
RV Iowa
322
No. 17 Ole Miss
376

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS

Men’s 8K Blue Race

BYU played the part of a stone mason on Saturday in the Men’s 8K Blue Race at the 2019 Under Armour Pre-National Invitational.

The second-ranked Cougars chipped away at the sizable lead held by third-ranked Colorado over the final 5K of the race to eventually come away with a season-defining victory to this point.

BYU, down 41 points to the Buffaloes at the 3K split (58-99), knocked that down to 23 points at 5K (75-98) and then swung ahead in the final 3K of the race to win by two points (81-83) over their fellow top-3 ranked foe.

What was most notable about the Cougars’ victory was how much their runners moved up in the final 3K. Conner Mantz went from sixth to win yet another individual title, while Jacob Heslington went from 15th to fourth, Brandon Garnica went from 19th to 14th, Daniel Carney went from 22nd to 18th and Michael Ottesen had the biggest jump, going from 73rd to 44th.

Colorado showcased its depth once again as it put its entire scoring lineup in the top-40. John Dressel and Joe Klecker led the way in eighth place and ninth place, respectively, while Kashon Harrison and Eduardo Herrera finished 11th and 17th.

Iona came in as the seventh-best team in the field if you went by ranks in the most recent National Coaches’ Polls and finished third. The 21st-ranked Gaels put two runners in the top-10, led by Ehab El-Sandali’s sixth-place finish.

Fourth-ranked Washington and eighth-ranked Ole Miss rounded out the top-5 in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Women’s 6K Blue Race

More often than not, depth wins in cross country.

No. 8 Washington proved that to be the case on Saturday in the Women’s 6K Blue Race at the 2019 Under Armour Pre-National Invitational as it toppled No. 2 BYU for the team title.

The Cougars had a huge 21-point advantage through four runners, but the Huskies’ fifth runner crossed the finish line 24 places ahead of the opponent’s, allowing Washington to swing ahead for the 84-87 win at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course.

It was a great day of racing as there were 10 nationally-ranked programs in action, including four from the top-10 – No. 2 BYU, No. 3 Colorado, No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 Washington.

By the 4K split in the race, it was clear that either the Cougars or the Huskies would win the team title. Only two points separated those programs at 96 and 98, respectively, while the Buffaloes and Wolverines never became a factor.

Over the final 2K, Erica Birk-Jarvis pulled away to give BYU the all-important low stick with the individual title. Birk-Jarvis crossed the finish line in 20:02.6, nearly seven seconds ahead of Joyce Kimeli of Auburn, who took runner-up honors.

Courtney Wayment Smith wasn’t too far behind Birk-Jarvis to make the Cougars the only team with two runners in the top-5 (Wayment Smith finished fourth) and then Olivia Hoj crossed the finish line in 14th to make them the only team with three runners in the top-15.

Steady did it for Washington, though, as Katie Rainsberger earned top honors in sixth place, followed by Shona McColloch in 12th. Lilli Burdon and Allie Schadler crossed in 21st and 22nd place, respectively, and then Camila David-Smith put the icing on the victory cake with a 28th-place finish to make the Huskies the only team with five runners in the top-30.

Third-ranked Colorado ended up third in the team standings with 126 points, while seventh-ranked Michigan and 11th-ranked Florida State rounded out the top-5.

2019 Kollege Town Sports Invitational – Final Standings

Men’s Teams
Score
Women’s Teams
Score
No. 1 North Central (Ill.)
46
No. 3 Washington (Mo.)
27
No. 9 Pomona-Pitzer
79
No. 2 UChicago
90
No. 3 Wartburg
102
No. 15 UW-Eau Claire
100
No. 10 UChicago
105
No. 11 Wartburg
115
No. 4 Washington (Mo.)
105
No. 17 Hope
203
No. 13 Calvin
114
NR Calvin
225
No. 33 UW-Stout
227
NR North Central (Ill.)
234
No. 28 UW-Eau Claire
246
No. 27 Elmhusrt
243
No. 31 UW-Oshkosh
303
NR Wheaton (Ill.)
243
NR Wheaton (Ill.)
387
NR Carroll
293

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS

Invitational Men’s 8K Race

Top-ranked North Central (Ill.) dazzled in the Invitational Men’s 8K Race at the Kollege Town Sports Invitational on Saturday.

The Cardinals, who share the No. 1 billing in the most recent NCAA Division III Men’s National Coaches’ Poll with Williams, steamrolled a talented field at Lake Breeze Golf Club. North Central (Ill.) put its entire scoring lineup in the top-15 and won going away.

There were four other national top-10 teams in the mix – No. 3 Wartburg, No. 4 Washington (Mo.), No. 9 Pomona-Pitzer and No. 10 UChicago – but the Cardinals dominated them all.

Pomona-Pitzer was the closest finisher to North Central (Ill.) as it took runner-up honors with 79 points, 33 off the blistering pace set by the Cardinals. The Sagehens put its top-5 runners in the top-25, something to which only one other team at the meet could lay claim.

Wartburg ended up in third place, while UChicago and Washington (Mo.) rounded out the top-5 in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

Nick Matteucci gave the Bears an all-important low stick with the individual title. Matteucci, who finished 10th at NCAAs last year on the same course, crossed the finish line in 24:43.1, more than seven seconds ahead of Matthew Osmulski of North Central (Ill.). That was only Matteucci’s second race of the season.

Invitational Women’s 6K Race

Revenge is best served in the guise of a dominating win.

Washington (Mo.) showed why it had been No. 1 in the NCAA Division III Women’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll coming into the season as it crushed the field in the Invitational Women’s 6K Race at the Kollege Town Sports Invitational.

The third-ranked Bears, who were No. 1 in the National Coaches’ Poll until second-ranked UChicago beat them head to head last month, scorched the Maroons on Saturday. WashU ended up with six of its seven runners in the top-15 as it scored just 27 points at the meet, compared to 90 for UChicago, which finished as the closest runner-up.

No. 15 UW-Eau Claire ended up third behind the Maroons, while No. 11 Wartburg and No. 17 Hope rounded out the top-5 of the team standings.

2019 Connecticut College Invitational – Final Standings

Men’s Teams
Score
Women’s Teams
Score
No. 1 Williams
47
No. 7 MIT
75
No. 12 MIT
96
No. 5 Williams
103
No. 14 RPI
149
No. 4 Tufts
121
NR Colby
161
No. 12 Carleton
126
No. 20 Middlebury
190
No. 14 RPI
204
No. 35 St. Lawrence
221
No. 18 Middlebury
216
No. 27 Ithaca
226
No. 34 Vassar
267
No. 26 Carleton
236
No. 20 Rochester (N.Y.)
282
No. 18 Amherst
238
No. 29 Wesleyan (Conn.)
320
NR WPI
298
NR Brandeis
333

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS

Men’s 8K Race

Top-ranked Williams made quick work of a talented field at the Connecticut College Invitational on Saturday.

The Ephs, who were tied with North Central (Ill.) atop the most recent NCAA Division III Men’s National Coaches’ Poll, did their part in maintaining that spot thanks to a strong effort. Aidan Ryan led the way for Williams with an individual title and four of his teammates finished in the top-20 to give the squad a 49-point victory.

Everything almost went according to the way the National Coaches’ Poll thought behind the Ephs as No. 12 MIT (96) and No. 14 RPI (149) finished second and third, respectively. Unranked Colby (161) opened up a lot of eyes with a fourth-place finish to throw the rest of the standings off the rails as No. 20 Middlebury (190) was followed by No. 35 St. Lawrence (221), No. 27 Ithaca (226), No. 26 Carleton (236) and No. 18 Amherst (238).

Women’s 6K Race

Two weeks after cruising to a victory at the course-adjusted Live in the Lou Classic, MIT continued to ride the wave of momentum on Saturday and won the Women’s 6K Race at the Connecticut College Invitational.

The seventh-ranked Engineers were the only team with more than two runners in the top-20 as they went 2-12-15-18-28 for 75 points. Izzi Gengaro led the way for MIT with a runner-up finish behind reigning National Athlete of the Week Parley Hannan of Ithaca.

Fifth-ranked Williams put two runners in the top-10 and two others in the top-30 to finish as the Best of the Rest. Freshman Eva Borton paced the Ephs in eighth place.

Fourth-ranked Tufts finished third, just five points ahead of 12th-ranked Carleton.

The remainder of the top-10 were No. 14 RPI, No. 18 Middlebury, No. 34 Vassar, No. 20 Rochester (N.Y.), No. 29 Wesleyan (Conn.) and unranked Brandeis, in that order.

Other Meets Of Interest

Penn State National Open

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The Temple men and the Penn State women turned in strong, winning efforts on Friday at the Penn State National Open. The Owls scored 56 points to beat RV Penn by 15, while the 30th-ranked Nittany Lions rolled to a 32-point victory over three teams that were either ranked or received votes in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll – No. 23 Penn, RV Princeton and RV Tennessee.

Rowan Inter-Regional Border Battle

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The men’s race was a close battle to the finish line, while the women’s race went how many expected. We’ll start with the men’s race, where No. 7 Carnegie Mellon beat No. 8 Johns Hopkins by just three points, 51-54. The Tartans went 5-7-10-12-17 compared to the Blue Jays’ 2-4-14-16-18 finish. Over in the women’s race, top-ranked Johns Hopkins used a 15-second spread between its top-5 athletes to romp to a victory. The Blue Jays totaled just 26 points, 50 fewer than runner-up No. 6 Dickinson.

Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational

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There is always strong inter-divisional racing at the Jim Drews/Tori Neubauer Invitational and this year was no different. In the Men’s 8K Race, NCAA DIII No. 16 and host UW-La Crosse topped NCAA DIII No. 19 St. Olaf and NJCAA DI No. 3 Iowa Central CC. In the Women’s 6K Race, NJCAA DI No. 1 Iowa Central CC put four runners in the top-7 – including each of the top-3 places in the team scoring – to thump NCAA DIII No. 16 St. Thomas (Minn.).

Ollie Isom Cross Country Invitational

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Cloud County CC, the top-ranked men’s team in the NJCAA National Coaches’ Poll, scored a perfect 15 points to win the Men’s Varsity 5K, while the 13th-ranked Butler CC women topped the 20th-ranked Pratt CC women by 11 points in the Women’s Varsity 5K. It’s like we don’t need to say it by now, but four-time National Athlete of the Week Dais Malebana won the individual title in the men’s race with a time of 14:46.9, 24 seconds ahead of the next closest finisher.