Update 6/12/21

The NIRCA Fall 2021 National Championship is (tentatively) on!

We are thrilled to announce that Fall XC Nationals is planned for November 6th, 2021 in Shelbyville, IN. These plans are subject to change as new information emerges, so keep checking here for immediate updates as they are available.

For the Fall 2021 season, Nationals eligibility criteria for club and individual participation will be waived. NIRCA fall season meets will all be considered Non-Qualifiers.

Regionals: tentatively planned, all dates TBD. Fall season: clubs hosting meets should submit their races for the NIRCA event calendar as soon as their events are confirmed.

2016 XC Nationals: Men's Individual Preview

November 10th, 2016 (Updated: Nov 11th)

2015 national champ Rob Scanlon (Iowa State) looks to defend his title and repeat while a strong and diverse group of challengers hope to find their way to the top of the podium.

Is the defending champion poised to retain his title? Can the Pacific Region claim their first individual champion since 2007? How will the team battle impact multiple individual favorites who have aspirations to lead their teams to the podium as well? Fascinating storylines abound in the men’s field for the 2016 NIRCA Cross Country National Championships.

Iowa State’s Rob Scanlon heads to Hershey looking to make NIRCA history. No man has won multiple NIRCA Cross Country National Championship crowns, but Scanlon has the chance to do just that and defend his 2015 title. A win would also make him the only NIRCA athlete to win three races at Nationals, as he claimed the “B” race win as a freshman in 2012 on the same Hershey hills (Betsy Suda of Florida also has two wins to her name, topping the women’s podium in 2011 and 2013). A fellow Great Plains Regional runner is expected to be right with Scanlon - his teammate and regional champion Jason Thomas. The two, along with runner-up Matthew Kuik of Wisconsin (not running at Nationals) were the class of the field in Ames and each have the ability for top finishes in Hershey. Thomas finished 31st at 2015 Nationals, just missing out on All-American honors, but looks ready to change that.

 Scanlon and Thomas

The Mid Atlantic Region claimed the men’s individual crown from 2011-2013, including both years on the Hershey Parkview XC Course, and will again have a large group in the front pack. UPenn’s Geraint Davies is the top returner from 2015 (6th in Lexington) and while he was only 36th at the Regional Championship, he is a multi-time All-American and former half marathon national champion who has often come through when it counts. Similarly John Lacy of Penn State (12th at 2015 Nationals) took 22nd in the Region, but is always someone to watch. Lacy’s PSU teammates Andrew Sell, Maxwell Petrosky, and Daniel Wilcko, along with Luke Mazzu of Virginia Tech and Andrew Cerruzzi of Maryland, all figure to be in the mix as well. Notably, Mid Atlantic champ Ian Whittall of UPenn won’t be joining the battle in Hershey.

More men’s individual winners have come from the Great Lakes region than any other (4) but 2016 brings new names and no top 15 returners from Lexington. Michigan’s Lucas Peterson and Ross Pendergast went 1-2 in the region and look like podium threats, as does Jack Randall of Cincinnati (3rd). Few seasons pass without Indiana having All-Americans at Cross Country Nationals, and Stephen Gomez and Ethan Worthington look like they have that potential after placing 5-6 in the Great Lakes, leading IU to the regional title. Nate Veldt of Purdue (4th, Great Lakes) is another name to watch.

Michigan

Josh Rees-Jones of North Carolina State took top honors at the Southeast Regional, followed closely by North Carolina’s Seth Proctor and Patrick Cardel of Duke. All three men will look to compete for high finishes in Hershey. In 2015, Rees-Jones took 4th in the Region and 60th at Nationals, so look for that improvement curve to continue into 2016 Nationals.

In the Northeast, Harvard’s Emmanuel D’Agostino took the Regional title and will carry that momentum into Hershey. Jigar Gosalia of Binghamton (2nd) and Patrick Briody of UConn (3rd) followed D’Agostino across the line and also figure to be in the lead pack at Nationals. Gosalia was the only one of the trio to compete in Lexington in 2015, narrowly missing All-American honors in 32nd place. All three runners will be among those vying for individual medals on Saturday.

After claiming his second straight Pacific Regional title on October 29, UC Davis’ Nathan Kwan will be in the running for the podium in Hershey. Kwan’s teammates finished with a 41 second spread, including Jake Dialesandro, Blake Zufall and Adam Cobert (13th at 2015 Nationals). UC Davis will no doubt impact the individual race as well as the team. Sam Nishi and Landon Woollard of Cal Poly also had strong showings in Crystal Springs (2nd & 4th, respectively) but won’t be making the trip to Nationals. Perhaps the Pacific’s best individual title hopes rest with Oregon’s Ryan Jones, 3rd overall in 2015 and the second highest returning finisher from Lexington. Jones did not compete at the Pacific Regional, but has run fast out West and looks ready to compete. Seth Berdahl, Andre Walker and Carter Christman of Oregon have also been running well this year and could make noise on the fabled Hershey hills.

Kwan

 

PREDICTION: It won't be the first time he's won a national title and it won't be the first race he wins on the Hershey Parkview Course (see 2012 B race). Rob Scanlon from Iowa State repeats in another close one. Davis' Nathan Kwan gives his club a big boost towards the team title with a runner-up finish and Oregon's Ryan Jones takes third for a second straight year.
Disclaimer: Previews and predictions are the opinion of one NIRCA board member who tracks race results from NIRCA member clubs throughout the Fall season. These previews and race predictions do not necessarily represent the view or stance of the Association’s Board or membership and should be viewed as educated guesses to generate excitement and conversation for the upcoming National Championship weekend! Please enjoy at your own risk.

 

Highest Returning Finishers from 2015:

Rob Scanlon, Iowa State, 1st
Ryan Jones, Oregon, 3rd
Geraint Davies, UPenn, 6th
Nathan Kwan, UC Davis, 10th
John Lacy, Penn State, 12th  
Adam Cobert, UC Davis, 13th

 

NIRCA Men’s National Champions (2006-2015)

Year

Champion

College/University

Time

Course

2015

Rob Scanlon

Iowa State

24:59

Masterson Station Park
Lexington, KY

2014

Ryan Wells

Indiana

25:36

Forest Akers Course
East Lansing, MI

2013

Gregory Jantzen

Virginia

25:31

Parkview XC Course
Hershey, PA

2012

Joey Murray

Virginia Tech

25:26

Parkview XC Course
Hershey, PA

2011

Andy Weaver

Delaware

23:59

McAlpine Creek Park
Charlotte, NC

2010

Duriel Hardy

Michigan-
Ann Arbor

25:24

IU XC Course
Bloomington, IN

2009

Andrew Coates

Michigan-Dearborn

24:55

Eagle Crest Golf Course
Ypsilanti, MI

2008

Matt Flaherty

Indiana

26:54*

Penn State Golf Course
University Park, PA

2007

Keith Laverty

Oregon

26:02

IU XC Course
Bloomington, IN

2006

Brock Phillips

North Carolina

25:44

Lock Haven XC Course
Lock Haven, PA

*2008 championship course was 5.2 miles long. Adjusted 8k winning time would be 25:39.

 

2016 NIRCA Men’s Regional Champions

Region

Champion

College/University

Time

Great Plain

Jason Thomas

Iowa State

26:00.3

Great Lakes

Lucas Peterson

Michigan

25:27.0

Mid Atlantic

Ian Whittall

Pennsylvania

25:25.9

Southeast

Josh Rees-Jones

North Carolina St.

26:29.5

Northeast

Emmanuel D’Agostini

Harvard

27:14.7

Pacific

Nathan Kwan

UC Davis

26:10.0

 

All-Time Top 25 8k Performances at NIRCA XC Nationals

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1

Andy Weaver

Delaware

23:59

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

2

Wallace Campbell

Clemson

24:12

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

3

Michael Frigo

Illinois

24:27

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

4

Janis Teopfer

Texas

24:30

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

5

Aaron Silver

Illinois

24:41

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

6

Mason Frank

Iowa State

24:44

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

7

Peter Hogenson

Minnesota

24:45

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

8

Grant Johnson

Minnesota

24:45

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

9

Robert McLaughlan

Oregon

24:47

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

10

Sean Sketch

Princeton

24:50

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

11

Greg Jantzen

Virginia

24:52

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

12

Brendan McDonnel

Illinois

24:53

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

13

Andrew Coates

Michigan Dearborn

24:55

Eagle Crest Golf Course

2009

14

Casey Campbell

Oregon

24:57

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

15

Wallace Campbell

Clemson

24:59

Eagle Crest Golf Course

2009

15

Rob Scanlon

Iowa State

24:59

Masterson Station Park

2015

17

Ryan Wells

Indiana

25:05

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

17

Chris Steenkamer

Maryland

25:05

Masterson Station Park

2015

19

Ryan Jones

Oregon

25:06

Masterson Station Park

2015

20 Colin Zauner Minnesota 25:07 McAlpine Creek Park 2011
21 Kelly Fermoyle Penn State 25:09 Eagle Crest Golf Course 2009
21 Aidan Galasso Delaware 25:09 McAlpine Creek Park 2011
23 Dan Fadgen Purdue 25:10 McAlpine Creek Park 2011
24 Avi Bregman Michigan 25:11 Masterson Station Park 2015
25 Zach Garcia Virginia 25:12 McAlpine Creek Park 2011

Greg Haapala, NIRCA

#nircanats #previews