Update 4/12/21

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

Based on the current info available, 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.

2018 XC Nationals: Women’s Individual Preview

November 8th, 2018

The reign of Katelyn McCracken from Duke comes to an end, but familiar faces battle it out for the supremacy.

We are in for a showdown this weekend in Lexington with four of the top ten returning and nine of the top 20 returning, but don’t be fooled into thinking they are all a lock for a top-ten finish.  There have been some extremely fast times put up this year by some runners who either did not race at Nationals last year or did not place inside the top 100, and that should add to the excitement.

 

Let’s start with the runner featuring the highest returning time, Suzanne Stein of Penn State.  Suzanne has finished in the top 15 each time she has raced at Nationals, 14th in 2016 and second last year, and has finished in first in every other race she has participated in during the 2017 and 2018 season.  She posted a sub 22:00 time at the Mid-Atlantic Regional last year and this year, making her no stranger to the biggest stages. Expect her to become a three-time All-American and be at the front of the pack all race.  Second place at the Mid-Atlantic Regional was teammate Baylee Robey, who finished with a time of 22:27, her fastest time over the last two years.  She and Stein will look to place first and second on the day, giving them the top two spots and hopefully a shot at the team championship as well.

 

Perhaps the best chance at preventing Stein from finally finishing first is Anna Piccione of Michigan.  Anna has also finished first in every cross country race she has participated in during the 2017 and 2018 season, except for her fourth place finish at Nationals last year.  She is also the reigning 5,000 meter champion at the Spring Track & Field National Championship in Shelbyville, IN.  Purdue sends a pair of runners who are looking to make a splash and finish in the top ten after a strong showing at the Great Lakes Regional.  Lucy Hilarides, second at Regionals, finished outside the top 100 last year but posted the fourth fastest time of all regional runners and looks to keep up her good form.  Sophomore Lauren Orr is experiencing her first NIRCA season and looks to be a threat for years to come after finishing third at Regionals and running a sub 23:00 time.

 

The Mid-Atlantic will send equally as much talent to Lexington as the Great Lakes Region.  Shannon MacMaster from Maryland finished third at Regionals with a time of 22:46, but has slowed down as the season progressed, so keep an eye out for her returning to form and pushing for a top ten finish after 33rd at Nationals in East Lansing.  Barrett Gray of Princeton finished 15th last year and posted a time of 22:56 at Regionals, good for fourth place. Pittsburgh will be represented by Jessica Uhrin as she looks to wrap up a nice season. After finishing 36th at Nationals last year, she pushed harder and finished fifth at Regionals this year and will be seeking a top ten finish.

 

A couple of dark horse candidates from the Mid-Atlantic are Elizabeth Buckley from Virginia Tech and Audrey Corbet of James Madison.  Buckley did not run cross country last year, but finished fourth at the 2016 Nationals in Hershey, PA, and returned this year without losing a step, posting a time of 23:08 during Regionals.  Audrey is a freshman from James Madison who shocked many by placing seventh at Regionals and will look to finish as an All American in Lexington.  Audrey Ladd of Michigan is about as consistent as they come, running 23:01 at Nationals last year and 23:04 at Regionals this year, and should be a strong candidate to finish top ten.  Also from the Great Lakes is Charlotte Etienne, who finished fifth at Regionals and will look to crack the top ten after finishing 12th at Nationals last year.

 

Moving out of the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes, Illinois has a trio of runners looking to join the mix and earn All-American honors.  Emma Burkhardt, Anneliese Schulz, and Julia Schultz, who finished second, third, and fourth at the Great Plains Regional, will lead the Illini.  Great Plains champion, Hannah Anderson from Northwestern is not running at Nationals.  After battling for 5.9k at the Southeast Regional, Jennifer Mohler from NC State edged out Bridget Sullivan from North Carolina for first place.  They look set to duke it out in Lexington and improve upon their 56th and 90th place finishes last year. Similarly, at the Pacific Regional, Megan MacGregor of UC Davis bested Nicole Ticea of Stanford by 0:11 seconds to claim her first Regional title.  Neither raced at Nationals last year and will hope to make their mark in their first race.

 

Other names to watch for are Allison McLean and Amberlee Kreis of Michigan, Leah Narkevic of Penn State, Katrina Hrabinski of Maryland, Alice Wistar and Jesse Brewer of Princeton, May Robison of Virginia, Anna Bouillet of Indiana, Abby Verchick of NC State, Danika Newlin of UC Davis, Anna Staats of UMBC, and Emily Stava of Washington.



Prediction:

Suzanne Stein finally completes her rise to stardom and finishes first followed by rival Anna Piccione (Michigan), and Baylee Robey (Penn State).  Don’t be surprised to see one of Purdue’s top runners or someone who did not run or finish top 100 last year push for a top five spot.

 

Highest Returning Finishers from 2017

Suzanne Stein, Penn State, 2nd

Anna Piccione, Michigan, 4th

Baylee Robey, Penn State, 5th

Audrey Ladd, Michigan, 8th

Charlotte Etienne, Michigan State, 12th

Yuzki Oey, Princeton, 13th

Alison McLean, Michigan, 14th

Barrett Gray, Princeton, 15th

Amberlee Kreis, Michigan, 18th



NIRCA Women’s National Champion

Year

Champion

College/University

Time

Course

2017

Katelyn McCracken

Duke

22:04

Forest Akers Course, East Lansing, MI

2016

Katelyn McCracken

Duke

22:10

Parkview XC Course, Hershey, PA

2015

Kaitlyn Johnson

Georgetown

22:00

Masterson Station Park, Lexington, KY

2014

Cara Donohue

Minnesota

22:24

Forest Akers Course, East Lansing, MI

2013

Betsy Suda

Florida

22:22

Parkview XC Course, Hershey, PA

2012

Becky Boyle

Indiana

22:31

Parkview XC Course, Hershey, PA

2011

Betsy Suda

Florida

21:27

McAlpine Creek Park, Charlotte, NC

2010

Danelle Woods

Illinois

21:54

IU XC Course, Bloomington, IN

2009

Lauren Philbrook

Penn State

21:59

Eagle Crest Golf Course, Ypsilanti, MI

2008

Kelsey Armstrong

Clemson

22:30

Penn State Golf Course, University Park, PA

2007

Jen Laser

Indiana

23:45

IU XC Course, Bloomington, IN

2006

Ruth Mick

Penn State

22:35

Lock Haven XC Course, Lock Haven, PA

 

 

 

All-Time Top 25 6k Performances at NIRCA XC Nationals

1

Besty Suda

Florida

21:27

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

2

Becky Boyle

Indiana

21:42

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

3

Danelle Woods

Illinois

21:54

Indiana XC Course

2010

4

Lauren Philbrook

Penn State

21:59

Eagle Crest Golf Course

2009

5

Kaitlyn Johnson

Georgetown

22:00

Masterson Station Park

2015

T6

Cassi Knight

Penn State

22:04

Indiana XC Course

2010

T6

Katelyn McCracken

Duke

22:04

Forest Akers Golf Course

2017

8

Katelyn McCracken

Duke

22:10

Hershey Parkview Course

2016

T9

Lauren Philbrook

Penn State

22:13

Indiana XC Course

2010

T9

Suzanne Stein

Penn State

22:14

Forest Akers Golf Course

2017

11

Kristen Mohrer

Oregon

22:15

Eagle Crest Golf Course

2009

12

Megan  Mocogni

Illinois

22:21

Masterson Station Park

2015

T13

Betsy Suda

Florida

22:22

Hershey Parkview Course

2013

T13

Mollie Pozzolo

Michigan

22:22

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

15

Ganna Bowen

North Carolina

22:23

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

16

Cara Donohue

Minnesota

22:24

Forest Akers Golf Course

2014

17

Kristen Mohrer

Oregon

22:25

Indiana XC Course

2010

18

Maddie Stark

Penn State

22:26

Eagle Crest Golf Course

2009

19

Emma Grimes

Illinois

22:29

Forest Akers Golf Course

2014

T20

Kelsey Armstrong

Clemson

22:30

Penn State Golf Course

2008

T20

Sally Keating

UC Davis

22:30

Forest Akers Golf Course

2017

T22

Sarah Brewer

Michigan

22:31

Eagle Crest Golf Course

2009

T22

Becky Boyle

Indiana

22:31

Hershey Parkview Course

2012

T22

Liz Novack

Pennsylvania

22:31

Hershey Parkview Course

2016

25

Amanda Zamora

Illinois

22:32

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

 

 


Michael Potter, NIRCA

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