Update 1/15/21

The NIRCA Spring 2021 National Championship season has been cancelled due to the uncertainty of pandemic.

In regards to the Fall 2021 National Championships, our team is constantly tracking the status of travel and university policies. At this time, it is too early to confirm, modify, or cancel the event. Keep checking here for immediate updates as they are available.

2018 XC Nationals: Men’s Individual Preview

November 9th, 2018

After three consecutive years of the Men’s National Champion reigning from Iowa State, expect the champion to come from a different, but familiar, team this year.

Although nine of the Top 20 runners will be returning from last year, only three were among the fastest regional runners in 2018.  This season has proven to be highly competitive on the men’s side with many speedy newcomers and returning runners who are posting some of the fastest times of the season, despite finishing outside of the Top 100 at last year’s National Championship.  Several teams have power duos who will be working together to secure their spots in the lead pack and fighting to achieve eternal glory.  Let’s start off with those top returners:

 

Two-time All-American Nathan Kwan of UC, Davis is finally ready to take his place at the top of the mountain.  After finishing third in 2016 (Hershey, PA), and second in 2017 (East Lansing), the only thing left for him to do is finish first.  He is both the highest returning runner from Nationals last year and the fastest runner from Regionals. His Pacific Regional time was 25:41, 0:11 seconds slower than his Nationals time last year, but even if he doesn’t lower that time he still may be running alone for most of the race at the front of the pack.  Teammate Clancy McConnell finished eighth in 2017 with a sub 26:00 time but has not hit that mark this year, leading to a seventh place finish at Regionals.  Should Clancy return to his time from East Lansing last year, they have a good chance of finishing first and second.

 

Penn State has a pair of All-Americans in a similar situation as McConnell.  Joseph Clark took seventh and Matthew Beyerle took 14th at Nationals last year but both have run slower times this year.  Beyerle had an unusually slow time by his standards at Lehigh where he finished 16th with a time of 26:45 while Clark took fifth at the Mid-Atlantic Regional with a time of 26:02, good for the overall seventh best regional time.  Clark will be the Nittany Lion’s best chance at a National Champion, which would be Penn State’s first ever.

 

Out of the Mid-Atlantic, Princeton and Virginia Tech each send two runners in a battle of seniors verse grad students.  Princeton’s runners each placed top 20 last year and finished within 0:13 seconds of each other. Senior Liam Collins finished tenth in 2017 with a time of 25:52 and had a fourth place finish this year at Regionals, running only 0:04 seconds slower.  Fellow senior Zartosht Ahlers finished 18th in East Lansing and did not run at Regionals this year.  Virginia Tech’s runners both finished well outside the top ten but could find themselves earning All-American honors after a strong season.  Fellow grad students Connor Lee and Harrison Wood finished first and second at a highly contested Regional, surprising many as they led the Hokies to a second place finish.  Both have shown tremendous improvement this season as Wood finished 50th at Nationals in 2017 while Lee placed 96th at Nationals in 2017 and cut his time down by 1:23.  Expect both to be near the front all race long.

 

Oregon will be hoping  Robert Pederson can become their first champion since Keith Laverty in 2007.  Robert finished 11th last year at Nationals but will need to improve upon his ninth place finish at the Pacific Regional as 26:42 isn’t likely to allow him to repeat as an All-American.  Nate Veldt of Purdue finished 15th last year and 15th at the Mid-Atlantic Regional this year.  As is the trend for most top returners, Veldt’s time is not as fast as last years but expect the NIRCA veteran to run his best when it matters the most.

 

Samuel Schroeder will be missed by Michigan this year as he is now a grad student at George Washington.  Schroeder finished 51st last year but shaved off 0:31 seconds from that time en route to a third place Mid-Atlantic Regional finish.  He will not have any fellow GW teammates around him but expect him to stick with former teammate Tyler Opdycke who is expected to have a strong race.  Opdycke of Michigan finished 16th last year and has run well this season, ultimately leading to a first place finish at the Great Lakes Regional.  He should finish inside the top ten and could find himself top three with a strong performance. Jared Reckard from Indiana lost to Opdycke by 0:04 seconds at Regionals and will be looking to best him this time around.

 

Other names to watch for are Christopher Henry and Josh Chazin of UPenn, Daniel Wilcko and Raymond Friend of Penn State, Ryun Anderson of Maryland, Peter Teixeira of Northeastern, Brian Osterhout of Washington, Paolo Guarano and Charles Alexander of Michigan State, Jon Horvath of UC, Davis, Nicholas Cardamone of Pittsburgh, Sam Nishi and Thomas Busse of Cal Poly, Josh Mollway and Ryan Sommerfield of Illinois, Matthew Sraders of Purdue, Samuel Goldstein of North Carolina, and Joachim Weel Rosbo of Wisconsin

 

Prediction:

Nathan Kwan finally gets his elusive first place medal followed by Liam Collins of Princeton and Joseph Clark from Penn State.

 

Highest Returning Finishers from 2017

Nathan Kwan, UC Davis, 2nd

Joseph Clark, Penn State, 7th

Clancy McConnell, UC Davis 8th

Liam Collins, Princeton, 10th

Seth Berdahl, Oregon, 13th

Matt Beyerle, Penn State, 14th

Nate Veldt, Purdue, 15th

Tyler Opdycke, Michigan, 16th

Zartosh Ahlers, Princeton, 18th

 

NIRCA Men’s National Champion

Year

Champion

College/University

Time

Course

2017

Andreas Lommer

Iowa State

25:29

Forest Akers Course, East Lansing, MI

2016

Rob Scanlon

Iowa State

25:35

Parkview XC Course, Hershey, PA

2015

Rob Scanlon

Iowa State

24:59

Masterson Station,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

 

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

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

T7

Peter Hogenson

Minnesota

24:45

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

T7

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

T15

Wallace Campbell

Clemson

24:59

Eagle Crest Golf Course

2009

T15

Rob Scanlon

Iowa State

24:59

Masterson Station Park

2015

T17

Ryan Wells

Indiana

25:05

McAlpine Creek Park

2011

T17

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

T21

Kelly Fermoyle

Penn State

25:09

Eagle Crest Golf Course

2009

T21

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

 


Michael Potter, NIRCA

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