Like Us On Facebook
Facebook Pagelike Widget
October 15, 2018

Wood Report: What We Learned From Pre-Nats In Wisconsin

After this weekend’s Pre-Nats in Wisconsin, I was asked a couple questions by the CITIUS MAG team to shed some wisdom on the outcome of both races. For those who don’t know what happened in Madison, Wisconsin this weekend, two races were run on the men’s side. NAU won the Cardinal race with 41 points and the  BYU won the White race with 29 points. The two races were separated based off rankings so presumably the next time that we’ll see NAU and BYU go head to head is at the NCAA Championship. The Cardinal race was just narrowly won by Stanford’s Grant Fisher over NAU’s Tyler Day. More on Day below. In the White race, Rory Linkletter kicked for the win and notched his second consecutive Pre-Nats win.

In the women’s races, Arkansas upset Oregon in the Cardinal race with a 51 t0 71 win. New Mexico handily took the White race with 67 points. Michigan was second in that race and were led by Avery Evenson.

Full results from the meet can be found here.

Here are a couple questions that I’ve been asked.

What Did Pre-Nats Tell You About BYU?

I don’t know. I’m staying pretty mum about my Cougars.
What did Pre-Nats Tell You About NAU?
They’re really good.
Outside of those two teams, who impressed you the most?
Washington. A coach at the meet asked me if Andy Powell was the best coach in the NCAA because they were so impressive and they even looked really good in the Gray race as well. The fact that Tanner Anderson wasn’t their No. 1 is a good sign because I imagine he will be by NCAAs so that will help their odds of putting them on the podium. They are also young. Talon Hull, Tibebus Proctor, Gavin Parpart are a nice young core with Tanner Anderson as a solid senior leader.
What did the individual race tell you about Morgan McDonald’s chances of being the top guy despite him not racing?
I think it was smart of Wisconsin to not run McDonald. He doesn’t need to go to the well too many times before NCAAs. It’s also his home course so it’s not like he needs to familiarize himself with it.
Is Tyler Day also an individual title contender?
Of course. He might be the most consistent guy in the NCAA comparing what he has done in XC/Indoor/Outdoor. He is always good. Always does what he’s supposed to do.
On the women’s side, how is New Mexico looking to you compared to last year?
New Mexico might have the top two runners in the NCAA with Ednah Kurgat and Weini Kelati. Plus, I think Adva Coven will only get better. Charlotte Prouse is another top 10 to 15 runner so with those four, they will be in a similar boat they were last year where if they can get Alondra Negron or Hannah Nuttall or Catrina Thomas to run well for them in the five-spot, then they should be looking at winning the thing again. So to answer your question: They are basically the same team as last year just a little older, experienced and a few more options at the No. 5 spot.
Is Arkansas for real?
YES. Definite podium contender and depending on how low their 2-3-4 runners get finish they could be as good as 2nd at NCAAs if they can have those four finish as All-Americans. Katrina Robinson was a brilliant get for them and is an automatic difference maker. With Lauren Gregory now thrown in to their top five, she should only get better from where she was at Pre-Nats which is scary.
On the men’s and women’s side, which teams disappointed?
Campbell’s men. I thought they would be a qualifying team for NCAAs but as of now they’ve got a great 1-2 and that’s about it.
Virginia Tech’s women also fell short of my expectations.  I had them rated high after Paul Short as I weighted that meet pretty high. Looking back on things, I put too much weight into that meet as the women’s side of Paul Short wasn’t as strong as expected.
What are the biggest adjustments that could be made to the Wood Report rankings?
Wyoming and Washington’s men. Dorcas Wasike in the women’s individual side and Tibebu Proctor on the men’s individual side.
What were you most wrong about?
I’m wrong about a lot of stuff. I had Dorcas Wasike of Louisville way too far down the list and I think I got called out about it on Twitter. Sorrt! Aidan Reed of Southern Utah proved he’s better than where I had him originally. I had Gonzaga finishing 18th in the men’s race and they were a LOT better than that. Watch out for those dudes. They’re hungry.
Do you think cross country runners should race on frost? 
Running on frost would kill the grass at that course and wouldn’t be fair to Wisconsin to ruin that beautiful course that they have. I just think you push that thing back as far as necessary time wise to be able to run on it with course while still allowing teams plenty of time to warmup, etc.
Scroll to top