It’s championship time in cross country.
All three divisions will be meeting at their respective sites on Saturday to decide who is the best of the best.
Before the Division I championships begin with the women’s competition at 11 a.m. ET in Terre Haute, Indiana, here are four of the runners in each DI competition who could rise above the rest.
Statistics via TFRRS.org
Erin Finn | Michigan
Finn became the first Wolverine in five years to win the Great Lakes Region title with a mark of 19:27:8 in the 6,000-meter championship last Friday. That came a couple of weeks after she won the Big Ten title for the third time in her career in the same event, winning by a 25-second margin despite her time being over a minute slower than her performance in the regional championship. Who knows, she might have even been saving some of her best stuff there in her quest to win a national title.
Amy-Eloise Neale | Washington
The redshirt junior earned individual victories in the Pac-12 and West Region championships, with the latter coming by a 13-second margin. She posted a time of 19:27.8 in that event, equal to Finn’s in the Great Lakes Region championships down to the millisecond. That could foreshadow a thrilling battle on Saturday.
Anna Rohrer | Notre Dame
And take she did, as the Mishwaka, Indiana, native posted a time of 19:26:4 to win the 6k race by 25 seconds. She then found herself in a good contest with Finn at the Great Lakes Championship, ultimately falling to the more experienced runner by eight seconds. However, the time she posted in the ACC Championships would have won the regional title, so she will be a major threat if she has her top form.
Alice Wright | New Mexico
This year, the star of the defending national champions competed in four events, finishing first or second in each. Her two first-place finishes came in the two most recent ones, the Mountain West and Mountain Region championships. Notably, none of the four runners to finish ahead of her at least year’s NCAA championship will be in this year’s race.
Edward Cheserek | Oregon
Cheserek’s résumé certainly speaks for itself. He has not finished worse than second in a cross country event since his freshman year. He has won all four events he has competed in this season, including breezing to a 29:23:7 time in the 10k for the West Region title. Given his incredible 28:45:8 time he posted in last year’s national championship, seeing if anyone can pull off the massive upset will be a fun development to follow on Saturday.
Jacob Choge | Middle Tennessee
Justyn Knight | Syracuse
Futsum Zienasellassie | Northern Arizona
Zienasellassie has run cross country and indoor and outdoor track for the Lumberjacks since the 2012 cross country season. He qualified for the national championship for each of his first three seasons, finishing fourth as a sophomore and third as a junior. After redshirting last year, he has been in top form as a redshirt senior. He won his first Mountain Region championship last week after grabbing his second Mountain Sky title on Oct. 28. He will look to continue to finish strong in his fourth event of the season and final one of his college career.