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Stan Becton | | October 2, 2023

Ranking the top cross country performances after one month

2022 DI women's NCAA cross country championship | FULL RACE

We're just one month into the DI cross country season, and we've already seen some of the nation's best runners put on a show. Let's rank the top-five men's and top-five women's performances so far.


1. New Mexico's Habtom Samuel takes the Roy Griak

Samuel made his collegiate debut at the 37th Roy Griak Invitational held at Minnesota. In his first race, he finished in 23:36.4 to win the individual title. Not only did Samuel win, but he also ran the second-fastest time in the Roy Griak's history. The New Mexico Lobo won by 24 seconds after pulling away at the 5K mark.

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2. Northern Arizona's Drew Bosley reminds us why he's one of the nation's best

Bosley is a big reason why many expect Northern Arizona's dynasty to have a shot at winning another title this year. His performance at the Virginia Invitational reaffirmed his status as one of the nation's best, winning the race in 23:20.3 ahead of a pair of top-10 finishers at 2022's championships, Parker Wolfe (North Carolina) and Ky Robinson (Stanford). By the way, Bosley also helped lead Northern Arizona to a team win at the same course the DI championships will be at in November.

3. Oklahoma State's Denis Kipngetich dominates his home course

Kipnegetich protected his home course with a win at the 85th Cowboy Jamboree. The Oklahoma State product ran the sixth-fastest time in Jamboree history, finishing in 23:21.5. More impressively, he crossed the finish line without another runner in sight.

4. Auburn's Ryan Kinnane lands an impressive early season win

Kinnane hadn't won a collegiate cross country race entering 2023. That all changed at the Southern Showcase, when he landed his first career win in 23:19.9. Kinnane blasted by the rest of the field to win by 8 seconds and finally taste the joys of victory.

5. Cal Poly's Davis Bove leads team to a stunning win

Bove transferred to Cal Poly from LSU this offseason and made an impact in his first race. He won the Bill Dellinger Invitational in 23:40.1 after pulling away over the final mile and a half of the race. Not only did Bove win individually, but Cal Poly also won as a team, knocking off two ranked teams in then-No. 9 Portland and then-No. 15 Oregon.

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1. California Baptist's Greta Karinauskaite climbs record books in Minnesota

Karinauskaite won the Roy Griak Invitational in 20:27.6 in the fastest women's finish since 2004 and the fourth-fastest time in meet history. Karinauskaite got out fast, running the first mile in 5:11.4. The blistering pace and every bit of her performance was needed, as Karinauskaite helped California Baptist win the Griak team title by just one point.

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2. South Carolina's Judy Kosgei sets a school record — again

Every time freshman Kosgei has run this year, she's broken a South Carolina program record. She's done so in all three races in September, but her second race at the Gamecock Challenge stands out the most. Kosgei won the meet in 15:52.9, one minute faster than the program record time she ran 14 days prior. She's only a freshman, but she's already etching her name across the South Carolina record books.

3. Alabama's Doris Lemngole beats a loaded field at Joe Piane

At first, Lemngole's win at the Southern Showcase in her first collegiate race was going to earn her a spot on this list. Then, she won the Joe Piane Invitational in 16:05.9 ahead of a loaded field. Lemngole beat 2022's third-, sixth- and eighth-place finishers from last year's championships at Joe Piane, firmly placing herself in the individual title conversation.

4. Oregon State's Kaylee Mitchell dominates in-state meet.

Kaylee Mitchell was dominant in the Bill Dellinger Invitational. She finished over 18 seconds ahead of the rest of the field in 19:37.2. The next closest runner from her own team finished 17th.

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5. Ohio State's Addie Engle shows off midseason form early

Addie Engle won the Badger Classic to pick up her second win of the year in just her second race. Engle finished in 17:54.4 to win by 6 seconds. It was an impressive showing from one of the best runners in the Big Ten.

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