Women's cross country is a sport that flies under the radar and doesn't get much attention outside of the Olympics. However, these ladies train extremely hard to be regarded as one of the best in the country.
There are many names to pay attention to for the next season, however, there are 5 individuals that exceed the rest and are expected to accomplish great things in their careers.
(1) Mercy Chelangat from Alabama
Chelangat is a two-time SEC champion, holding a record at her school and in the NCAA. Her passion is cross-country, enjoying that more than the indoor alternative. She currently has the record for 21st in the fastest time for the 10,000 meter run in the entirety of NCAA.
In 2020, she was the NCAA Cross Country Individual Champion for the women's 6k. She's made history within her school as well, breaking records from within but also winning the first championship in the SEC 6k since 1993.
(2) Courtney Wayment from BYU
Wayment is an incredibly special part of BYU's team as she is set on winning for herself and her school. Her dedication goes as far as to skip tournaments to focus on ensuring BYU's title.
She was named and All American and her senior year she placed no lower than 5th in all of the races she participated in. She also made First Team because of her performance in the 2019 season.
Competing at a new level, Wayment was able to place 4th during the Olympic trials. Her Senior year was her most successful and where she was the most decorated, but she remains a name to pay attention to for this upcoming season.
(3) Joyce Kimeli from Auburn
Kimeli is an indoor All-American. While she was unable to play in the 2020 outdoor season, her previous seasons showcase her ability wonderfully. In 2019 she was a Cross Country All-American.
2019 was her best season, making the Second-Team All-American. She also was the South Regional Athlete of the year. Kimeli holds her school record for the 3rd fastest time for an Auburn woman in the 6k. She's continuing to work to best herself and she is definitely a woman to look out for.
(4) Bethany Hasz from Minnesota
Hasz is a grad student with an impressive lineup of accomplishments. Her 2021 season was full of wins in the indoor and outdoor departments.
In the indoor season, she was awarded with First Team All American because of her performance. She was runner-up in NCAA and was named as an All-Big First Team honoree.
In her outdoor season, she made First Team All American from her outstanding statistics in the 5,000m. She also ran her career best during the NCAA championship, ending up in 3rd place.
All of these remarkable women are big names to look out for in the years to come of Cross Country. They all find pride in their accomplishments and work hard to ensure that they will remain successful.
The amount of effort that goes into training and perfecting a sport such as this is immense so keep in mind the many hours each of these athletes have put into mastering their craft. Be sure to cheer them on in this upcoming season.