Editor's Note: These rankings were published on April 5. The next edition of the rankings, which will take the results in Charlotte and Palm Beaches into account, will come out in the final week of April. For the full results from Charlotte, click here.
Every month, the Spartan Power Rankings lists the top 10 male and female racers in the world right now. The rankings are predominantly based on recent accomplishments and results, with some consideration given to overall athlete resumes and future predictors of success. They are based on some data analysis, but more so the eye test, which of course is subjective.
It's important to note that racers who have not yet completed a Spartan Sprint, Super, Beast, Stadion, or Ultra this year are not eligible for the rankings. As a result, such superstars as Ryan Atkins, Lindsay Webster, and Ryan Kent are not in this month's rankings. (We expect that to change, of course, in short order.)
Two races this past month, in San Antonio and Las Vegas, provided some food for thought and some fantastic performances. A few athletes fell in the rankings and some dropped out completely, and three new racers are making their debut.
Making each month's picks is none other than Spartan pro Kevin Donoghue. A Spartan Pro Team member since 2015, he has amassed 147 podium appearances during his illustrious career and captured 106 Age Group victories. In addition to his brilliance on the course, he's also a veteran Spartan broadcaster, having called three Spartan World Championships.
Let the debate begin!
The Top 10 Women Right Now
1. Nicole Mericle
She will remain at the top of this list until she gets beat.
2. Myriam Guillot-Boisset
No racer distinguished herself enough — aside from Mericle, of course — to overcome the best female Spartan athlete in France.
3. Alex Walker
After a second-place finish in the San Antonio Super on Day 1, she overcame some legitimate mental barriers to cruise to victory in the Sunday Sprint a day later. She seems to evolve every single race.
4. Rose Wetzel
She remains in the fourth slot this month, but is at risk of falling in the rankings if she doesn't follow up her Jacksonville performance soon.
5. Kris Rugloski
After a first- and second-place showing in San Antonio, respectively — she beat Walker in the Super, and then finished second to her in the Sprint — Kris went off on a 50-mile endurance horse race. If she performs like that again in the near future, look for this Titan Games performer to dig her spurs into these rankings.
6. Ashley Heller
Like Rugloski and Walker in San Antonio, Ashley Heller and Kaci Monroe traded first- and second-place finishes in the Vegas Super and Sprint.
7. Kaci Monroe
She was one place ahead of Heller in last month's rankings. Since they are so good at swapping first- and second-place finishes, they can trade spots in this month's rankings.
8. Annie Dube
She continued to struggle with some obstacles, but rounded out the podium on both days in Vegas and is still too fast to move off this list.
9. Ashley O'Hara
Like Rose, she needs to get back on the course in a hurry to stay ranked.
10. Natalie Miano
Due to some obligations, she couldn't get to Texas or Vegas, so unfortunately I had to drop her from sixth to 10th. Hopefully she can make it to the Charlotte or Palm Beaches Sprint weekends. Tiffany Palmer will likely be there, and with a strong showing she will return to the Top 10.
The Top 10 Men Right Now
1. Veejay Jones
Two races, two wins. Both were absolutely brilliant performances. Veejay brings a combination of talent, authentic swag, and personality to the sport that hasn't been seen since the days of Hobie Call and Hunter McIntyre.
2. Ryan Woods
3. Logan Broadbent
4. Ryan Kempson
5. Robert Killian
None of these four men raced last month, but each moves up one place in this month's rankings. Why, you ask? Keep reading.
6. Josiah Middaugh
He was ranked No. 2 last month, but I dropped him all the way to sixth. Why? Because he questioned his own merit, for being ranked second, in the last rankings. The four men who jumped him are savage competitors, and I want to see that same fire in him before he can move up again.
7. Kirk DeWindt
He went out to Vegas, threw down two podium appearances, went home, recorded a podcast, and then caught some fish.
8. John Penland
This young buck was burning up the course in San Antonio. He won the Super, and after a few burpees still hung on to take third in the Sunday Sprint.
9. Victor Quezada
Both he and John Penland are making their debuts in the rankings. But if you don't know this man, then you haven't been paying close attention the past decade. He has quietly put together a fantastic Spartan career, and he added to his medal display with a silver and gold in San Antonio.
10. Brian Gowiski
With races coming up in North Carolina and Florida very soon, he better have a great weekend if he wants to stick around in the rankings. My guess? He will do just that.