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.)
After two full months of racing, the Power Rankings are starting to take some shape. We don't know what they'll look like by the end of the year, of course, but some people and trends are starting the clear the murky waters.
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.
Have a gripe with one of his picks? (We know you will!) Let us know on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Let the debate begin!
The Top 10 Women Right Now
1. Nicole Mericle
Though she hasn't raced since Jacksonville, she is still on top.
2. Myriam Guillot-Boisset
Her magnificent performance in Jacksonville is still enough to keep her in second. But the big cushion she had over third place has evaporated.
3. Faye Stenning
She is back, and in a big way. Her two victories in Palm Beaches — where she crushed the entire women's field — catapults her up into the Top 3. Myriam is officially on notice...
4. Alex Walker
Alex and Kris Rugloski are expected to duke it out at the Austin Spartan Super 10K and Sprint 5K Weekend on May 15-16. Hopefully more top women show up to make this more than just a two-person race.
5. Rose Wetzel
She's most at risk of a big tumble in the rankings if she doesn't have a productive May.
6. Kris Rugloski
Alex Walker is currently the Queen of Texas, but Kris can take that title from her with a big performance in Austin.
7. Kaci Monroe
Neither Kaci nor Ashley Heller raced this month. But in keeping with tradition, they flip flop positions yet again. Why?
8. Ashley Heller
Because why not?
9. Annie Dube
Of all of the female racers on this list, she has the greatest potential to climb it. But she has to race in May and improve her obstacle game (the Spear Throw, specifically).
10. Natalie Miano
Her strong second-place showing at the Palm Beaches Sunday Sprint — she was bested by Faye Stenning — was just enough to keep her in the top 10.
The Top 10 Men Right Now
1. Veejay Jones
He took the month off, but he's still the most dominant man on this list.
2. Ryan Woods
He had a very strong race in the Charlotte Sprint, winning in 25:20. Woods needed to be solid in every aspect of his game, and he was.
3. Brian Gowiski
He was just half an A-Frame Cargo behind Ryan Woods in the Saturday Charlotte Sprint, finishing in second as result. On both Saturday and Sunday he had to fight off a hard-charging Mark Gaudet, and he picked up the win on Sunday.
4. Logan Broadbent
I'm anxious to see if he makes it out to Montana for the first true mountain race of the year.
5. Ryan Kempson
He could be one big performance away from being on top of the men's rankings, but he would most likely have to beat Veejay to get there. This month he drops a spot because of Brian Gowiski's three impressive efforts.
6. Tyler Veerman
Veerman made his first appearance of the year at the Palm Beaches Sprint Weekend and was victorious on both days. He couldn't have possibly started his 2021 any better.
7. Mark Gaudet
He was in a dead heat with Brian Gowiski at the Slip Wall just 200 meters before the finish at the Sunday Sprint in Charlotte. But after multiple attempts, that Carolina clay got the better of him. He elected to do burpees to hang onto third place. (He finished in third the day prior, also.) If not for that, he would be much higher on this list. But alas, the obstacles matter.
8. Robert Killian
Why do I get the sense that he is going to blow our hair back with a magnificent performance sometime soon? Just wait...
9. Kirk DeWindt
He just had surgery, and I hope he heals up soon. Spartan is always better with his competitive fire.
10. Mark Batres
On two occasions, in two months, he has traveled from dry California to the humidity of Florida. Both times he delivered with very solid races. After a ninth-place finish in Jacksonville, he placed second in the Saturday Sprint in Palm Beaches.