The Nebraska girl you're talking about is Lara Crofford.
I don't really look at times too much in cross country. I look at how runners finish in relation to each other. I think this gives a much better feel for how someone is performing. As for Lara Crofford, she was only a second behind Minnesota's Jamie Cheever, but 17 seconds behind Iowa State's Lisa Koll. She also finished ahead of the rest of Minnesota's team, Katie Engle, and Jolly Burke--runners I am better acquainted with. That gives me a much better idea of where she is than just looking at a time.
If they ran the same distance at Nationals as they do at pre-nats, there would be a strong likelihood the times from pre-nats would be faster (even though most are in better shape at nats). The weather is often better during pre-nats, and this year the course was dry, perhaps at nationals it can be soggy, freezing, etc. Even on the same course comparing races on two different dates, times almost never help me figure out where someone is.
As I've said, too, it's hard (at least for me) to place the freshmen. You don't get too many races to learn very much about them. Once in a while you get someone like Hanna Grinaker who stands out like she did last year, shining like a new dime.
As to Princeton's team, they are pretty young. Caitlin McTague and Heather Iatauro are the only seniors in their top 12, and they're more middle distance oriented runners. Jolee VanLeuven and Megan Brandeland are juniors. Brandeland seems to be having a breakout year for herself.
As for the Princeton freshman, they are:
Sarah Cummings (California): 10:28 3200m
Ashley Higginson (New Jersey: 10:16 2 mile, state champ
Elisabeth Molen (Alabama): 10:47 2 mile, state champ
Brooke Russell (California): 4:59 mile in h.s.
Liz Deir (New York): 6:45 in 2000m steeple, state champ
Next year, they should have back (sophomores right now) Alexa Glencer, a Michigan high school multiple state champion, and Reilly Kiernan, a New York state champ during her prep years. So they should be stacked.