2019 D2 Indoor Top 25 (Women): Preseason (Part One)

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TSR contributors may value certain aspects and ranking criteria differently between men and women when constructing our Indoor Top 25.

These lists were written prior to the weekend of December 6-7th. Times from that weekend are given some consideration, but do not completely dictate our rankings.

25. Jennifer Comastri, Junior, Southern Indiana

Comastri has been an athlete with steady progression, but limited success at the national level thus far. That said, we have a feeling that that is about to change. Her 23rd place finish at NCAA's this past fall tells us that all things are pointing upwards for the Southern Indiana junior.

Her PR's of 5:21 (mile) and 10:13 (3k) are admittedly modest, but when you consider that she just ran a 16:31 5k personal best in her season opener, it seems like our evaluation is more than fair thus far.

24. Bree Erickson, Senior, U-Mary

Erickson is a talented middle distance runner with personal bests of 2:13 (800) and 4:56 (mile). However, it was on the outdoor track where she ran proved herself to be a top-tier miler. Erickson ran a 4:35 for 1500 meters last spring to place 2nd at her conference meet as well.

But what gives Erickson an edge is her experience on the national stage. She was a national qualifier in the mile last winter. Prior to that, she was a member of U-Mary’s DMR which placed 12th and then 4th in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Erickson has had some championship experience and she tends to excel during indoors, so she should look to have a solid season and qualify for Nationals yet again in either the mile and/or DMR come March.

23. Kara Burton, Junior, Colorado Mines

Kara Burton is more of a middle distance runner with times of 2:18 in the 800 meters and 4:54 in the mile. She was 10th in the mile at NCAA's last indoor season and 10th once again in the 1500 meters during outdoors with a time of 4:41. However, its her 4:28 1500 PR from the Mike Fanelli Classic last spring which really captures our attention.

Burton will likely focus on the mile once again over the next few months, especially given the success she had during the outdoor season last year. She didn't race this past fall for Colorado Mines, so we have no indication as to what kind of shape she could be in. Regardless, if Burton runs this season, she should be toeing the line for the mile in March.

22. Chloe Flora, Junior, Lee (Tenn.)

Flora placed 40th at the NCAA XC Championships back in November to earn All-American honors and cap off a very impressive fall. She didn't race during the indoor season last year for Lee, but came in with personal bests of 4:56 and 10:06 from her time at Dayton.

Flora ran 16:49 last spring to qualify for the national meet where she ultimately finished 20th. She holds marks of 2:18 (800) and 4:26 (1500, competing for Dayton).

This Flame junior has displayed impressive range, a nationally competitive 5k time, and respectable improvements from this past cross country season. Flora will be a big name to watch this winter.

21. Yasmine Hernandez, Junior, CSU-Pueblo

Hernandez is a middle distance runner with exceptional top-end speed, boasting personal bests of 56.86 (400) and 2:08 (800). She also was a member of the 4th place DMR team from indoors last year and could be a key member of the relay yet again in 2020.

Hernandez failed to make the Indoor National Championships as an individual as she was never able to better her 2:15 from before Christmas break. It wasn't until the outdoor season where she had a breakout performance, running 2:08 which helped her qualify for NCAA's where she eventually finished 5th.

Expect Hernandez to reach the same level of fitness this indoor season. She could also make an appearance in the mile as her cross country season was better than expected and the extra stamina could help her reach the NCAA meet.

20. Billie Hatch, Junior, Dixie State

Hatch was one of the toughest runners to rank given her times on the track. She owns PR's of 10:15 (3k), 17:37 (5k), and 35:47 (10K), but these are from last year, and she has very clearly improved since then.

At the NCAA XC Championships, Hatch secured a huge 8th place finish with a time of 20:26 to conclude a stellar breakout season. She placed 13th in the 10k at Nationals last spring with a time of 39:01, but set her 10k PR of 35:47 at Mt SAC. Based on her cross country season, she should easily obliterate her previous personal bests.

Hatch will likely be focusing on the 5000 meters and should be able to get under the 17:00 barrier over the next few months. She'll likely dabble in some 3000 meter races for some speed work which would ultimately benefit her in the long term.

19. Madison Goen, Senior, Grand Valley State

Goen is an experienced veteran with solid range and proven consistency. She had a great cross country season, but struggled a bit at NCAA's, placing 74th overall. However, with personal bests of 2:21 (800), 4:58 (mile), 9:48 (3k), 16:46 (5k), and 10:39 (steeplechase), it's clear that Goen has a resume that stacks up with the best of the best.

Last spring, she was 9th at Nationals in the steeplechase and then 10th in the 5k. Prior to that, she finished 14th in the 5k at the Indoor National Championships. There's little reason to believe that Goen won't be back at the national meet in March, but the question will be if she can get over the hump and find herself inside the top eight to secure her first All-American finish on the track.

18. Celine Ritter, Junior, Lee (Tenn.)

Ritter is a transfer from Mount Olive and while she was there, she saw plenty of success. The current junior was an NCAA qualifier in the mile and part of a national qualifying DMR team for the Spartans.

With personal bests of 2:14 (800) and 4:52 (mile), Ritter has shown us that she is one of top middle distance runners in the country capable of competing on the national stage. Her 10:01 (3k) personal best is another added bonus when talking about her range.

Ritter will likely focus on the mile yet again this winter with her eyes set on cracking the 4:50 barrier. She's had great success in her short time at Lee and that added improvement should translate over to the track.

17. Malea Teerman, Junior, Grand Valley State

Teerman enters her junior season at Grand Valley State with personal bests of 5:08 in the mile, 9:54 in the 3000 meters, and 16:45 in the 5000 meters. She ran her 16:45 at the GLIAC Indoor Championships last year which gave her a comfortable national qualifier to NCAA's.

The big question here is...where has she been? She did not compete during outdoors and sat out of cross country as well. Her last cross country race was last year’s GLIAC Championship while her last (and only) outdoor track race was in 2018 at the Bison Outdoor Classic where she ran 17:13 in the 5k.

Her absence is worrisome, but Grand Valley athletes have disappeared and then come back on a whole new level in the past. If Teerman is healthy and fit, we think that she will come back hungry to compete once again.

16. Stacey Metzger, Senior, Grand Valley State

Metzger may be one of the more underrated distance runners on a loaded GVSU roster, owning personal bests of 5:07 (mile), 9:39 (3k), and 16:28 (5k). We didn't see her compete last spring, but she did earn a double qualifier to Nationals in the 3000 and 5000 meters last winter.

Despite not racing recently, she's still one of the strongest runners in the country with untapped her potential. A 1500 meter personal best of 4:38 tells us that she could sneak under the 5:00 barrier this winter.

15. Lauren Bailey, Junior, Indianapolis

Bailey is another rising star who has made tremendous strides as of late. She has PR's of 2:24 (800), 5:02 (mile), 9:58 (3k), and 16:17 (5k). She is coming off a fantastic cross country season where she cracked the top 10 at Nationals with a 9th place finish.

Oh, and that 5k time? It was run this past weekend at the GVSU Holiday Open and would have ranked #2 in the NCAA last winter.

Bailey's tremendous success this past fall paired with her recent breakout performance validates the idea that her cross country success means big things for her this winter. However, until we see how others perform and what Bailey does after winter break, we'll opt to keep her at our TSR #15 spot...for now.

14. Haleigh Hunter-Galvin, Senior, Adams State

Haleigh Hunter-Galvin is a highly versatile runner with championship experience. That alone should make her a dangerous name to watch. She owns PR's of 2:16 (800), 5:11 (mile), 10:00 (3k), 16:30 (5k), and 10:33 (steeplechase). She was 6th at Nationals this past fall and peaked right on time, arguably better than anyone else in the nation.

Last winter, Hunter-Galvin was a member of the DMR team which went on to win the national title. She narrowly missed qualifying for the 3000 meters last year after running 10:00 and getting an altitude conversion of 9:45. Luckily, she rebounded with an impressive outdoor track season last spring, earning two top 10 finishes at the national meet (5th in the 5k, 4th in the steeplechase). Talk about a brutal double...

There aren't many women in the NCAA who are as reliable as Hunter-Galvin is in the postseason. Another All-American finish is likely in her future.