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

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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.

13. Jessica Gockley, Junior, Grand Valley State

Gockley is a talented runner who has found notable success throughout all three seasons of competition and boasts some valuable experience. She owns PR's of 5:00 (mile), 9:41 (3k), 16:35 (5k), and 35:00 (10k), proving that she is a major competitor in the longer distances. She was 18th this past fall at NCAA's, but prior to that, finished 4th in the 10k at Nationals last spring.

As far as indoor performances go, Gockley continued to show her veteran consistency, qualifying for NCAA's in both the 3000 and 5000 meters. Unfortunately, she was unable to close in on an All-American finish either of those events.

Nonetheless, she is already off to a fantastic start with a new 5k PR of 16:35 at the GVSU Holiday Open.

12. Kate Lilly, Senior, Seattle Pacific

Kate Lilly most recently placed 51st at NCAA's, but that shouldn't overshadow her scary-good talent. Last spring, she placed 15th in the 1500 meters with a time of 4:39 and then 5th in the 5k with a time of 16:23.

However, her success extends beyond outdoors. Last winter, Lilly posted a 4:52 mile, qualifying for the indoor national meet. She also proved to be a versatile runner across every distance, securing personal bests of 2:14 (800), 10:02 (3k), and 16:51 (5k) in addition to that 4:52 mile.

The Seattle Pacific ace has made some steady progression throughout college and is looking to end her collegiate career on a high note over the next two seasons.

11. Nancy Jeptoo, Junior, Alaska Anchorage

Jeptoo is one of those rare distance talents who has dominant during cross country, but also displays range in the middle distances. The Alaska Anchorage junior boasts impressive PR's of 2:12 (800), 4:51 (mile), 9:59 (3k), and 17:16 (5k). It seems that she actually performs better in the shorter distances despite what her cross country accolades would suggest.

She was 10th at NCAA's this past fall with a time of 20:30 and a national qualifier during both indoors and outdoors of last year in the mile and 1500, respectively. Jeptoo tends to race modestly during the normal season before pulling off some clutch performances late in the postseason.

With more experience and improvement based on her cross country season, Jeptoo should exceed her success from last year.

10. Kaylee Bogina, Senior, Adams State

Bogina is a talented runner who is often overshadowed by her superstar Grizzly teammates. She was 25th NCAA's this past fall, earning an All-American honor, but not even acting as a scorer for the Adams State women.

Last spring, she had a fantastic 5th place finish in the 10k to pair with her PR of 35:09 in the event. She was also a 3k/5k national qualifier last winter. With personal bests of 9:57 (3k) and 16:40 (5K), Bogina has established herself in the upper-tier of distance runners in Division Two. She is consistent, experienced on the national stage, accomplished in essentially every distance event, and holds strong personal bests.

She will most likely focus on the 5k again this season and will be aiming to match her All-American finish from the 2019 outdoor season.

9. Elysia Burgos, Sophomore, Southwest Baptist

Burgos is the second-most successful underclassman on the list, holding strong personal bests of 2:10 (800), 4:47 (mile), and 10:20 (3k). She just missed the top 10 at NCAA's this past fall with an 11th place finish. That result complemented her rare 800/1500 double at the NCAA's last spring.

During last indoor season, Burgos finished 11th in mile (in 4:54) and 7th in the DMR for Southwest Baptist at the NCAA Championships. After opening her 2019-2020 indoor season with a monster 4:47 mile at the Crimson and Gold Invitational, it's clear that Burgos is a heavy favorite to be an All-American come March.

With national experience and clear progression now under her belt, Burgos is ready to make some noise on the national level.

8. Bailey Sharon, Senior, Western Colorado

Bailey Sharon is one of the top returning middle distance runners in the country with times of 2:07 in the 800 and 4:37 in the 1500. She is coming off a solid cross country season where she placed 66th at Nationals, a respectable performance for who someone whose best event is the half-mile.

She focused on the 800 last year, but we wouldn’t be surprised if she moved up to the mile this year, or even doubled. Sharon could also be a member of a DMR as well, extending her value beyond just the open events.

Unlike a few of the women that we have already mentioned in Part Two, Sharon has an All-American honor from last year's indoor national meet after placing 4th in the 800 meters (she was also 9th in the same event during outdoors).

Sharon has had three fantastic seasons in a row, and she will probably continue that trend in 2020.

7. Hanna Groeber, Senior, Grand Valley State

When you think of veteran consistency, Hanna Groeber is a name that should come to your mind. She placed 14th at NCAA's this past fall in 20:38 and was a consistent low-stick for the Lakers throughout the entirety of the season.

Groeber owns PR's of 5:07 (mile), 9:41 (3k), 16:25 (5k), 34:55 (10k), and 10:23 (steeplechase). Not only can Groeber do it all, but she do it all incredibly well.

Need All-American finishes? Groeber has that too. Last spring, she was 6th in the 5000 meters and then 5th in the steeplechase at the Outdoor National Championships. Prior to that, she qualified for the indoor national meet in both the 3k and 5k, earning All-American honors in the 5000 meters (8th).

Groeber recently opened her 2019-2020 season with a 16:30 5k at the GVSU Holiday Open. She is looking at another successful season ahead of her to cap off her highly-decorated career as a Laker.

6. Stefanie Parsons, Junior, Edinboro

Stefanie Parsons is good. Really good. The Edinboro junior has made herself a threat on the national stage in essentially every event, boasting times of 2:11 (800), 4:48 (mile), 9:53 (3k), and 17:04 (5k). She even had a stellar cross country season with a 17th place finish at NCAA's.

Parsons has opted to focus on the 1500/mile events over the past two track seasons (and understandably so) securing a 14th place finish in the 1500 meters at the outdoor national meet with a time of 4:39. Luckily, her 6th place finish at Indoor Nationals the season prior proved to us that she could be an All-American.

She opened her 2019-2020 season at the GVSU Holiday Open with a 17:30 5k, but we think her cross country season as a whole indicates that she can run much faster. We could end up seeing her contend in the 3000 meters which would be a happy medium between the mile and 5k distances.

Stefanie Parsons is a talented runner at every distance and is coming off a great cross country season and year of competition overall. We expect her to keep the ball rolling.

5. Andra Lehotay, Senior, Walsh

Lehotay is a strong middle distance runner who can excel on the cross country course as well. Her 2:10 (800) and 4:45 (mile) personal bests make her an elite runner in those respective events and her results at the national meet (across all seasons prove that).

Lehotay just missed out on All-American honors with a 41st place finish at NCAA's this past fall. However, between the track seasons, she is not short on those coveted finishes. Last spring, the Walsh veteran was 7th in the 1500 meters at NCAA's which seemed to be on par with her pair of 5th place results in both the mile (4:56) and as a member of Walsh’s DMR.

With a handful of elite talents from last year now gone, Lehotay should be able to take aim at a top three finish at Nationals.

4. Addy Townsend, Senior, Simon Fraser

Addy Townsend is one of the most dynamic and exciting distance runners in D2, owning PR's of 2:06 (800) and 4:44 (mile). The Simon Fraser senior has been a match-up nightmare for her GNAC rivals and has even dropped down to the 400 meters to become an integral part SFU's 4x400 meter relay.

We haven't seen Townsend toe the line since February of 2019, which is very unfortunate given that she was runner-up in the 1500 at Nationals in the spring of 2018, 6th in the 800 meters in the spring of 2017, and 4th in the 800 meters in the winter of 2017.

When healthy, Townsend is as good as they get. If she toes the line this winter, she'll be on the hunt for her first-ever NCAA title.

3. Ida Narbuvoll, Senior, U-Mary

Narbuvoll is a distance running juggernaut, owning PR’s of 9:49 (3k), 16:14 (5k), and 34:46 (10k). She placed 4th at NCAA's this past fall and is responsible for the fast pace from the start. The U-Mary ace was also a double national qualifier in the 5k and 10k this past spring as well as the 3k and 5k last winter. Unfortunately, she was unable to secure an All-American finish in either of those meets.

Luckily for Narbuvoll, she is already off to a hot start, winning the GVSU Holiday Open 5k with a monster time of 16:14 to PR and showcase her cross country fitness. She will most likely focus on the 5k and could easily walk away as the national champion.

That is, of course, depending on who runs it…

2. Allie Ludge, Senior, Grand Valley State

Ludge is coming off of an impressive cross country season and a 12th place finish at Nationals with a time of 20:34. She was 6th at NCAA's last spring in the 1500 with a time of 4:37. Her range is wildly impressive with PR's of 2:08 (800), 4:45 (mile), 9:18 (3k), and 16:30 (5k). Ludge set her 5k PR at the prestigious Bryan Clay Invitational.

The GVSU veteran probably had the best overall performance of her career during indoors last year at NCAA's, earning a 3rd place finish in the mile (4:53), a 5th place finish in the 3k in a time of 9:32, and helping the Lakers to a 3rd place finish in the DMR. She already ran a 9:18 3k at the GVSU Holiday Open to PR and won the race against a respectable field.

Ludge is on a roll and we don’t see her slowing down anytime soon. Her consistency and ability to win race after race should not be overlooked. We expect her to attempt the triple yet again in 2020, and if she doesn't, it will likely be because she's aiming for a national title in one of those events.

1. Stephanie Cotter, Sophomore, Adams State

Cotter enters her sophomore indoor season as a four-time national champion. She dominated a loaded field at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and set the 6k cross country meet record and with a 19:15. She also won the 1500 meters last spring with a time of 4:36 and set her 1500 PR at the Payton Jordan Invitational with a blazing fast time of 4:19.

Still not enough for you? Cotter also won the mile at Indoor Nationals with a time of 4:50 and a was part of Adam State's DMR national title lineup.

Cotter’s success so early in her college career is unheard of. She is not only competitive in championship races, but she pushes herself to the absolute limit, handing out losses to some of the country's most elite distance runners. What will her limits be this season?

We predict her to break a few more records and win a few more national titles this season and frankly, that sounds entirely realistic. She will most likely be a part of Adams State’s DMR yet again and could then run either the mile, 3000 meters, or 5000 meters (or maybe pull off the mile/3k/DMR double that Ludge did last year).

Stephanie Cotter could become the most successful female runner in Division Two history and that conversation will likely extend into the winter of 2020.