Updated: Apr 8
Recruit rankings data has been manually collected by TSR contributors from multiple, reliable sources. Transfers and foreign recruits who are not expected to have four years of eligibility are excluded from these rankings. Order of rankings was decided by TSR contributors. Despite our research, it is possible that certain names have been erroneously omitted.
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This article originally included Elijah Bourdeau, he has now been removed. He was a freshman in 2018 and was redshirted. We apologize for the mix-up.
The Grand Valley Lakers take home our number one spot for the 2019 season. Why? There are 19 new athletes who are joining the Lakers this fall. With that comes some of the best recruits in the country as well as key developmental pieces. Coach Jerry Baltes now has a blueprint that works to win a national title and he'll look to be build something along the same lines this year.
With 19 athletes, we’ll try not to keep you here too long, so we’ll tackle a few athletes at a time.
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First up are the two best recruits for Grand Valley. Caleb Futter and Sam Martens are two names to know for the future. Futter, the Indiana native, has run 1:55, 4:14 (full mile), 9:03 (indoor), and 14:28. The 5000 meter time from Futter is also the fifth-fastest time in the entire country for 2019. He has the ability to be one of the best runners that GVSU has seen, and it could happen almost immediately. After losing two stars in Panning and Woldemichael, the addition of Futter becomes massively more important.
Martens comes from Michigan and has times of 2:00, 4:15, 9:09 and 15:34. He holds similar times in the mile and 3200, although he’s maybe not considered in the same tier as Futter when it comes to the 5k. Regardless, he’s going to be a very strong component to Grand Valley’s roster for the next few years. He too can be a potential star.
Jensen Holm is another Michigan native and he’ll make an impact on the long distance side of things. He’s only run 2:10 and 4:28 for the 800 and 1600, but had times of 9:13 and 15:11 when he graduated. He’ll help make a trio of lethal front-runners in the future.
Andrew Hylen holds personal bests of 2:03, 4:26, 9:27 and 15:18. The time that sticks out here is the 5000. He’s got some speed to go along with his ability to run fast as it gets longer. He’ll be a perfect fit at Grand Valley, a program which has found success in both the middle and long distances.
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This next group of athletes look to be potential developmental athletes that need a year or two before making a huge impact.
Luke Daniel has marks of 2:03, 4:24, 10:03, and 15:53. Chris Allen comes into the program with bests of 4:29, 9:31, and 16:14. Gavin Stintzi has run 2:01, 4:29, 10:19, and 17:04 signaling he might be more of a mid-distance runner. Keegan O’Malley has run 2:04, 4:23, 9:33, and 16:26. He’s got a strong mix of times and likely has the chance to choose which direction he wants to go.
David Knarian holds career bets of 2:02, 4:22, 9:38 and 16:13. He’s another recruit who might have the ability to determine which direction he wants to go as he develops in the program.
Evan Hodson has similar marks to Knarian with his 2:02, 4:26, 9:38, and 15:53. He’s going to be a part of that group who chooses their own path when it comes to race specialization.
Seamus Noonan holds marks of 2:10, 4:38, 10:17, and 16:01. The 5000 meter mark is his best time and it likely puts him on a trajectory to become a 5000/10,000 runner as he continues to be in the program.
The last of this developmental group is Samuel Baustert and Foster Thorburn. Baustert has run 2:11, 4:31, 9:36, and 16:10 and he looks to be another strong 5000/10,000 group that will be up and coming in just a few years. Meanwhile, Thorburn has run 2:18, 4:35, 9:36 and 15:55. Thorburn will likely fall into the 5000/10,000 group as well as he looks to be stronger as the distance gets longer. He could be another key piece in the coming years.
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We have three athletes left who fall under the middle-distance group. First is Noah Fuerst. He comes in with the fastest 800-meter time of the whole class. He’s run 1:53 and also holds marks of 4:24 and 16:48. He’ll be a great complement to Dennis Mbuta for at the next two years.
Carson Rabbitt might the only athlete from these four that doesn’t just sit in the middle-distance group, but he’s run 1:56 prior to coming to GVSU. He’s also run 4:18, 10:18 and 15:55. The guess here is that he’ll be a cross contributor at some point in his career.
Ethan Johnson has run 1:58, 4:41, and 16:29. He’ll likely focus on the 800 over the next four to five years.
Grand Valley has the deepest recruiting class in the country. They have two of the best recruits in D2. They have so many pieces that there is room for error in the coming years. The loss of Zach Panning and Enael Woldemichael doesn’t seem to hurt as much with this incoming class.