2019 D2 Recruit Rankings (Men): #2 Chico State Wildcats

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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The Wildcats from Chico State bring in some of their best recruits in recent years. They find themselves at #2 on this list really only because they don’t have the numbers compared to the team that lies in front of them. With all of that in mind, the times of these incoming recruits are certainly worth noting when you consider that the future of this Chico State program is in their hands.

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First on the list is Chico, California native Charlie Giannini. He has run 4:23 over 1600 meters, but finds most of his success at the longer distances. He’s run 9:19 for 3200 meters and then 15:34 for 5000 meters. Our guess is he will become a strong 5k guy for coach Gary Towne in the future.

Next up on the list is Brayden McLaughlin. He comes from Loomis based in Del Oro, CA and has the fastest 1600 meter time of the group. He’s run 1:59 for 800 and has run 4:15 over the course of four laps on the track. His times of 9:28 (3200) and 15:26 (5000) make him one of the most well-rounded athletes in Chico’s class for 2019. He should be a staple of the program for the next five years.

Together, Giannini and McLaughlin have the ability to bring additional depth to a team that is widely considered to be one of the deepest teams in the NCAA in their first years.

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Hunter Sweet and Joshua O’Neill have both run 4:19 for 1600. However, they fall on the opposite ends of the spectrum. Sweet, who comes from Point Loma, California has run 2:01 in the 800, as well as 9:25 and 16:06 in the 3200 and 5000, respectively. This points to him focusing more on the middle distance side of things in the future. Meanwhile, O’Neill has only run 2:09 for 800 meters. Yet, what he lacks in speed, he makes up for in distance. He’s run 9:18 for 3200 meters and 15:34 over the length of 5000 meters.

Both of these athletes will contribute to the Chico State legacy in just a couple of years. O’Neill could very well be a low-stick for the Wildcats while Sweet becomes an essential piece to Chico chasing their first national title as a team. He may be one of the best pure-distance recruits entering the team this fall.

Bennett Woodward might be the most well-rounded runner of the 2019 class. He comes from Rocklin, California with times that are impressive. He’s run 2:00 for 800 meters, 4:22 for the 1600, 9:19 over 3200 meters and finally 15:49 for the 5000. Much like McLaughlin, it might be safe to say that he can likely choose which event he would like to focus on in the next five years, but ultimately, he could be the wild card that puts Chico State over the top in just a couple of years.

The last three athletes for Chico include Elias Sanchez, Logan Underwood, and Matthew Machnov. All three athletes are staying home in California and look to be strong developmental runners for Coach Towne. Sanchez has run 2:00, 4:22, 9:41, and 16:33 and looks to be a promising middle-distance athlete. Underwood has run 2:05, 4:39, 9:56, and 16:00 and looks to be a 5k/10k guy in the future. Machnov has run 2:02, 4:28, 9:34, and 15:41. His 5k time definitely pushes him towards the longer distances with hopes that he could be an impactful scorer in a few years.

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We’ve been told that all of these athletes will redshirt the upcoming season, so we won’t see any of them at least until 2020. The year of development in Chico’s program only will improve their chances of developing while gearing Chico towards chasing a national team title in the near future.