2019 D2 Recruit Rankings (Women): #1 Grand Valley State Lakers

Updated: Apr 8

Graphic by Logan French

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.

Did we miss someone? If so, send us an email at contact@thestridereport.com & let us know!

The fast get faster.

Grand Valley State has been a Division 2 powerhouse for years and that’s not changing anytime soon. The 2018 National Champions are bringing in an insanely talented group of recruits to bolster their already impressive roster.

Truthfully, there is not a lone “star” of this recruiting class. Some have faster 800 meter times while others excel in cross country. This group is well balanced and seven of the nine are top-tier Division 2 recruits. The remaining two are very solid developmental athletes.

* * *

I honestly don’t know where to begin with this recruiting class. Four under 2:20 in the 800 meters, two under 5:00 in the 1600 meters, four under 11:30 in the 3200 meters, and seven under 19:00 in the 5k for cross country is absolutely incredible.

I’ll start off with Sarah May from the historic York High School in Illinois. She has personal bests of 2:14 in the 800, 4:59 in the 1600, 11:28 in the 3200, and 17:15 for 3 miles (roughly a 17:50 5k time). She is familiar with being in highly competitive races and that will be a huge advantage for her going into college. She steadily improved throughout high school and tends to have consistent performances throughout the season. She is a major addition to GVSU.

Next up is Sage Wagner of Wisconsin. Her personal records are 2:17 in the 800, 4:56 in the 1600, 11:37 in the 3200, and 18:56 in the 5k. She could be another low-stick for GVSU with her speed and consistent performances.

The first of several Michigan natives is Klaudia O’Malley. She has personal records of 2:17 in the 800, 5:04 in the 1600, 11:06 in the 3200, and 18:14 in the 5k. She too has the potential to be a low-stick runner for GVSU. O'Malley has both speed and endurance which makes her another huge new talent for the Lakers.

Next up is Shayna Altvater. Her personal bests are 2:27 in the 800, 5:18 in the 1600, 11:13 in the 3200, and 18:37 in the 5k. She is more of an endurance runner which will help in the jump to 6k in cross country. She will add additional depth to an already loaded cross country team and possible even emerge as a legitimate front runner for this team (likely sooner rather than later).

Emma Everhart-Deckard has the 2nd fastest 5k time of the group with a personal best of 18:20. She also owns an 11:41 personal best in the 3200. She has the endurance and capability to be a scorer, but she may need time to develop consistency and build confidence at the higher level. She has a ton of encouraging potential.

* * *

Sydney Nesbitt has personal bests of 2:17 in the 800, 5:16 in the 1600, 11:30 in the 3200, and 18:47 in the 5k. Her 800 meter time shows that she has more speed-oriented and is a better addition to the middle distance track side rather than cross country, but her time of 18:47 on the cross country course should not be ignored. She could be a surprise low-stick or simply a developmental runner for the Lakers. She might not excel or be a standout newcomer this year, but she shows a lot of promise and could be a key component to the team in the future.

Rounding out the sub-19 5k runners is Sydney Binsfield with a personal best of 18:55. Based on her cross country PR, her track personal bests are slower than her true potential. She has only run 5:43 in the 1600 and 11:45 in the 3200. Like Everhart-Deckard, consistency and confidence will be key in becoming a scoring runner for GVSU. Her cross country performances indicate that she hasn't even come close to what she could around the oval.

Alicia Estrella and Kara Crofoot finish up the recruiting class. They are both developmental additions to the team. Estrella has personal bests of 2:23 in the 800, 5:26 in the 1600, 12:13 in the 3200, and 19:33 in the 5k. Crofoot has personal bests of 2:30 in the 800, 5:38 in the 1600, 13:09 in the 3200, and 19:33 in the 5k.

* * *

GVSU came out as the #1 team in our recruit rankings and it is pretty easy to see why with this talented group. The real question, however, is how many of these women will be redshirted for the cross country season. Several of them have the potential to be in the top seven, but most of last year’s recruits redshirted and will be making their collegiate cross country debuts this fall.

Along with that fact, GVSU returns most of its winning team from last year. Even if these incoming freshmen don't race this fall, they are still fantastic additions to the program who will put the Lakers in a good spot for the next four to five years.

Without a doubt, members of this recruiting class will be national champions in the future.