The Mailbag is back and so are the plethora of questions that we have received from our readers. We were able to address most of the questions this time. If you haven't already, be sure to read up on our last TSR Mailbag. Let's get started...
Is Klecker the favorite in the 5000?
We had a similar conversation about Dustin Nading in our last TSR Mailbag and the answer will be the same. I would say that Klecker is a favorite to win the national title in the 5000 meters, but I'm not sure he's necessarily the favorite. Amon Kemboi has run 7:44 and 13:33 unconverted this season which is the best 3k/5k double in the NCAA right now. He also has a 3:59 mile which shows that he is developing more of his mid-distance speed. I think Kemboi has all of the tools to win a national title this year.
Tyler Day has a converted 13:31 from December and although he recently struggled in the Iowa State 3k, he's still a top name in the country who is due for a big performance. Would anyone really be shocked if he beat Klecker?
Clayton Young and Edwin Kurgat have also run faster than Klecker has for 5000 meters this season, but I'm not sure they've shown the same amount of control in their performances that Klecker has. The Colorado ace has shown some impressive poise and comfort in his past two wins.
So can Klecker win the national title? Yes. Will I be surprised if he doesn't win? No.
Maybe someone will debate me on this, but I think it's a valid argument...
What happened to the podcast?
The 2nd Wind podcast was mainly for the cross country season which is why things have been relatively quiet on our end. However, we are making plans to bring back (multiple?) podcasts this spring! It's still in the works and we are still trying to establish a timeline, but expect something new within the next two months or so.
As for Capella Athletics, those guys are entering championship season for indoor track. Once they wrap up there, expect a few more episodes coming your way! I can personally say that the lineup of guests they have will not disappoint.
If anyone has any recommendations, ideas, or suggestions for podcasts, let us know!
Which star runners are in the most danger of not qualifying for Nationals?
*We'll avoid relays for the sake of this conversation*
For the men, I think the obvious answer(s) has to be Mick Stanovsek and Carlos Villarreal. Both were expected to be contenders in the mile this year, but neither are in position to qualify as of right now. Of course, you can't necessarily blame them for falling in the first lap of last week's Husky Classic mile. Luckily, both men have the MPSF Championships to secure a qualifying spot. They will likely push each other to run faster than the current #16 time of 3:59.39.
Arkansas' Cameron Griffith is also in a tricky spot. He is currently ranked #22 in the mile and #17 in the 3000. If no one scratches from the 3k (which is possible and has happened before), then a 7:49 3k runner from 2018 will not be appearing at the National Championships in March.
As for the women, Villanova's Rachel McArthur may be the biggest name to not be in qualifying position right now. Her 4:37 is strong, but will it be enough? Our current Scratch Tracker projections have her qualifying for Nationals in the mile. That said, all it takes is one of those women to not scratch the mile and leave McArthur as the First Woman Out of NCAA's.
Who are your favorite milers and why are they the MoSo guys (Missouri Southern)?
Anyone who reads the site is on equal footing of being our favorites. That said, it helps your case if you follow us Twitter and Instagram so keep that in mind...
What [time] gets into Nationals for the women's 800? Slowest it's been in years...
Yes, I would agree that the women's 800 this year is lacking in depth and is significantly slower than most years. The current top 16 cut-off time for the women's 800 right now is 2:06.12. In the past four years, the top 16 cut-off time has been 2:04 (and some change). Since TFRRS began gathering results in their database (2010), that cut-off time has never been slower than 2:05.70. For perspective, the #11 time in the NCAA right now (which is tied between two women) is 2:05.71.
Although this year has been exceptionally slow, keep in mind that we have seen three women run under 2:03 which is very strong. We are also witnessing the best year ever in women's distance running when it comes to the 3000 and 5000 meter distances. I suppose we have to have a trade off somewhere...
Between league championships and last chance meets, I'm going to estimate that we see two more times crack the top 16 for the women's 800. If that were the case, then the fastest top 16 cut-off time we could see is 2:05.90 (the slowest cut-off time in the TFRRS era).
Which contributor is the best basketball player?
This is a great question. However, with so many writers, we all bring a unique skillset to the hardwood. Here are a few quick bio's to give you an idea of who you would want on your team...
Led his 6th grade basketball team in shots missed and minutes on the bench. Also the league leader in hard fouls.
Sean Collins + Ben Weisel
Both played Catholic School basketball, but that's because they needed a Higher Power to win.
Steph Curry, but with two broken arms.
"Not gonna lie, I had a pretty good jump shot in 8th grade". Ben Simmons has likely said the same thing and look how that turned out.
John actually played two years of varsity basketball, but do you really want the guy who constantly reminds you that he played on varsity? Plus his high school had like 400 kids, so does it really count?
Zach has run over 200 miles in a single week, but James Harden has traveled more in a single game so take that as you will.
When asked if he can dunk, Quenten said "If you lower that baby to 9 feet, then I'm practically Vince Carter".
You know the movie Benchwarmers? That was actually a true story based on Michael's basketball career.