Written by Quenten Lasseter and John Cusick
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TSR contributors may value certain aspects and ranking criteria differently between men and women when constructing our Indoor Top 25...
25. Joshua Chepkesir, Sophomore, UNC Pembroke (-2 / 23)
Chepkesir rounds out our rankings this week after a 14:36 outing in the 5000 meters. We all saw what he could do in the 3000 meters (8:13), but this performance didn’t really resemble that this weekend. There is still plenty of time for Chepkesir to improve on that 5k mark, but as of now he only looks like a legitimate threat in the 3000.
24. Jack Mastandrea, Senior, Charleston (W.V.) (-4 / 20)
Mastandrea had a bit of a disappointing outing as he posted a 4:19 mile, thus slipping in the rankings. Mastandrea started his season off hot in December (14:08 for 5000 meters), but after multiple weeks of not racing, he looked a tad off. We’ll see if he can get back on track as championship season approaches. This was his first post-winter break rust-buster, so it would be unreasonable to write off a talent like him so quickly.
23. Jhordan Ccope, Junior, NW Missouri (-4 / 19)
Ccope dropped a couple of spots this week after his head-to-head loss to Kimutai in the Pittsburg State 3000 meters. Although he didn’t take home the win, there were many positives as his time of 8:18 got his name on the provisional list. He's still a top talent, but we're still waiting for that marquee win (although he did beat out Missouri Southern's Ryan Riddle this past weekend who placed 3rd).
22. Isaiah Rodarte, Junior, Adams State (Unranked)
Rodarte only has one race under his belt this season, but it's a 3000 meter time from the Power 5 Meet where he ran 8:43 and received a conversion time of 8:12. That's good enough for #8 on the NCAA performance list right now. That 8:12 would have been a personal best for him, but we all know that's not how altitude works.
Will we see Rodarte head to sea level for a fast 5000 meter or 3000 meter time in the future? While we don't know, it sure would be nice to see what kind of shape he really is in. Still, his performances from this past fall tell us that a time like that isn't totally out of his wheelhouse.
21. Benjamin Allen, Senior, Concordia-St. Paul (Unranked)
Allen sneaks into our rankings after his head-turning 4:08 mile that ultimately converts to a mark of 4:05 at the Jack Johnson Classic. This performance sets Allen up with the #6 fastest time in D2 along with making him a huge dark horse in what feels like a wide-open mile field (so far) this season. Allen hasn't put together the strongest season compared to others on this list, but this five second PR might be signaling a breakthrough for the Concordia senior in 2020.
20. Dylan Ko, Rs. Sophomore, Colorado Mines (Unranked)
After a long hiatus from Ko’s personal best in the 5000 meters from December, he was back in action running another PR, this time in the mile with a result of 4:17. Both marks came from the Mines track (which sits at altitude). After conversions, Ko is now listed on the NCAA leaderboard with times of 14:15 in the 5000 meters and 4:06 for the mile.
Ko proved that he was good during the cross country season and he's looking to do the same for the indoor season now. It feels like the mile was just a primer for a fast 3000 that he is gearing up to run soon...but gosh, that was a fast primer.
19. Grant Colligan, Rs. Senior, Colorado Mines (-3 / 16)
Colligan improved upon his 5000 meter time by running a converted 14:11 at the Mines Winter Classic. Although, this is a provisional time for him, it’s still not a PR and he will have a lot more work to do if he wants to be a contender for the national title this year.
Even so, this is a good sign for Colligan. He only ran 14:26 in December at sea-level and this effort on his home track shows us that he is getting back into the shape that he was once in.
18. Tanner Chada, Sophomore, Grand Valley State (-6 / 12)
Chada finally raced for the first time since early December and he chose the mile distance. The 4:16 he ran at GVSU Mike Lints Open is nowhere near the caliber of his 14:06 5k that he ran before Christmas. It's an underwhelming result from the sophomore, but we expect him to race well during the month of February as this may have just been a rust-buster for the spring semester. Plus, it's safe to say that Chada is more better equipped for the longer distances.
17. Carson Bix, Junior, Adams State (Unranked)
Bix finally debuted at the Power 5 Meet where he ran as a part of the Adams State DMR team where he anchored them to a 2nd place finish. He then came back and ran 8:45 for 3000 meters, receiving a conversion that moved his time to 8:14. He currently sits at NCAA #11 on the national leaderboard.
Bix was runner-up at the 2019 CCCAA State Championships while at El Camino College which means that he's capable of handling the mile, whether it's for the DMR or an individual bid. Keep an eye out for him running another race before the conference meet. If this past cross country season was any indication, then Bix surely has more left in the tank.
16. Justin Crosswhite, Senior, Western Oregon (+9 / 25)
Two weeks ago, Crosswhite toed the line at the UW Preview where he came through the finish line with a time of 4:09 for the mile. This past weekend, he was out for redemption at the same exact facility, but this time around he improved his mile mark by two seconds (4:07), setting him up with the #8 fastest time in D2. The day before, Crosswhite helped Western Oregon's DMR team run 9:52 as he opened up on the 1200 meter leg.
Crosswhite is just another Western Oregon athlete who continues to impress as the years go on. It wouldn't come as a surprise if he was part of the contenders list when March rolls around. As of now, he'll make the NCAA meet and at least be in the mix for All-American status. His clear progression and ability to run this fast without a conversion shows us that Crosswhite is just as good as we thought he could be this season.
15. Luc Hagen, Junior, Colorado Mines (Unranked)
Hagen had himself a huge day this past Friday, running a PR of 4:14 in the mile and also taking the win at his home meet. Running 4:14 at a facility as high up as Colorado Mines is no joke, and the conversion has brought that time down to 4:03 which is the fastest mark this season.
This performance comes as a bit of a surprise due to the fact Hagen is known as a longer distance runner after multiple All-American performances in cross country. He has also made several appearances in the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters on the track, so we'll see if he continues to pursue those events or if he's encouraged enough by this performance to run the mile in March.
14. Hugo Arlabosse, Junior, Franklin Pierce (Unranked)
Arlabosse enters our TSR rankings for the first time this season after his big PR of 1:49 in the 800 meters two weeks ago. That performance is the #2 fastest time in D2 this winter. This past weekend, we saw Arlabosse easily take home the win at the NEICAAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
That overall PR from Arlabosse is a good sign as he's likely going to have to run even faster than that to battle for the national title in March. Luckily, he doesn't look to race much more than 800 meters meaning that he can have his eyes set strictly on the 800 at NCAA's a month from now.
13. Charlie Sweeney, Sophomore, Western Colorado (-9 / 4)
Sweeney falls in this update in large part because he hasn’t raced like everyone else this season. He’s raced twice and recorded two provisional times as a result. However, both races have been at 7500+ altitude and he just hasn't been quite on par with what we thought he would be at this point.
His most recent race was a 3k at the Power 5 Meet at Adams State where he ran 8:45 and received a conversion. His time now sits at a respectable mark of 8:14. Now, this is all likely going to change after he races at a big meet at sea-level, but for now, Sweeney finds himself ranked at TSR #13 after others raced well over the last two weeks.
12. Felix Wammetsberger, Senior, Queens (N.C.) (-6 / 6)
Wammetsberger finds himself in the same boat as Sweeney at the moment. The reigning mile champ has slipped four spots this week because nothing that he has run has been spectacular thus far. Sure, his 14:32 5k looks nice, but he won’t be racing that at NCAA's. He just recently posted a strong time of 1:51.34 for 800 meters at the Carolina Challenge and it was just one-tenth of a second of his personal best.
Even so, we're still waiting for Wammetsberger to debut in his main event and luckily for us, he’ll be racing the mile at the Camel City Invitational this upcoming weekend. Keep an eye on this Queens athlete who could drop something scary-fast at JDL Fast Track.
11. Gidieon Kimutai, Sophomore, Missouri Southern (-2 / 9)
This past weekend at the Pittsburg State Invitational, Kimutai dominated as he held off top runners such as Jhordan Ccope (TSR #23) to win the 3000 meters in a provisional time of 8:16. This was Kimutai’s first race in nearly two months after he threw down a time of 14:03 in the 5k, which currently stands as the #4 fastest in the country. He looks as good as ever and it seems to be looking like he will be a huge threat in both events come Nationals.
10. Dennis Mbuta, Junior, Grand Valley State (-4 / 6)
Mbuta has raced four times this season. Three of those races came at the 2020 Gladstein Invitational. This included the 600 meters, the mile, and a leg on the 4x400 relay. His 600 meter time of 1:18.93 is respectable and he bounced back to run a strong time of 4:10 later in the day.
He has still yet to run a fresh mile on the season and his time of 1:50.21 in the 800 meters from December still stands as the #4 fastest time this year. Mbuta will likely add another race to his workload for NCAA's, but it remains to be seen if it'll be in the DMR or the mile.
9. Titus Winders, Sophomore, Southern Indiana (-4 / 5)
The sophomore from Southern Indiana slips a few spots this week only because others had some phenomenal races. Winders raced at the 2020 Gladstein Invitational where he ran 8:10 for 3000 meters and now has the #7 fastest time in the country. It also means that he’s going to likely compete in two events at NCAA's.
Winders also has a 5000 meter time of 14:06 to his name as well as a 4:10 mile from a couple of weeks ago. He’s got some very impressive range that should work in his favor when it comes to championship racing in March.
8. Benoit Campion, Senior, American International (-1 / 7)
Campion has had one of the greatest improvements of a runner from year-to-year. Last year, he had PR's of 8:27 and 1:53 in the 3000 meters and 800 meters, respectively. This year, he has run 8:09 and 1:51. His latest 800 meter result tells us that’s likely in better shape and should run faster than his mile PR of 4:07 which he set last year.
He most recently ran at the NEICAAA Indoor Track and Field Championships where he ran the 4x800 relay. He helped the Yellow Jackets to a 1st place finish and a time of 7:35.01. Campion will likely be featured on the AIU DMR team whenever they decide to run one, making his decision on events for NCAA's difficult.
Even so, those are good problems to have entering February.
7. Calahan Warren, Senior, Embry-Riddle (+7 / 14)
The Embry-Riddle athlete continues to impress this season. He’s one of our biggest movers of the week and that’s because of his huge mark of 4:03 in the mile. It’s a three second personal best and moves him to #2 on the performance list this season. It’s also the fastest "true" time of the season and if you remove the converted times, he’d be four seconds up on the next-best runner. This time also seemed to come a day after he anchored the Embry-Riddle DMR to a time of 10:04 which currently sits at #12 in the nation.
Warren has a streak of success coming into this season and it wasn't going to be surprising if we saw him run something fast. But a time like this is outstanding and leads us to believe that he could be a national title contender in the mile one month from now.
6. Taylor Stack, Rs. Junior, Western Colorado (-3 / 3)
Stack falls into the same boat as his teammate Sweeney. Stack ran the second fastest 3000 meter time after altitude conversion (8:36 to 8:05) at the Power 5 Meet. He currently has the #8 fastest 5000 meter time on the season.
He’s only falling this week because others have had stronger races, and just like Sweeney, whenever Stack gets to race at sea-level, we might see him outperform some of those altitude converted times. He’s still one of the favorites in both the 3000 and 5000 as of right now, but we needed to make some room for a few others.
5. Christian Noble, Rs. Junior, Lee (Tenn.) (+7 / 12)
There were some big expectations for Noble coming into the season and he’s simply blown those out of the water. His most recent race was a 5000 at Boston where he dropped the #2 fastest time in the country by running 14:01. That's a top 20 mark in all of D2 history, leaving us to wonder how well he will run in other races leading up to NCAA's.
He’s entered in the Camel City Invite section of the 3000 meters this upcoming weekend, and something tells me that he’ll be running faster than that 8:10 PR that he threw down before Christmas break.
4. Ezra Mutai, Freshman, American International (+6 / 10)
Sure, Mutai is just a freshman and everything he’s run this year is a PR. But he ran 14:02 and 4:13 before Christmas break only to return to Boston and run 8:02 in the 3000 meters! We knew he was a strong cross country runner, but Mutai has immediately stepped into the role of a title contender in both the 3000 and 5000 meters this season (after running each of these races just once).
There was some fans who thought that he would be a better 10,000 meter runner (and that still may hold to be true) and that he had a lack of speed for the 3000 meters. But after posting the fastest time in the country, I think some of those doubts have been erased.
3. Derek Holdsworth, Junior, Western Oregon (+10 / 13)
Holdsworth has wasted no time moving his name up the rankings this season. I say this because the two times that he’s raced his "main" event this season, he’s posted the fastest time in the country.
The first time came when he beat Drew Windle and ran 1:50. The second time around, with 1:49 as the new benchmark from Hugo Arlabosse, Holdsworth ran 1:47.74 which is just seventh-tenths of a second off of his personal best. That’s also the #4 fastest time in D2 Indoor history (all-conditions). The names in front of him? Drew Windle and Thomas Staines (twice).
Holdsworth is in VERY good company early on in his Western Oregon career.
Not going unnoticed is that Holdsworth was the anchor on the DMR team for the Wolves where they ran 9:52.02 now have the #3 fastest time in the country. This is something to monitor as Holdsworth does have some of the best range in middle distances and should be considered a legitimate threat if he gets that baton anywhere near the leaders.
2. Marcelo Laguera, Rs. Senior, CSU-Pueblo (0 / 2)
Another week, another altitude race for Laguera. The senior continues his string of impressive races at 4000+ elevation. Most recently, he’s been working on his speed as he’s run back to back miles on the weekends. This includes a PR of 4:14 at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Invitational. Then this past weekend, Laguera ran 4:15 at Colorado Mines and received a conversion down to 4:04 which is good enough for #3 best time on the NCAA performance list.
That gives him three top five marks on the season. And yes, he’ll likely opt for the 3000 and 5000 meters when the time comes, but Laguera was on the CSU-Pueblo DMR team as the anchor before they were DQ’d. He’s doing tons of work at the moment and it’ll be interesting to see if he opts for a race at sea-level before heading to Alabama in March.
1. Leakey Kipkosgei, Rs. Senior, American International (0 / 1)
We’ve had the same number one since the rankings debuted and it’s going to stay that way this week. Kipkosgei still holds top- 0 times in both the mile and 3000 meters from before Christmas break where he ran 4:08 and 8:08, respectively. Since then, he’s run a DMR and finished his weekend with a 4:08 mile the next day in Boston. He’s also was part of that 4x800 relay that ran 7:35 this past weekend at the NEICAAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
We would love to see Kipkosgei get into a race and see where his actual level of fitness is tested. It’s the beginning of February and part of us thinks that he’s going to be much faster than those two times he laid down in early December.
Karim Achengli (NW MIssouri)
Dylan Day (CSU-Pueblo)
Vincent Workman (Colorado Mines)
Jake Mitchem (Colorado Mines)
Ayman Zahafi (TAMU-Kingsville)
Luke Julian (Colorado Mines)
Isaiah Rodarte (Adams State)
Carson Bix (Adams State)
Hugo Arlabosse (Franklin Pierce)
Luc Hagen (Colorado Mines)
Dylan Ko (Colorado Mines)
Benjamin Allen (Concordia-St. Paul)
JUST MISSED (in no particular order)
Nathan Hood (CSU-Pueblo)
Dylan Day (CSU-Pueblo)
Jake Mitchem (Colorado Mines)
Vincent Workman (Colorado Mines)
Connor Schwartz (Grand Valley State)
HONORABLE MENTIONS (in no particular order)
John Partee (Lewis)
Ryan Talbott (Saginaw Valley State)
Ryan Riddle (NW Missouri)
Anthony Raftis (Queens (N.C.))
Adam Wright (Queens (N.C.))