2020 Indoor Track Draft Selections (Men)
*TSR was recently informed that Daniel Carney has finished his indoor eligibility.
Snake draft selection order
Any individual distance runner (800 meters and up) can be selected
Fantasy teams are scored by the amount of points your drafted athletes score at the Indoor National Championships in March
Athletes on a scoring DMR team are given a quarter of the points (i.e. If you drafted Runner A and that person is on the winning DMR team, then that individual scored 2.5 points for your fantasy team)
Teams can trade with each other an unlimited amount of times before February 12th.
Teams are allowed to select a maximum of two non-drafted athletes before February 12th. If they already have six athletes on their team, then they must drop one athlete in order to pick-up a non-drafted athlete
Teams cannot make trades or select non-drafted athletes after February 11th.
Round One Selections
Michael: Edwin Kurgat is an easy first overall pick. The reigning NCAA cross country champion is the favorite to win the indoor 5k title in March and his 13:24 from December makes it hard to argue. Who knows? Maybe he will even make an appearance on the 1600 leg of Iowa State’s DMR.
Maura: Will Joe Klecker finally win an NCAA individual title? Will he be the first American-born athlete to win a national title in the 5k since 2015? The obvious answers to both of these questions are “yes.” Klecker has been extremely consistent in his past two championship meets, finishing 2nd (indoor 5k), 3rd (indoor 3k), and 2nd (cross country). The senior from Colorado has PR's of 7:51 (along with a separate 7:48 conversion) and 13:35, times that validate the idea that he is an elite talent. If he can remain healthy, Klecker is very capable of winning a national title title this winter, but it will not be easy. Klecker will have to take advantage of his experience to stand atop the podium.
Sean: I went back and forth between picking Dixon and Hoare, and just couldn’t step away from the Wisconsin star. The 2018 1500 meter national champion has yet to return to the top step of the podium, but remains at the front of the field. Hoare tripled at the 2019 indoor national meet last year, placing 3rd in the mile, helping Wisconsin's DMR finish 7th, and toeing the line in a final all-out effort in the 3000 meters. Hoare should be back to being the favorite this indoor season, especially as he comes off a strong overall cross country season.
Brett: After the departure of Bryce Hoppel, Devin Dixon is looking to be the face of the men’s 800 meters this season. He took 4th and 2nd in last year’s indoor and outdoor national meets, respectively, and is the favorite to take home his first national title. If there’s anyone who I would predict to win the 800 meters this year, it has to be Dixon.
Conor: Waleed Suliman is no doubt one of the top middle distance runners in the country. He owns PR’s of 1:47 (800), 3:56 (mile) and numerous top-tier cross country finishes. Last winter, he was the SEC champion in the mile and was also a member of the 1st place DMR. He went on to finish 9th in the mile at NCAA’s, but is more than capable of improving upon that and contending for the title this year.
Logan: I’m pretty happy with my Nuguse pick. Nuguse’s mile PR of 3:57 is not something to take lightly. Although it is still uncertain whether or not Nuguse will yet again go all-in on the DMR, my gut tells me that he may double in the mile and distance medley. If he decides to focus solely on the DMR, then Notre Dame is the heavy favorite and should give me a close to 2.5 points which is better than nothing.
Ben: Cooper Teare has been on fire for the past year. He was 4th in the 3000 meters at last year's indoor national meet, beat Grant Fisher to win the PAC-12 5k title, and then finished 6th this past fall in Terre Haute at the NCAA XC Championships. In the past 12 months, the Oregon Duck has gone up a level. He is no longer a runner with lots of potential, but now one of the favorites to win whatever race he lines up for. With the amount of depth that Oregon has, it is hard to imagine that he will be in the DMR, but I could see him doubling in the 5k and 3k come March. In that scenario, Teare could score the most points of anyone in the NCAA.
Mark: John Dressel, along with Klecker, helps to spearhead this Colorado distance squad. He will look to make it to his fourth Indoor National Championships and will most likely double in the 3k and 5k during NCAA's. He’s one of the top runners in the country this year and, along with Klecker, will help Colorado challenge for an NCAA title
Garrett: All of the main title contenders were gone, but that is truthfully not super important to me. Kyle Mau is arguably just as valuable as everyone else in the first round. He can be nationally competitive in everything from the mile and up. The Indiana ace tripled at NCAA's last year and although I don't believe that he'll do the same this year, the possibility is still there. Mau can be a major focal point of my fantasy team this winter.
Round One Commentary
Maura: Indiana’s Kyle Mau has a way of running under the radar, yet still puts up great times and finishes. I still can’t fathom how he ran the mile, 3000 meters, and DMR at NCAA's last winter and managed to finish in the top 10 in all three races.
Conor: I agree with Maura here. Mau doesn’t exactly draw super big name attention, but he always seems to find himself in the thick of everything when it comes down to championship season. I went back and forth with him and Suliman for my first round pick.
Ben: I thought about picking Mau, but in this draft format, his versatility isn’t as important. Those top 10 finishes are great, but he wasn’t scoring many points. Perhaps this year he will focus on one or two races and finish higher up, but I’m worried he will go for all three events again this year which will limit his scoring potency.
Brett: Maura, to answer your question in the above section: yes, yes he will. Joe Klecker is one of the NCAA’s best and after seeing last year’s terrific double at Indoor Nationals, I think this is his time to shine. Joe Klecker will win an NCAA title this year.
Sean: I’m most fascinated by Logan’s pick. Nuguse could be the favorite in the mile if he enters it. That question mark surrounding another all-in, fresh DMR kept him off my board in the first round.
Mark: I agree with Brett, I see Klecker getting an NCAA title. He has had a penchant for the big moments and I think he will rise up and snag a win on the national stage in March.
Logan: Picking Nuguse in the first round could be a bit risky as Sean said, but my gut tells me Nuguse will run the mile and DMR. If he runs the mile, he could be considered the favorite, but would be running on tired legs in the DMR for the Irish.
Michael: The Nuguse pick could be a bit concerning as Notre Dame may want to go all-in on the DMR. This could leave Nuguse tired for the mile (or scratching it entirely). Either way, he is too good to pass up, so I respect the pick.
Garrett: If you're looking for scoring certainty, Dixon was the best pick of this round. I don't think there is a heavier favorite in any distance event than him. The national title is his to lose this year and Brett may have a near-guaranteed 10 points on his squad right now.
Round Two Selections
Garrett: Pretty much just copy and paste everything I said about Kyle Mau in place of James West (except he only doubled at NCAA's last year).
Mark: Amon Kemboi recently transferred to Arkansas. With no word on if he will redshirt or not this season, it was a risk to go with him for this draft. However, I went with him due to his impressive results from the most recent cross country season as well as his history on the track. He placed 8th at the NCAA XC Championships this past fall and was a double qualifier in the 3k and 5k at the indoor national meet last year. Now that he's with Arkansas, he could be a favorite to win an NCAA title.
Ben: I went with Beamish because of his versatility. The reigning mile champion ran the 5k at the Outdoor National Championships last year. This indoor season, he could run in anything from the mile to the 5k. Whatever he decides to do, he has shown that he has the tactical knowledge and ability to put himself in position to win a national title.
Logan: Stanford’s Alex Ostberg is going to be a huge asset to my team. His range and consistency is what separates him from a lot of different athletes. He holds personal bests of 3:59 (mile), 7:51 (3k), and 13:45 (5k, which was run during outdoors). Needless to say, Ostberg has incredible range which means he has more opportunities to qualify for Nationals. He will likely pursue a spot in the 3000 meters at NCAA's this winter, and it shouldn’t be hard to do so. We could be looking at a top three finish from him.
Conor: Worley was a star high school runner who is having a ton of success on the college scene. He, like my first round pick Suliman, has very solid middle distance PR’s, most notably his sub four minute mile (3:57.98). Worley has the ability to double and score plenty of points at big meets as he tripled at the BIG 12 Championships last year (1000 meters, mile, DMR).
Brett: Although he has never qualified for an indoor national meet, Thomas Ratcliffe is a name that certainly can fit with the rest of the best. His 13:32 5k PR from outdoors - along with a 3rd place finish in the 5k at the Outdoor National Championships last spring - is quite impressive. He was having a great cross country season this past fall until he faltered at Nationals, finishing a disappointing 183rd place. It’s evident that Ratcliffe is a very talented runner. As long as he can hold it together, we could see him do some major damage in the distance events this winter.
Sean: Cooper Williams ended up on my team because of his consistency. Making both the indoor and outdoor 800 meter finals is easier to expect than actually do, and Williams took 5th place in both of those races. Williams is also likely to be prominent in an Indiana DMR this winter. Plus, he has already run 2:22 for 1000 meters this season and I like guys who offer the certainty that they’re already in good shape.
Maura: Isaiah Jewett of USC ran the #5 fastest 800 meter time last winter during the regular season and capped off his junior year with a 7th place finish at NCAA's. His PR of 1:46 puts him in the conversation to be a top five finisher at Nationals this season. Jewett has also run 46.29 in the open 400 meters and with speed like that, he has the possibility to be one of the better closers in the half-mile this year.
Michael: Festus Lagat comes into this season as one of the favorites to win the 800 meter national title. He will also almost certainly appear on Iowa State’s DMR which is shaping up to be pretty spicy. I’m surprised I was able to pick him up this far into the draft, but I’m excited to have him on my team. A personal best of 1:45.05 from last spring currently makes him one of the fastest guys in the NCAA, so he should have a very good shot at contending with Dixon for national meet gold in March.
Round Two Commentary
Maura: Sean had one of the best picks this round in Indiana’s Cooper Williams. Two 5th place national meet finishes in the 800 meters in 2019...talk about consistency.
Conor: I like Logan’s pick of Ostberg a lot, he actually snagged him just before me. Ostberg’s 3k and 5k PR’s are outstanding, but he has also run under four minutes in the mile. Talk about range...
Ben: Mark’s Amon Kemboi pick is intriguing to me. After the news broke that he would be transferring to Arkansas, I was curious to hear if they would redshirt him this indoor season. We haven’t heard anything yet, but if he does decide to run, then Mark may have just won the draft because Kemboi in the second round has the potential to be a massive steal.
Sean: To not pick Festus Lagat this round took a lot of self-restraint, but now I think Michael had the best pick. My issue is that I don’t have a clear vision of where Lagat slots in at NCAA's, but wow was his December impressive.
Garrett: Festus Lagat was a great snag this late in the draft. In retrospect, it's amazing that he almost fell to the third round. He'll be a top competitor in the 800 meters this winter and his strong early-season start has been encouraging. Add in a potential DMR leg, and Lagat looks like the best pick of this round.
Logan: Cooper Williams was definitely a great pick by Sean. He should finish in the top three in the 800 meters (if not better) and could be apart of Indiana’s DMR team which has a legitimate shot to win it all. Smart pick, Sean.
Brett: I’m curious to see what Geordie Beamish opts to run this season at the national meet. Like Ben said, his versatility could lead him to do the mile, 3000 meters, or even the 5000 meters. As he clearly showed in winning the mile last year, he’s got a killer kick, and that would be extremely valuable in any race, but especially if he goes for the 3k and/or 5k.
Michael: I am also curious about Beamish. It has to be tempting to return to the mile as the defending champion, but I like his chances at bringing home another title more in the 3k.
Mark: Worley has run well his first couple of years in the NCAA and has shown that he can compete with the best of them. I think he has an under the radar shot of contending for an NCAA title. Depending on who runs what, Worley could find himself as a realistic challenger for NCAA gold two months from now.
Round Three Selections
Michael: Over the past few years, Carlos Villarreal has quietly climbed the NCAA ranks in not only the 800 meters and the mile, but also the 3000 meters. He will likely focus solely on the mile this winter, but he is probably a favorite to finish in the top three based on his previous performances. He finished 4th at Indoor Nationals in 2019, and his 3:37 1500 meter PR pairs very nicely with that finish to make him a possible title contender this year.
Maura: Virginia Tech’s Peter Seufer made himself vulnerable at the NCAA XC Championships this past November and his race plan paid off in the end. Seufer led for a good portion of the race and ultimately held on to finish 4th in a deep field. Even though he has yet to qualify for an NCAA Indoor Championship, Seufer’s newfound confidence should help him book a ticket to Albuquerque. Of the distance events at NCAA's, I expect Seufer to focus on the 3000 meters as he has a PR of 7:59, a time that will surely drop this season.
Sean: Tyler Day is going to return with a vengeance now that BYU took his Lumberjacks’ XC title. Even though the rivalry has dropped a bit, he’ll want to reestablish the NAU dominance this indoor season. It’s tough to imagine Day not qualifying for the NCAA meet either, seeing as he often runs a flat-track and high altitude mark to earn himself a spot. I can’t say if that makes Day a lock for major success or not, but getting to the national meet is a big part of that journey.
Brett: Similar to his teammate Kyle Mau, Indiana Hoosier Ben Veatch has some solid range that could prove to be helpful in the later stages of the track season. He took 7th in the 5k at Nationals last indoor season, qualified for Nationals in the the 10k last spring, and also boasts a 3:43 1500 meter PR. We’ll likely see him in the 3k and/or 5k this winter, but Veatch could be an asset for a DMR and maybe even the mile.
Conor: Casey Comber, the Villanova Wildcat ace, was a surprise runner-up in the mile at Nationals last winter and has the potential to contend for the title this season...if he's 100% healthy. He also holds a mile PR south of four minutes (3:57.80) and a respectable 3000 meter PR of 8:03. Comber showed us that he can contend in a variety of different races last year. Whether the races were tactical or aggressive, Comber found a way to earn numerous top finishes. With an entire winter to rest and recover from whatever set him back during cross country, then I think he'll be a major contender yet again.
Logan: I wouldn’t consider Griffith to be underrated, but I think some people overlook him. His potential is incredibly high and with PR's of 3:59 (mile) and 7:49 (3k), it's hard to pass on him. His best shot at a contending for an All-American spot looks to be in the 3000 meters, but he could round up or down to the mile or 5000 meter distances. Griffith also helped lead the Razorbacks to a 6th place finish in the DMR last year, and I think Arkansas has a good shot at bettering that finish this year. Any and all points are going to matter when this draft is said and done.
Ben: Andrew Jordan, after starting his Husky career slow, ran very well at the end of this past cross country season before sitting out of NCAA's due to precautions surrounding an injury. He was 12th at the indoor national meet in the 3000 meters last year and has a PR of 7:51. In his first track season with Washington, I think Jordan could take a step up and be a contender for a top five finish in the same event this year, with an outside chance at qualifying for the 5000 meters as well.
Mark: Freshman Drew Bosley proved to be a valuable scorer for the NAU Lumberjacks this past fall. It’s no small feat to act as a scorer as a freshman, especially for a podium team. On the track, he’ll probably be more focused on the longer distances such as the 3k and 5k. He broke nine minutes twice for the two mile during his high school career and won the 5k at USATF Outdoor Junior Championships. He’s primed for yet another good season with the 'Jacks.
Garrett: I just found it crazy that no one had drafted a 3:57 miler and we were only one pick away from the fourth round. Charlie Hunter has been an All-American before and has pretty respectable range (1:49 for 800 meters, 7:59 for 3000 meters). The mile is deep this year, but I think he could dabble in a few other events (including the DMR).
Round Three Commentary
Maura: NAU’s Tyler Day has to definitely be ready for a big indoor track season after exhausting cross country eligibility at the end of 2018. Day’s 5K PR of 13:25 makes him one of the best distance runners in the country.
Conor: Maura’s pick of Peter Seufer here was one that I really liked. Seufer is a strong runner and was 4th at the NCAA XC Championships this fall, but also has somewhat decent mile speed, so look out for him in the middle distances.
Michael: I think Peter Seufer will continue to be underrated even after finishing 4th at Nationals this past fall. He has been strong on the track in previous years, but could be primed for a true breakout winter after such a great end to his cross country season.
Brett: I was really hoping to get Seufer or Villarreal, but those are two names that I knew wouldn’t slide too far down in the draft. Villarreal is a dark horse favorite of mine to win the mile this year, and who knows what Seufer could do after his gutsy performance at NCAA's in cross country. Great picks by Michael (Villarreal) and Maura (Seufer).
Ben: I’m curious to see how 10k runners - Day and Seufer - do this indoor season. Will their lack of speed hurt their ability to score at NCAA's in a tactical race? I have no doubt that they will qualify for NCAA's, but I do wonder about is what their scoring potency looks like in March.
Sean: I’ll continue the conversation on Seufer. While I really like him, especially after taking the NCAA XC Championships out hard, Seufer has never qualified for an indoor national meet. Looking at their schedule, I’m interested in where he’ll make a 5k qualifying attempt since there aren’t a ton of great options at the moment.
Logan: Maura was spot on. Day is primed for a phenomenal season. When you have a PR of 13:25 for 5000 meters, that puts you in elite company and Day is someone to watch out for this season. Great pick up from Sean.
Mark: Villarreal was a solid pick by Michael. He is going to be a major challenger for the mile national title. He finished 4th at the NCAA Indoor Championships last winter and I think this is the year he can get over the edge. Even if he doesn’t win, he’ll be favored to finish in the top three.
Garrett: Cam Griffith was the best pick of this round and I'm not willing to argue about it. He's extremely similar to guys like Kyle Mau, Carlos Villarreal, and James West. The potential he has in the mile, the 3000 meters, and the DMR makes him capable of scoring a ton of points. Griffith actually has a faster 3000 meter PR (7:49) than Kyle Mau (7:50) and a handful of others. If Logan hadn't drafted him, I certainly would have.
Round Four Selections
Garrett: Luis Grijalva was one of those picks I was looking at and suddenly realized, "Oh wait, he could score me a lot of points". He is a very realistic contender to qualify for Nationals in the mile, 3000 meters, and/or 5000 meters this season. The DMR is almost never a part of NAU's national meet rotation, so that actually free's up Grijalva to pursue either the mile/3k double or the 5k/3k double depending on what he focuses on.
Mark: Mick Stanovsek in his senior season still holds that chip on his shoulder that he had from when he walked on at Oregon. Now in his second year in Seattle, he’s looking to bounce back after a disappointing end to both of his national meets last year. He’s run plenty of fast times and has often faced quality competition throughout his career. Knowing that this is his senior season and an Olympic year, he’ll be looking to pull out all the stops in 2020.
Ben: Jonathan Davis is one of the most talented runners in the country. If he can stay healthy this year, then he is a contender in both the mile and the 3k. He is a perfect "high risk, high reward pick" in the fourth round, and if he can get back into his form from a few years ago, then I think he will win me this draft.
Logan: I debated on picking Brandt, but with speculation on whether or not he will be healthy and ready to go this season, I had to go with Reed Brown of Oregon. Brown hasn't always been a guaranteed All-American when he toes the line for NCAA's, but I think he will have a breakout season. He'll likely find a qualifying spot to Nationals in the mile and may have a role on Oregon's DMR depending on how the season shakes out.
Conor: Robert Brandt is a long distance superstar who, despite have plenty of uncertainty surrounding his health, fell nicely to the fourth round. He worked the double at the NCAA Indoor Championships last year for the 3000 meters and 5000 meters, finishing 8th in both races. He boasts incredibly quick indoor PR’s of 7:50 (3k) and 13:40 (5k). He also has an outdoor 5000 meter PR of 13:36 that he ran at Mt. SAC last spring. With these already strong PR’s intact already, Brandt will be one of the top men to beat in the long distance events...if he's at 100% this winter.
Brett: Jack Anstey had a breakout year in 2019. The mid-distance talent broke four minutes in the mile and earned an All-American honor in the 1500 meters last spring, placing 7th in a historically deep NCAA final. A name that some may not have heard of previously, Anstey has some sneaky foot speed with personal bests of 1:48 and 3:41 to his name. It would not surprise me at all to see him earn a few more All-American honors this year.
Sean: I can’t say I’m the happiest to have Jacob Choge on my team. However, Choge is almost guaranteed a spot at NCAA's with his BU Season Opener in the 5k. Choge has never attempted an early-season 5000 meter before in his career, opting generally to run 3000 meter races and miles for most of the winter season. Since he’s basically a national qualifying lock in the 5000 meters, I'm hopeful that he can find some closing speed and finally pull together a podium finish at NCAA's. The good news is that he just ran a new PR of 1:52 for 800 meters last weekend.
Maura: George Kusche of Nebraska is an underrated middle distance runner. Although he hasn’t put together a stellar race at an NCAA Championship yet, Kusche is on the cusp of a breakout track season and All-American honor. The Cornhusker ran 3:59 in the mile and 7:57 in the 3000 meters last winter and if he lowers those personal bests, he'll be in a good position to get on the podium in Albuquerque come March.
Michael: Kasey Knevelbaard is a two-time All-American between the mile and 1500 meters. He has a personal best of 3:58 (as well as a separate converted PR of 3:55) and is coming off of a pretty solid cross country season after transferring to Florida State from Southern Utah. I like Knevelbaard's experience at the top of the NCAA, and I think his move to Florida State has helped him develop as an elite athlete.
Round Four Commentary
Garrett: This was a big "high risk, high reward" round. If Robert Brandt is healthy, he'll be clutch to have on your fantasy team. If his injury from cross country extends into the winter, then it looks he's giving you a total of 0 points. Jonathan Davis is also a bit risky given his absence, but if he's at his best, he could end up scoring a TON of points.
Brett: The Robert Brandt pick could go either way. Is he fully healthy from his unfortunate season-ending injury? If he is, he’s absolutely in the running for some points.
Maura: I really wanted to take Illinois State’s Jack Anstey this round, but if I can’t have him, I’m glad someone picked him up. Anstey is a sub-four miler and has some killer foot speed.
Conor: The Brandt pick could definitely go either way, but his resume is also something that really drew me towards this pick. He's a safer pick than most to finish as a All-American.
Brett: Dang, I really wanted Jonathan Davis. He’s got some serious talent on his hands, and he could find himself working into the mile, 3000 meters, or DMR come Nationals. I think he’s a fantastic swing pick, I just hope he can stay healthy through the season.
Ben: The Luis Grijalva pick is an interesting one to me. He has qualified for Indoor and Outdoor Nationals, but has yet to score. Will the altitude in Albuquerque help his chances? If this is his year to breakout on the track, then Garrett got a steal in round four.
Sean: I really like the Reed Brown pick. Much like my strategy in the women’s draft, I think Brown has a guaranteed spot at NCAA's via the DMR. He also has great credentials in the mile, so I think this is a good pick.
Logan: After Garrett drafted Grijalva, I wasn’t all that surprised. Although he has yet to score at a national meet on the track, I think he will end that this year. The 5000 meters is going to be a stacked event per usual, but I like Grijalva’s style of racing. The meet being held in elevation could benefit him.
Mark: Reed Brown is a solid pick. I think he’ll be an All-American both individually and in the DMR. The Oregon DMR squad will have a chance to make some serious noise this winter.
Michael: Mark’s pick of Mick Stanovsek could pay off greatly. Stanovsek fell just short of a couple All-American finishes last year, and he will undoubtedly be looking to reverse that this year. Stanovsek is a great racer and seems to be flourishing at Washington.
Round Five Selections
Michael: BYU’s Casey Clinger will be back from his two-year mission trip this season. There is no way to know what kind of shape he will be in or if he will even compete. In fact, he could take a redshirt season to get in shape for outdoor track. However, Clinger is incredibly talented and the culture of success at BYU is unlike what many other schools can offer. The possibility of Clinger breaking back into the top ranks of the NCAA is too enticing for me to turn him down.
Maura: Colorado State’s Eric Hamer was out of cross country eligibility this past fall, but he put together a solid training block and opened up his indoor track season with a 19 second PR in the 5000 meters. At the Boston University Season Opener, Hamer ran 13:40 to finish 8th in the non-invite section, a race that he essentially soloed. He was an All-American on the grass in 2018 and is already making a case for an All-American honor on the oval this winter. It should also be noted that Hamer’s 13:40 was a new Colorado State school record.
Sean: Brodey Hasty of Northern Arizona. I am not sure what to do with the NAU guys this indoor season after their loss to BYU. Still, I like my pick with Tyler Day and I think the altitude and flat-track conversions will help Hasty make it to the NCAA Championships. I don’t know what event it will be in or how highly he’ll place, but I have hope for Hasty this indoor season.
Brett: Dylan Jacobs of Notre Dame is young, but he’s already become a key contributor for the Fighting Irish. He was a valuable member of their National Championship-winning DMR last year and earned himself an All-American honor in cross country this past fall, taking 29th. He ran 3:46 in the 1500 last year, so with some improvement, we could see him in the mile this season. I would like to guess that he’ll also be on Notre Dame’s DMR.
Conor: Aidan Tooker of Syracuse is a guy who sometimes flies under the radar for a lot of people, even with his recent (assumed) injury this past cross country season. However, he owns a sub-four minute mile PR of 3:59 and a 3000 meter PR of 7:56. Those are two PR’s that he can surely improve upon in the right meets. Tooker also showed his range when he ran 13:48 to finish 6th in the 5000 meters at the Stanford Invitational last spring. He was also an All-American in the spring of 2018 when he finished 4th in the steeplechase at NCAA's, so his range can definitely be a factor in championship meets.
Logan: I went with Rhoads simply because after the top three of Dixon, Lagat, and Jewett, the 800 is wide open. Rhoads' PR of 1:46 puts him up there to compete for an All-American spot. That PR came at Outdoor Nationals last year, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him replicate that performance (give or take a second) this winter. He had plenty of experience and success throughout 2019. Hopefully he will continue to build on that.
Ben: Carlton Orange was an easy pick because outside of the top three of Dixon, Lagat, and Jewett, I think the 800 is wide open (Editor's Note: Ben and Logan having the same opening sentence was not intentional). I wouldn’t be surprised to see five different people in contention to take that 4th place spot, but I like Orange’s chances the most. Being teammates with Dixon will help him as he will know Dixon’s tactics going into the race. Coming off of a 4th place finish from last year's outdoor final at Nationals, the Texas A&M Aggie should have plenty of confidence going into this indoor season.
Mark: This past fall, Cole Hocker proved to be the young freshman talent that Ben Thomas and the Ducks needed. Showing that he can consistently be a front or mid scorer for the Ducks, Hocker contributed valuable points all season long. He will look to bolster a deep Oregon distance squad that typically has their best performances late in the season.
Garrett: I just see way too much upside with Mestler. Last winter, he ran 3:59 (mile), 7:57 (3k), 13:46 (5k), and then ran 8:44 (steeplechase) during outdoors. This guy is REALLY talented and I hope people realize that. He could be nationally competitive in a wide variety of events and that potential was just too much to pass up.
Round Five Commentary
Maura: I really like BYU’s Casey Clinger here, but only if he is in tip-top shape by March. After returning from his Church Mission this month, I wouldn’t be surprised if he redshirts to gear up for a stellar outdoor track season. Nonetheless, he's a phenomenal runner who finished 24th as a true freshman at the 2017 NCAA XC Championships.
Brett: I’m also a little bit concerned about the Clinger pick. While I wholly believe that he will rise to the level of other Cougars coming back from missions such as Conner Mantz, I am not so sure he’ll be ready to go by March. If he is, I’ll be proven wrong and very impressed. The redshirt idea would not surprise me.
Ben: I think Clinger is a pretty risky pick. Talking with Clayson Shumway, he told me that it took him over a year to get back to 100% after his mission. Perhaps Clinger can get there quicker, but I don’t think we will see the best of him until next fall.
Conor: I like the Carlton Orange pick a lot. He is kind of a sleeper pick in my eyes, but has wicked middle distance PR’s, including his 1000 meter PR that he ran just about a month ago (2:24.96).
Sean: Let’s talk about Eric Hamer for a second! He placed 4th among collegians at the Boston University Season Opener 5k from the second heat. He wasn’t pulled along by Kurgat and master pacers, but still pulled out a 13:40. This should be enough qualify him to NCAA's and redeem the Rams after a rough cross country season which didn’t see a single CSU athlete make it to NCAA's.
Mark: Brodey Hasty has a lot of tremendous upside and this past cross country season showed that. The depth in all of the distance events this year will be challenging, but the favorable conversions that he could get en route to Nationals make him a good pick.
Michael: I agree that it is great to see Brodey Hasty finally becoming the athlete that he was shaping up to be in high school. I think this will be a very solid season for him now that he has a full year of collegiate racing under his belt.
Logan: Mark and Michael are spot on. Now that Hasty has a full year of racing under his wing, we should see a few solid performances from him this season. His best shot to make an NCAA final has to be in the 3000 meters. His current PR of 8:09, while nothing special, can be brought down quite a bit. He’s going to have to cut off about 17 to 18 seconds if he wants a shot at qualifying, but conversions could do that for him.
Garrett: The Michael Rhoads pick by Logan was excellent. He has a ton of experience and proven success on the national stage. Outside of Dixon, the 800 meters is wide-open this year and I think Rhoads will take advantage of that. Forget All-American, he could be a top three finisher at NCAA's in March if everything goes perfectly for him...I'm suddenly realizing how good Logan's team is.
Round Six Selections
Garrett: Talon Hull is essentially like Kyle Mau-lite. He's a very strong miler, 3000 meter runner, and a useful DMR piece. He showed a lot of promise last year and I just don't see how anyone was more valuable than him at this point in the draft. Hull's absence from the NCAA XC Championships for precautionary health reasons is a minor concern, but not enough for me to not take him this late in the draft.
Mark: Hirsch is a cagey vet from Wisconsin who I think could be on the verge of a potential breakout season as he will look to cash in on that experience. His 29:11 10k personal best from last spring leads me to think that he's slowly creeping in the right direction. He's due for a big performance.
Ben: I went with the veteran Tanner Anderson. After not running cross country because he was out of eligibility, he put together a nice race in Boston last month to run 13:40. This should give him a good chance at qualifying for NCAA's in the 5000 meters. He has only ever qualified for Indoor Nationals once before, but after a fall of gearing up for the indoor season, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Husky ace have the best indoor season of his career.
Logan: I’m super happy I was able to pick up Roshon Roomes. He’ll likely contend in the 800 meters for an All-American spot and with a PR of 1:46, Roomes is one to watch out for. Last year, Roomes had a consistent indoor season, helping the Cyclones to a 5th place finish in the DMR. He continued his consistency into the spring, but didn’t quite have the postseason performances we thought we would see from him. He'll look to have a bounce back year in 2020 and may find himself on the Cyclones' DMR which has the potential to finish in the top three at NCAA's in March.
Conor: Nicholas Wareham is another guy who doesn’t have a particularly big name among the NCAA elites, but he has pulled together some gritty performances for the Georgetown Hoyas. His PR’s of 4:01 (mile) and 8:08 (3k) are not indicative of his true fitness at peak performance as he anchored Georgetown's DMR last year in a split that was well under four minutes. I think he can do that individually this winter.
Brett: Spencer Brown of Georgetown has some underrated talent. He dipped under the four minute barrier last year by a mere .03 seconds and then ran 3:39 for 1500 meters at the Bryan Clay Invitational. He even boasts a 1:49 800 meter PR. His foot speed is very underrated and I think that could eventually earn him a trip to the national meet.
Sean: I’m surprised to see Kigen Chemadi fall this low in the draft. He has many of the same issues that teammate Jacob Choge has, but with a better record of success on the national stage. Chemadi is basically guaranteed an NCAA birth in the 5k with his most recent result from December, so I’ll happily take a guaranteed qualifier in the last round.
Maura: Daniel Carney of BYU has experience on the national stage and he looks to be on a roll heading into the indoor season after finishing 17th at the NCAA XC Championships this past November. Carney has qualified for an NCAA Indoor Championship before, finishing 15th in the 5000 meters back in 2018. His current 5k PR is 13:39 and should be one to watch for a possible top 10 finish at NCAA's this season.
Michael: Virginia Tech’s Bashir Mosavel-Lo holds a 1:48 800 meter PR and was the first man out of the final at last year’s Indoor National Championships. He had a statement win at the ACC Championships the following spring and even had a solid cross country season for a true middle distance runner. The 800 is wide open outside of the top few spots this year, and I like Mosavel-Lo’s smart racing tactics. He should have a good shot at an All-American finish this year and he will also be an asset for Virginia Tech’s DMR.
Round Six Commentary
Maura: You heard it hear first, Iowa State will win the DMR. The Cyclones are loaded this year and Roshon Roomes is part of a great quartet. Roomes will surely look to double up at NCAA's in the 800 and DMR.
Ben: I regret not picking Roomes. I forgot about how good the Cyclones' DMR team is going to be. Great pick by Logan.
Garrett: Agreed, Roomes was the best pick of the round (in theory). Logan just keeps nailing some great value picks...
Conor: I like the Spencer Brown pick here. His 3:59 mile PR and 3:39 1500 meter PR shows just how strong he can be at those distances. His speed could also come in handy in tactical races.
Sean: Is this really the first time we’ve said Iowa State will win the DMR? I don’t think so. Roomes and Lagat are great picks in this draft because they’re going to score 2 to 2.5 points in the DMR. Guaranteeing two points in the final round is a great pick. Daniel Dixon probably should have been snagged for the same reason. But let’s not think that Roomes is a favorite in the 800 meters. He’s a quality, 5th to 12th place type of guy on most days. He didn’t even qualify for Nationals in the 800 last winter. The 2020 indoor track season has started differently and I’m super impressed with Roomes, but he hasn’t raced at Nationals yet, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Mark: Spencer Brown proved to be a very reliable contributor for the Hoyas in cross country and should feel confident moving back onto the track with exceptional PR's from last year.
Logan: As Maura and Ben brought up, Roomes is going to be a huge asset to my team. Roomes is likely to double in the 800 and DMR, so he should garnish me some valuable points. Very happy with this pick, as he is a dark horse in the 800 and could have a huge race.
Brett: I’m a fan of the Carney pick. He should be yet another BYU stud who should qualify for the Nationals. It wouldn’t be a surprise to me to see his 13:39 PR get cut down by a few seconds this year.
Michael: The two Georgetown picks (Wareham and Brown) will be good for the DMR if nothing else. Georgetown almost always has a title-contending DMR, and these two guys will be integral parts of it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either (or both) of them in individual races either.
Garrett: That's a great point, Michael. Georgetown is a historically great DMR team, so the idea of these guys earning points for your fantasy team are already pretty good.