2020 Indoor Track Draft Selections (Women)
*TSR was recently informed that Erica Birk-Jarvis has finished her eligibility for indoors. She is expected to return for the outdoor track season.
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
Logan: Taking Jones with the first pick was a no-brainer in my opinion. Her incredible range is what separates her from everyone else I could have chosen. She’s the clear favorite in several events, including the mile and 3000 meters, but has the ability to race up to the 5k. Regardless of what event she runs, she’ll be in contention. That’s not to mention her possibly running a leg on Colorado’s DMR. Depending on who the Buffs opt to enter, we could potentially see the women’s DMR national record go down. Jones has the potential to not only win an individual title, but also help lead Colorado to a DMR national title. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Mark: Izzo is one of the biggest names in the NCAA right now and we've already seen why. She recently ran the 5k in Boston and finished as the top attached collegiate in a time of 15:13.09. Her cross country season validated that she could not only be an elite star, but a consistent one at that. The 5k is an obvious choice for her, but at this point, it feels like she could venture into any distance event that's not the 800 meters and be nationally competitive in it.
Sean: Weini Kelati is an easy pick. Is there a single race that Kelati isn’t considered a favorite? Kelati is almost guaranteed to be in multiple events (3k, 5k) and is rarely worse than 3rd in a race on the track. Just look at her early season BU 5k where she ran 15:14! This will be her first season without Ednah Kurgat though, so it should be interesting to see what direction Kelati’s season takes now. If the distance races go out hard from the gun, Kelati should be a lock for a top finish.
Garrett: Alicia Monson is the easy choice. She is just as much of a realistic title contender as Kelati, Izzo, and Jones are in the 3000 and 5000 meters. Even if she doesn't run one of those events, maybe she'll end up running in the DMR. There are a lot of points that I could get out of Monson and that made selecting her with the 4th pick an easy choice.
Ben: I went with Fiona O’Keeffe because of her proven ability to thrive at the indoor national meet. She was 3rd in a stacked 5k last year, and I think she has the potential to score in both the 5k and 3k come NCAA's in March. This past fall, she was having a dominant season until an injury held her back at NCAA's where she still managed to finish 27th. As long as she is healthy again, O’Keeffe could score top five finishes in both the 3k and 5k.
Maura: In her first Indoor National Championship, Akins was the runner-up in the 800 meters. Then, to follow that up, at her first Outdoor National Championship, Akins was again runner-up. With these stats and a personal best of 2:01.67, how could I not pick Akins? For the Penn senior, the 2020 indoor season will be her opportunity to prove that the 2019 track seasons were not flukes and that she should be considered as a heavy favorite in the 800 meters this year.
Conor: Prouse has shown strong distance prowess across the 3000 meters and 5000 meters. She has current PR’s of 9:13 (non-converted) and 15:26, respectively and was an All-American in the 5000 meters last season when she finished 5th. She also qualified for Nationals in the 3000 meters last winter where she finished 11th. Prouse has already proven that she can be a top finisher AND double in the distance events, and I don't think that not running this past fall (due to expired eligibility) should hurt her value in this draft.
Brett: Henes might be a bit of a surprise in the first round, but I like the fact that she’s underrated. To have run 15:31, place 10th at the NCAA XC Championships, and still be underrated is incredible. She qualified for both the 3k and 5k last winter, giving her some valuable experience for this year. I think she is some capable of garnering multiple All-American honors.
Michael: Danae Rivers is the defending indoor national champion at 800 meters as well as the collegiate record holder in the 1000 meters. These accolades alone make her the favorite to defend her title, but it is often forgotten that she was also the NCAA leader for the mile last year as well. This range makes her a threat in both of those middle distance events, as well as a strong option for Penn State’s DMR, which could be in the mix to score points at Nationals this year. It is unlikely that Rivers will run the 800 meters and the mile, but I like her chances in the 800 and DMR.
Round One Commentary
Maura: I was surprised to see NC State’s Elly Henes chosen in the first round. Yes, I know she is a talented runner and has plenty of experience on the national stage, but she hasn’t had the greatest showings at national meets on the track, specifically indoors. Her 14th place finish in the 5k and 15th place finish in the 3k at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships makes me believe that she should just stick to one event this indoor season.
Michael: I agree that seeing Henes go this early is a little surprising, but she definitely has the ability to be worthy of a first round pick. Based on her 5k PR and recent cross country success, she should be primed to have one of her best seasons yet.
Garrett: Fiona O'Keeffe is an underappreciated pick here. The title favorites were gone for Ben, but O'Keeffe is someone who can be a top five finisher in both the 3000 meters and 5000 meters (if she's totally healthy). She still would have gone in the first round if Ben had not selected her, but I think a lot of people are overlooking how valuable the Stanford ace will be this year.
Sean: I think the best pick of this round is Michael being able to grab Danae Rivers in the last slot. Rivers has found her way into a top three finish in the 800 meters and mile on the national stage before. She’s also the NCAA 1000 meter record holder. To have someone who can be a title contender in multiple events so late in the first round is a huge get.
Ben: I agree with Sean. I was hoping that Rivers would fall a little further, but she is a great pick, especially since Michael was able to pick up Orton in the second round.
Mark: I think the Jones pick is interesting. If she runs the mile and DMR, then she is the correct pick for that first spot. However, if she ends up venturing into the 3000 or 5000 meters, then things become a little more crowded in terms of competition and a little less certain about where she'll finish at Nationals.
Conor: Rivers was a really solid pick in the first round here. She had the top mile time last indoor season and also has a very respectable 800 PR of 2:02.53. Not to mention her 6th place finish at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships meet this past fall. Add on her 1000 meter collegiate record, and she can do it all.
Logan: I have to agree with pretty much everyone else, Rivers was a great pick. She’s definitely one of the safer picks, as she is top three threat in both the 800 and mile which should give Michael some valuable points.
Brett: I really like Garrett’s pick of Alicia Monson. She’s got a solid chance of scoring points both in the 5k and 3k individually, and we’ve seen her beat Kelati on multiple occasions now. Should be some solid points for Garrett.
Round Two Selections
Michael: To be honest, I am pretty surprised that Orton was not picked in the first round. Her recent 15:22 5k at Boston University puts her in elite company, especially after a 7th place finish at the NCAA XC Championships this past fall. She can contend in any distance from the mile up (and probably the 800 if she focused on it), which makes her a solid candidate to double (or even triple) with the DMR this season.
Brett: 2019 was a big year for Ella Donaghu. After not qualifying for the Indoor National Championships, she ended up finishing 6th in the 1500 meters at the outdoor national meet, as well as 8th at NCAA's this past fall. She has really come along as one of Stanford’s top talents, and I think that momentum should carry well into the indoor season. Be on the lookout for her as one of the top milers this indoor season.
Conor: Gregory has proven that she is a strong force across the mile and 3000 meter distances. Last year at Indoor Nationals, she worked the double and finished 7th in the 3000 meters and 10th in the mile. She has impressive personal bests of 4:32 in the mile and 8:55 for the 3000 meters. She has even added a respectable 2:44 1000 meter PR to her resume as well. Last spring, Gregory was the champion of the prestigious Payton Jordan Invitational 1500 meters, finishing in a time of 4:15. I'm not sure that there was a draft pick left who is as consistently strong as Gregory was over the past year.
Maura: Colorado’s Makena Morley is a solid distance runner and has the opportunity to score in both the 3k and 5k. At the 2019 Indoor National Championships, Morley finished 6th in the 3000 meters and 7th in the 5000 meters after running PR's of 9:02 (3K) and 15:37 (5K) during the season. Her ability to race hard over longer distances in a short period of time solidifies her spot amongst the top runners in the NCAA.
Ben: I’m not really sure what to expect from Hurta this indoor season, but after she ran 2:00 in the 800 meters last spring, and then finishing as an All-American in the fall, I believe that she could one of the better breakout stars of the winter. With 2:00 800 meter speed and All-American cross country strength, it is feasible that we could see Hurta run the 800, the mile, or the 3000 meters. Whatever event she chooses, she will be one of the favorites. As a bonus, she could (should?) also play a role in a top three Colorado Buffalo DMR team.
Garrett: Susan Ejore felt like a pretty great value pick in my eyes. She's a veteran who consistently produces top-tier performances and she is impactful in a wide-array of events. Ejore is a relatively safe pick as far as national qualifying goes and with the mile potentially being wide-open this year, Ejore could be (depending on who you ask) a national title contender (if Dani Jones doesn't contest the event). Throw in the DMR, and Ejore has a lot of point-scoring potential.
Sean: Picking Carina Viljoen was pretty simple in my mind. She is almost guaranteed to be at the NCAA Championships in some capacity. While I think that she’ll be a sure bet in the mile to qualify, if she does not, she will likely be on the DMR. Viljoen placed 5th at NCAA's in the mile last winter and is the highest returning finisher from that race. While I would not say that makes Viljoen the new favorite, I think it’s really tough not to imagine Viljoen scoring major points for the Razorbacks at the indoor national meet.
Mark: Lawson is coming off of a cross country season that ended with her finishing 11th at NCAA's. She is now expected to drop down to the mile this winter. She anchored Stanford's DMR squad twice last year and earned second-team All-American honors in the 1500 meters last spring. Lawson will join her teammate Ella Donaghu (also picked in this round) to help form a strong Stanford distance squad.
Logan: Even after Birk-Jarvis ran unattached at the BU Season Opener, it is still unclear if she will redshirt, but this pick was chosen in the hopes that she doesn't. She’s likely to qualify in the mile (4:34 PR) or the 3000 meters (9:00)...or both. With the consistency of Birk-Jarvis, it’s hard to not consider her a contender for an individual title. She’s not likely to run on BYU’s DMR as it is still up in the air as to whether or not BYU will put together a contending team.
Round Two Commentary
Maura: Michael picking BYU’s Whittni Orton has to be the second-best pick of this round...obviously behind mine. Orton has tremendous range and could ultimately qualify for Nationals in the mile, 3000, 5000, and DMR. She wouldn’t race all four, but the fact that she could double or even triple makes her a solid pick.
Brett: I’m actually going to agree with you Maura, your pick was the best of the round. Seeing Makena Morley earn two All-American honors on the track last March makes me think she could certainly do that once again. I think she’ll rack up some solid points, so kudos to you.
Michael: None of the picks in this round are particularly surprising to me, but I am especially excited to see what Sage Hurta can do on the track. Despite redshirting both the indoors and outdoors last year, Hurta ran 2:00 for 800 meters, which would have made her the NCAA leader at the distance. Her 4:09 1500 meter time wasn't too shabby either. After an All-American cross country performance a couple of months ago, she should be able to contend in a wide range of distances at the indoor national meet in March. Great pick by Ben.
Sean: I think this round might be even better than the first round. While the first round will probably score more than this round, I think the potential here is higher than the first round and I think the level of choice from the draft is greater here. It’s also very interesting that of the nine picks, they only come from 5 different schools. Clearly, this is the reality where the top of the NCAA is head and toes above the rest of the field.
Garrett: I really like the Ella Donaghu and Jessica Lawson picks here. They are both sneaky-good mile contenders after running 4:11 for 1500 meters last spring. Throw in a national qualifying DMR and the potential to move to up to the 3000 meters, and there are a lot of scoring opportunities for both of these women.
Ben: It is interesting to see that BYU, Arknasas, Colorado, and Stanford have dominated the picks so far. 11 out of the 18 runners picked so far have come from these four schools. We have three Buffaloes, three Razorbacks, three Cardinals, and two Cougars. It will be fascinating to see how these teams compete against one another this upcoming track season.
Mark: Nothing surprised me here. There’s such a strong pool of talent from the schools that Ben mentioned that we couldn’t go wrong. Seeing Donaghu and Lawson both go in this round shows the strength of this Stanford program and Sage Hurta has proven to be a force for the Buffalo which look to close the gap, particularly in distance, between them and Arkansas.
Conor: I agree with Michael on Hurta’s potential. Often times it is hard to remember what an athlete did before a redshirt season, but Hurta’s PR’s tell the story. She was also 38th at this year’s NCAA XC championships, showing her strength over longer distances.
Logan: Adding onto the potential of Hurta, and what Ben brought up is that not only does she have the potential to qualify in a handful of individual events, we could see her run the 1200 on the Buffs DMR, and depending on what team Colorado decides to put together, we could be looking at a record breaking DMR performance from Colorado which would give Ben 2.5 points. Those points could be huge once everything is said and done.
Round Three Selections
Logan: Rohrer was a pick I felt very confident in as she consistently performs well at the national level. Her best shot at a national title will be in the 5k, where she owns a blistering PR of 15:26. In 2016, she took home 4th in the same event at the indoor national meet before placing 3rd a year later. Since then, she has yet to toe the line for an indoor season. I still think she has the ability to contend for the 5k national title, but it’s going to take a little bit of strategy and gutsy racing to pull it off.
Mark: I picked Cardama-Baez because she has got to have redemption on her mind after that 10k in Austin last spring where she nearly kicked down Kelati. She had an excellent opener in Boston back in December, running a school record of 15:25, leading me to believe that her breakout spring season was no fluke. I think she can be a sleeper pick for the national title this winter and give Kelati some trouble yet again.
Sean: I was praying for Carley Thomas to make it into the third round and knew that I couldn’t pass her up again. The Australian entered Washington having already been the World Athletics U20 silver medalist at 800 meters. Then, in her first months at Washington, Thomas traveled to Doha to compete for her home country at the World Championships. Although she exited in the first round, that level of global experience makes her a top candidate for an NCAA title at 800 meters in her first year. The level of strength in the Washington lineup also makes it likely for her to be in a top-string DMR.
Garrett: Death, taxes, and Katie Rainsberger being a factor on the national stage. She could realistically contest the mile, 3000 meters, and DMR at NCAA's in March (she won't) and given all of her success on the national stage, I thought this was a very logical and safe pick. I liked what we saw from the Washington ace this past fall and I think that will translate over to the track extremely well this winter.
Ben: Admittedly, this is a bit of a risky pick. The freshman from Australia doesn’t have the PR's that match many of these top ladies, but she is coming off of a superb cross country season where she finished 12th at Nationals. If she can carry this momentum into the winter and continue to improve, then she could surprise us all this March. Additionally, she could be on a very strong Husky DMR team which will help her overall point total.
Maura: Hannah Steelman of Wofford had a superb 2019, earning five All-American honors between indoor track, outdoor track, and cross country. She broke onto the scene after dropping a 36 second PR in the 3000 meters, going from 9:43 to 9:07, at the Camel City Invitational. That time ultimately qualified Steelman for NCAA's where she went on to place 8th in a deep field. She carried her success over to the track and had a phenomenal steeplechase/5k double, placing 3rd (steeple) and 8th (5k) in two very competitive fields. Don't be surprised if we see another pair of All-American finishes from Steelman this winter.
Conor: Adva Cohen is an athlete who you could score points across various middle and long distance events. She excels mostly in the 5000 meters, owning an indoor PR of 15:42.85. Cohen admittedly had a sub-par performance at the BU Colyear-Danville Season Opener, but her experience at the World Championships and past success on the national stage makes her a solid pick.
Brett: After redshirting this psat cross country season alongside twin sister Megan, Bethany Hasz made a statement for herself at Boston University this past December. Running 15:25 and competing with some of the NCAA’s best was simply incredible. After placing 10th in the 5k at the Outdoor National Championships last spring, I think Bethany is ready to do some serious damage this track season.
Michael: Utah’s Sarah Feeny took 8th place in the mile at the 2019 Indoor National Championships. Despite a disappointing outdoor campaign where she did not make NCA'As, she should be back to the form she was in last year. Feeny is an underrated pick to repeat as an All-American, and a potential DMR appearance should not be ruled out (although it may be a stretch).
Round Three Commentary
Brett: I really like the Hannah Steelman pick. Definitely underrated, but she ended up with three All-American honors on the track in 2019!
Garrett: Did everyone just realize that the Washington women are good? Carley Thomas, Katie Rainsberger, and Melany Smart all went off the board in consecutive picks.
Maura: The Washington trio of Carley Thomas, Katie Rainsberger, and Melany Smart was a great choice here. There are plenty of scoring opportunities between the three in the DMR, 800, mile, 3000, and potentially the 5000.
Michael: I was really hoping to pick Bethany Hasz this round, but Brett snagged her right before me. Great pick there, Hasz looks primed to have a breakout season.
Sean: Like Maura and Garrett, seeing three athletes from the same team go back-to-back-to-back was a big surprise. It will be interesting to see how those three combine with the rest of the team to attack the season and NCAA's as a whole. One of the worries in this draft is that a strong team might go all-in on the DMR and limit points, but I can’t see that happening exactly.
Ben: This was the round, after essentially the top 20 runners had been picked, when things started getting hard. All of the favorites have been picked and now we are looking at athletes who might score a few points, but also might not qualify for Nationals. The range of possibilities for all of these runners in this round was massive.
Mark: Anna Rohrer seems to be super underrated. She’s shown some crazy guts in her time at South Bend. She consistently performs well on the national stage. My biggest concern with her is injury. In 2017, she ran the 10k at the Outdoor National Championships with a back injury, and she’s also recently battled bad tendinitis. However, she’s looking to bounce back and this past cross country season says she will.
Conor: I was also upset to see Rainsberger get picked up a few picks before my turn in this round. Her mile and 3000 meter PR’s are outstanding, but she also has the ability to show us something in the 5000 meters and maybe the DMR.
Logan: I am not entirely worried about my Rohrer pick. She had a solid cross country season, ultimately placing 17th at Nationals. Although she has not run an indoor season since 2017 due to an injury, I still think Rohrer could have a huge race in the 5k...I’m talking top three.
Round Four Selections
Michael: Sarah Edwards of Virginia Tech is returning to the indoor oval as an All-American after a 6th place finish in the mile at NCAA's last year. She also anchored the Hokies’ DMR to a 3rd place finish at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships. Edwards has cleaned up with numerous top three finishes at ACC Championships, so postseason race tactics do not seem to be something she needs to worry about. I think Edwards can score in the mile and help Virginia Tech finish highly in the DMR.
Brett: I'm also drafting out of that Boston University Season Opener 5k from this past December and taking Joyce Kimeli who opened up her track season with an impressive 15:37, taking her under the 16 minute barrier for the first time in her career. That race was a great wrap-up after a solid fall, in which she took 14th place at the NCAA XC Championships. It seems evident that she may contest the 5k at Nationals, but the possibility of a 3k is always up in the air, too.
Conor: Pascoe has a strong 5000 meter PR of 15:34, so I was happy to see her available even in round four. The Florida Gator also holds PR’s of 9:21 (3000) and 4:43 (mile). She was 9th at the outdoor national meet last year as a junior in the 5000 meters and has been consistently made herself a top name in among a crowded group of distance elites over the past few years. I think Pascoe has the ability to quietly elevate her profile higher than it already is this winter.
Maura: Martha Bissah of Norfolk State is one of the top returners in the 800 meters this season. In 2019, Bissah was 5th at the indoor national meet and 9th at the outdoor national meet. Her current PR of 2:03 is very fast and she has some foot speed that could help her out-sprint a competitor down the homestretch. Bissah’s experience on the national stage will come in handy this season as the 800 will remain crowded as far as the lite talents are concerned. A top three finish at NCAA's is not out of the question for the Norfolk State senior.
Ben: Avi’ Tal Wilson-Perteete is the pick here. This is a high-ceiling/low-floor pick for me because she has a chance at winning the 800 this year because the event seems to be a jumbled mess, especially if Danae Rivers runs the mile. On the other hand, Wilson-Perteete could miss out on Nationals like she did last indoor season...before she finished 3rd in the 800 at NCAA's the following spring. With a PR of 2:01 and her high-scoring potential, she was hard to pass up.
Garrett: I have been very high on Schoffield coming into this season. When looking back at her performances throughout 2019, I was reminded just how good she was. She ran 2:02 last spring before going on to earn All-American honors. Last winter was her breakout season, but with a year of experience at the national level now on her resume, I think she could be very valuable, especially if Boise State pursues the DMR again.
Sean: I picked Rachel McArthur in the same way I took Carina Viljoen. I think it’s absurd to think she won’t be at the NCAA meet in some fashion. With this being the deepest draft we’ve ever done, finding people who will definitely qualify is tougher than ever. McArthur is probably on the outside looking in as far as individual qualification goes, but she has to be the front-runner to be on the Colorado DMR. With Scholl, Hurta, Jones, and others, this DMR will almost definitely qualify. With the potential for Hurta and Jones chasing individual events only, McArthur will surely be on the line at NCAA's on a relay, even if she can’t find a spot in the mile or 800 meters.
Mark: Cailie Logue is also another runner looking to capitalize off of a great cross season and continue that into winter months. She is coming off a 15th place finish at NCAA's during cross country and has already clocked a 15:50 in Boston last month (a time she can improve upon). She will look to build off of that performance later this year. Logue has also shown her range by dropping down to the 3000 meters and going up to the 10k between the winter and spring, so she’ll have her options this season. I think she stays in the 5k for season, but the depth of the event could force her to look elsewhere.
Logan: Michigan State’s Annie Fuller is a pick that I am taking a risk on. She’s not necessarily a favorite to qualify for a spot in the mile, but is definitely capable of doing so. Her PR of 4:35 would point to her capability of at least making the final. I think this pick will pay off, come the Indoor National Championships.
Round Four Commentary
Maura: Fuller may be a risk, but she is a good risk to take. Her recent success in cross country should provide her with some new confidence. She qualified for NCAA's last year in the mile and now has experience entering a year where there may be less depth in the event.
Michael: I was thinking the exact same thing about Fuller. She could be a great dark horse pick to perform very well in the mile this year. Maura’s pick of Martha Bissah is also a great one as she definitely slipped through the cracks to the fourth round and could greatly outperform her fourth round status.
Sean: Their was another run in the fourth round, but this time on 800 meter runners. Bissah, Wilson-Perteete, and Schoffield have yet to show top-level quality at the indoor national meet which makes them riskier picks. On the other hand, they are definitely the likely faces to appear in the NCAA final.
Ben: There was bound to be a run on 800 meter runners. While there are a few favorites, there are plenty of scoring spots open after the top three. With this being such a deep draft, especially in the 3k and 5k, finding some points in the 800 could be what swings this competition.
Mark: I was a bit surprised with Rachel McArthur, but at the same time, I know she is out to have a bounce back season after a disappointing end to outdoors last spring at Villanova. She’s heading into her first track season out in Boulder, so it’ll be interesting to see how she performs/responds at altitude.
Conor: I have to agree, Fuller seems to be a great dark horse pick here. She can show solid range from 800 meters and up while her mile PR of 4:35 is excellent. Add in a 36th place finish at this year’s NCAA XC Championships, and Fuller looks like a great four round grab.
Logan: I think McArthur is primed for a breakout year. Making the move from Pennsylvania to Colorado is no easy task, but after a respectable cross country season, I think she is ready for a great indoor season.
Garrett: I thought I was going to be able to snag Sarah Edwards. She's a beast and one of the more dynamic distance runners in the NCAA. She can be competitive in any event from the 800 to the 5k, and she'll almost definitely be a major part of Virginia Tech's DMR this year. Great snag by Michael.
Round Five Selections
Logan: Davis is likely to pursue a spot in the 5000 meters which is shaping out to be a deep field. Davis’ current PR of 15:44 isn’t all that bad, but if she wants to qualify, she’s going to have focus on the event and run a smart race as the field is sure to be filled with elite company. It’s unlikely she will run on Wisconsin's DMR, which is probably in her best interest if she wants to qualify for the 5k. With all that said, I’m confident that Davis will throw down a time fast enough to qualify.
Mark: Rebekah Topham can be a legitimate threat to other top women in the country this year. At last year's AAC Indoor Championships, she anchored the DMR, ran the mile, and toed the line for the 3k. She won all three. She accounted for 22.25 of the Shockers' points that day. Her experience from the U.S. Championships and last spring's outdoor national meet leaves me feeling confident that she'll find herself on the starting line in Albuquerque come March.
Sean: Devin Clark falls into the same boat as Rachel McArthur. Clark was the 1200 meter leg of the Arkansas DMR after Gregory and Viljoen opted for individual events. This year, with Taylor Werner redshirting and Katie Izzo likely focusing on the 5k/3k double, that puts Clark in another likely DMR spot. Clark also stepped up in a huge way in cross country, finishing 21st at NCAA's this past fall, adding to her 7th place steeplechase finish from the spring. Don’t sleep on Clark finding her way into the 3k and/or 5k this winter.
Garrett: The Stanford roster is already crowded with top talent, but Julia Heymach is not someone who should be overlooked. She had a faster mile PR (4:40) than Lawson, Donaghu, and Oakes last winter. However, it was her eventual 4:17 1500 personal best the following spring and her recent 13th place finish at PAC-12's this past cross country season that led me to believe that she is primed for a major breakout season. Plus, even if she just maintains her performances from last year, she'll likely have some role on Stanford's DMR...right?
Ben: Anna Camp-Bennett of BYU is one of the better overall distance running talents. Finishing 8th in the 800 meters at Nationals last spring and then following that up with a 60th place finish in Terre Haute at the NCAA XC Championships shows her unbelievable range. Although she didn’t qualify for the indoor national meet last year, she certainly has a chance at qualifying this year as she improved her PR in the 800 by over three seconds last spring when she ran 2:03. Even if she doesn’t make it to NCAA's individually this March, she should be a part of a very strong BYU DMR that will look to improve upon their 2nd place finish from last year.
Maura: Lotte Black didn’t have a stellar indoor season in 2019, but what stands out to me was her outdoor season, her performance at the national meet this past fall, and her most recent 3k result at Boston. Black’s outdoor track season ended extremely well in 2019 with a 4th place finish in a competitive 1500 meter field at NCAA's (which resulted in a 4:13 PR). In cross country, she was just four places shy of an All-American honor. Fast forward to December, and she ran 9:10 in the 3000 meters to win. Combining these three facts, Black should see major improvements this winter and potentially become an All-American.
Conor: Hannah Nuttall was another athlete I was happy to see available because of her strong personal bests. Another runner apart of the strong New Mexico distance contingent, Nuttall owns a PR of 9:07 for 3000 meters and is coming off of a strong finish at the NCAA XC Championships where she finished 35th overall. Given that performance, it feels like this Lobo veteran could seamlessly move up to the 5000 meters this winter.
Brett: Much akin to her kin (Bethany Hasz), Megan Hasz also redshirted this past cross country season and toed the line for Boston University 5k back in December. The result? A rewarding 15:39 5k PR and a very strong start to her track season. She qualified in the Nationals in the 10k last year during outdoors and that aerobic strength should go a long way for her indoor track season this year.
Michael: Tabor Scholl is a very well-rounded athlete capable of qualifying in the mile, 3000, or 5000 meters. She could even contribute to Colorado’s DMR. Only time will tell which event she chooses to focus on, but she has the ability to contend in whatever she runs.
Round Five Commentary
Maura: I’m a little skeptical about the Rebkeah Topham choice considering that she has only qualified for one national batiobnal meet, the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Championships. However, she is a very tactical runner and knows how to run her own race, which comes in handy at bigger meets.
Michael: Brett is really going all-in on the Hasz twins! I can’t blame him as both are looking ready to tear up the track this season. I think both will be great assets to his team.
Garrett: The steal of this draft is Lotte Black. She has the potential to run the mile or 3000 meters this winter and after a strong 4th place finish at NCAA's in the 1500 meters last spring, Black could end up being one of the better distance runners in the country. She'll have a lot of opportunities to run fast considering that she is just over an hour away from Boston University's indoor track.
Sean: I really like the Lotte Black pick. She’s been an athlete that I’ve been internally rooting for. It’s tough to make a big impact from smaller schools at Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Wofford, but that's what makes this success even more special. However, from a draft analysis perspective, this is risky...but I like it.
Mark: I know my Topham pick was a bit of a stretch, but when it comes to championship racing, that experience and knowing how to race in those kind of settings is crucial. Championship racing is a whole different animal.
Ben: With so many of the proven runners already taken, it was interesting to see a few people pick athletes who could be on DMR teams. With the DMR points divided by four, you have to really hope that their team finishes in the top four. But at this point in the draft, the potential for DMR points might be the best option.
Conor: I definitely think the Topham pick could go either way. She has really solid middle distance PR’s, but her opening 5k in Boston last month was not particularly impressive.
Brett: I’m intrigued by Ben’s pick of Anna Camp-Bennett. BYU certainly has the talent to run a terrific DMR, and Camp-Bennett could also certainly make a statement in the open 800 as well. I think she has the potential to garner some serious points.
Logan: Looking back, I should’ve drafted Camp-Bennett and was tempted to do so. Her potential in the 800 meters is huge and as if her possible role in a title-contending DMR. I think getting Camp-Bennett is a steal for Ben this late in the draft.
Round Six Selections
Michael: Maudie Skyring may be a bit of a wildcard in the final round, as she has never qualified for a national meet on the track. However, she has produced many great performances at the ACC level, showing that if she can sneak into the top 16 and make NCAA's, she should be able to outperform her ranking on paper.
Brett: I am very excited to see what Emily Venters will do this upcoming track season. Although she did not run cross country for Colorado, her past racing experience at Boise State was impressive as she ran 9:08 and 15:45 in the 3k and 5k, respectively. If she can replicate performances like those throughout this winter, I think she will be lethal for the Buffs.
Conor: A vital piece of the Washington Huskies, Schadler is a strong middle distance performer who can improve upon her current PR’s of 2:47.99 (1000) and 4:37 (mile). She was a member of the 7th place DMR team last year at the indoor national meet. Her strong cross country season this past fall tells me that she can make noise on the indoor oval this year.
Maura: Furman’s Savannah Carnahan hasn’t qualified for an indoor national meet in her career, but after a strong outdoor track season andan All-American finish in cross country, she could slip into NCAA's. Carnahan ran a 3000 meter PR of 9:11 last year at the Southern Conference Indoor Championships and has a 15:45 5k PR. After placing 13th at the NCAA XC Championships this past fall, Carnahan has a newfound confidence which should catapult her into the top 16 in either the 3000 meters or 5000 meters...or both.
Ben: To finish up my run on hyphenated last names, I am going with Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes. The BYU runner was also a part of the DMR team that finished runner-up at Indoor Nationals last year, but she did not qualify individually. She ran 2:02 the following spring, although just missed out on earning a spot to the finals when the postseason came around. While she isn’t guaranteed a spot to Nationals individually, I do like her chances. Even if she doesn’t qualify, she will help BYU earn another top three finish in the DMR.
Garrett: There is far too much upside with Katrina Robinson. If she's healthy, she could be one of the best distance runners in the NCAA. She's been absent for the past year, and that's a major concern, but if she's anything like what we saw from her in the fall of 2018, then she could very easily be an All-American this winter.
Sean: It just didn’t feel right to leave Dorcas Wasike off my team. There’s a huge amount of uncertainty in her return, but there’s no reason other than injury for her not to appear. She hasn’t had the most indoor experience either, but I’m hoping she had a very strong fall preparing for this indoor season. If she's set to go for this winter, she could score points for me in the 5000 meters at Nationals.
Mark: As only a freshman, Ericka VanderLende has made her presence known in the NCAA this year. Her 25th place finish at NCAA's this past fall was wildly impressive and her consistency is often overlooked for someone as young as her. On the track, VanderLende showed her range in high school, racing everything from the 800 meters to the 5k. The Michigan team page has her listed as "distance" as opposed to "mid-distance", meaning she’ll probably run more the 3k and 5k winter, but we’ll find out as indoors gets underway.
Logan: I was really hoping I could get Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, but Ben was able to snag her. The next best option in my opinion was Dominique Clairmonte. She has the potential to qualify in a handful of events including the mile and 5000 meters. Her consistency can be overlooked at times and her personal bests of 4:38 (mile), 9:19 (3k), and 15:55 (5k) don't do her tactical racing abilities enough justice. I wouldn’t be surprised to see her put down a time that puts her inside the top 16 in either the mile, 3000 meters, or 5000 meters this winter.
Round Six Commentary
Maura: Garrett’s pick of Katrina Robinson is very bold considering she has not raced since the 2018 NCAA XC Championships. However, if she is healthy, Robinson could really surprise people on the track this year.
Michael: I like Logan’s pick of Dominique Clairmonte. She is underrated and despite not having a ton of experience on the national stage, she could be a strong competitor in the mile this winter.
Mark: I was surprised by Skyring and Venters sneaking in at the end. However, Skyring's improved cross country performances make her an appealing draft selection. Venters, like I mentioned with McArthur earlier, is in her first year at Boulder, Colorado. I'll be interested to see how she handles her first season of competition in a new environment.
Sean: Maudie Skyring for Florida State is a bold pick. The Florida State women made a huge improvement in cross country this year and hopefully that translates to the track for them too. Skyring was always a little bit better on the oval, so this could be the year she finds her way into her first national meet.
Conor: Skyring does seem to be a bit of a wild card given her personal bests. Her long distance PR’s are not particularly solid, but definitely look to see her make an impact this winter after a big cross country season this past fall.
Ben: I liked the Savannah Carnahan pick here by Maura. I was thinking about picking her and was just a few picks too late. After her great cross country season this past fall, she has the potential to mix it up with some of the top women in the 5k. Good pick this late in the draft.
Brett: I’m right with you, Ben. A member of the #GirlGang, Carnahan made some good strides towards the end of the cross country season. I think she’ll be able to capitalize and improve upon her 15:45 5k PR on the track.
Logan: Adding to what Michael said about my pick in Dominique Clairmonte, I like the pick as well. The 5k is shaping out to be a loaded event, so we could possibly see Clairmonte aim at a national qualifying spot in the mile.
Garrett: I really like the Allie Schadler pick. She is a candidate who could have a breakout season after running 4:37 last winter and she may end up finding a spot on Washington's DMR. She had a very solid cross country season and could get to NCAA's in March.