Updated: Jan 17
New Huskies Make Their Debut, D2 Elites Headline Field
The 800 meters is often one of the most exciting events to watch during the indoor season as it boarders on the line of chaos and madness. This weekend’s lineup at the UW Preview is set to bring an extra level of excitement as two top-end Washington talents face off against some seasoned professionals.
Freshman Daniel Maton will be making his Washington debut where he will line up against new teammate Dustin Nading and Drew Windle. Maton was one of the top runners in the high school ranks last year, posting a personal best of 1:49.69 in the event. He has also run 4:06.07 for 1600 meters, giving him solid range heading into collegiate competition. This will be Maton’s first time competing as a Husky after redshirting this past cross country season.
Another name to join the Husky ranks in 2020 is Dustin Nading. Formerly of Western Oregon, Nading has since transferred to the University of Washington and is expected to compete as a member of their track team. He is currently listed as unattached for this weekend’s competition.
During his time at Western Oregon, Nading was one of the best runners in Division Two. He finished runner-up in the 1500 meters at the Outdoor National Championships in 2018 and was the indoor mile champion that same year. Nading comes to Washington with personal bests of 1:52 in the 800 and 4:04 in the mile. He should have a very strong chance to better his mark in the 800 this weekend and could become a sub-four miler before the season is done.
Speaking of Western Oregon, look out for Derek Holdsworth. He's the JUCO indoor 1000 meter record holder after running 2:22 during his time at Trinidad State. His incredible 800 meter consistency (in which he owns a 1:47 PR) and underrated middle distance prowess make him someone who could potentially walk away with an upset win when this is all said and done.
Holdsworth will also be joined by 1:51 800 meter runner (and teammate) Curt Knott.
And how about Hugo Arlabosse? The D2 All-American from Franklin Pierce is one of the better D2 800 meter runners in the nation right now. A 1:49 personal best and a significant amount of experience will make him a key name to watch in this field come Saturday.
While those guys are the biggest names to watch on the collegiate side, all of them could be pulled to fast times by Drew Windle of the Brooks Beasts. Windle is an indoor World Championship medalist and owns a personal best of 1:44.63 in the event. Expect the trio to make this a fast race, although early-season rust may limit just how fast it gets.
Ducks & Youngsters Crowd The 1000 Meters
The 1000 meters is one of the strangest races in indoor track. It only slightly extends the 800 meters, but often sees a handful of milers step down for a challenge. It is also only competed at a handful of conference championships and skipped altogether at the Indoor National Championships, meaning the results often yield little weight when predicting the postseason. Despite all of that, the field for this weekend’s 1000 meters might be the strongest of any event on the men’s side.
Potentially the most intriguing name racing this weekend is Sam Tanner of Washington who is entered in heat two of this race. After a somewhat underwhelming cross country season, Tanner will be stepping onto the track for the first time as a Husky on Saturday. The true freshman from New Zealand was one of the biggest recruits in 2019 after running a 3:58 mile while still in high school. He has also run 3:38.74 for 1500 meters and 1:49.42 for the 800. Based on his background, Tanner should have a stronger track season than his fall and this will be his first chance to establish himself as a top-tier NCAA talent.
Tanner will be tasked with taking down a veteran at the 1000 meter distance. Sam Ritz, who is finishing his eligibility at Washington after spending most of his collegiate career at Columbia, is a 3:59 miler with a 2:23 PR in this event. He'll be another competitive name to watch this weekend.
Another young talent in this race is Brandon McGorty of Stanford who will headline heat three. The younger brother of former Stanford star Sean McGorty, Brandon had a bit of a rough first year in the NCAA, running "only" 1:50.99 for 800 meters and 2:23.56 for the 1000 meters (which is actually a very respectable 1000 meter time). In high school, McGorty was a part of a legendary 800 meters class, running a personal best of 1:48.58 during his senior year. Saturday will be a great chance for McGorty to start fresh and showcase his true talents at the collegiate level.
Not to be outdone by the young guns, the seasoned veterans of Oregon are not looking to “Duck” any competition this weekend. Four of Oregon’s top runners - Cooper Teare, James West, Reed Brown, and Charlie Hunter - are entered in the 1000 meters at UW this weekend and they will all be running in heat one.
All four of these men are sub-4:00 milers are capable of putting together something very fast on Saturday. Hunter, West, and Brown come in with almost identical personal bests in the mile - West has run 3:57.75, Hunter has run 3:57.74, and Reed Brown owns a PR of 3:57.23. Teare has also broken the four minute barrier, but is more often thought of as a 3k or 5k specialist.
Not only that, but the Ducks will also be joined by Luis Peralta, a true freshman who ran 1:49 for 800 meters back in high school. This will be one heck of an introduction to NCAA competition for the youngster who is set to face a loaded field of top-tier talent in heat one.
Both West and Hunter should be the (collegiate) favorites heading into the race on Saturday. They have significant indoor racing experience and have both run personal bests under 1:50 for 800 meters (with Hunter running 1:49 and West running 1:48 in late June post NCAA's). Those are strong marks for men who would typically be classified as mile and 3000 meter runners.
It would be surprising if one of the Ducks did not get a win this weekend.
New Era Elites Meet Established Veterans
There is no event more well known than the mile...at least in the United States. At the collegiate level, being known as a “sub-4:00 miler” is the ultimate badge of honor. This weekend will be a chance for at least one runner to be the first collegiate to break the mark this season, and a chance for many others to break the mark for the first time.
Similar to other events, the mile will be the debut race for one of the top freshman in the country. Cole Hocker is slated to compete in his first indoor race as an Oregon Duck after being one of the top recruits during 2019.
Hocker is more of a true distance runner, having won the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championships in 2018 and also finishing runner-up at NXN 2018. He was also a valuable scorer for the Ducks this past cross country season.
During high school, Hocker ran personal bests of 4:07 for 1600 meters and 4:12 for the mile. Any time faster than his 4:07 should be considered a very solid start for the youngster. He'll be the main name to watch in heat four as he battles a handful of underrated distance talents including teammate Carter Christmas, Western Oregon's Justin Crosswhite, and the Stanford duo of Michael Vernau and Andy Monroe.
The fastest collegiate in the field will be Mick Stanovsek of Washington. While previously at Oregon, Stanovsek ran what is currently his personal best of 3:57.90, making him one of only a handful of entries to have previously broken 4:00. Stanovsek qualified for both the Indoor and Outdoor National Championships in 2019, being eliminated during the preliminary rounds of the mile last winter before finishing 10th in the final of the 1500 meters later that spring. The veteran will look to make a statement in his senior year with the Huskies.
Another sub-4:00 miler in the field is Alex Ostberg of Stanford.
The only issue? He's in heat two.
The Cardinal senior is more of a 3k/5k specialist, but has also had some luck at the shorter distances. Last season was his first time breaking the 4:00 barrier after running 4:05 in 2017. Ostberg has also run 7:51.20 for the 3000 meters, making him one of the top contenders in that event.
It seems like a bit of a robbery that Ostberg, who is a 3:58 miler, is being left out of the "hot heat" for this race on Saturday. He is someone who could have challenged Mick Stanovsek for the top collegiate spot.
Two other particularly interesting names to watch in this event are James Mwaura of Gonzaga and Thomas Ratcliffe of Stanford. Similar to others in the race, both Mwaura and Ratcliffe tend to focus on the longer distances, but will be making their season debuts in a shorter event.
Ratcliffe posted a personal best of 4:04.54 last indoor season, which is respectable, but it leaves us surprised as to how he got listed in the hot heat (along with Washington's Isaac Green, who may be a pacer) when Alex Ostberg did not.
Ratcliffe and Mwaura are both coming off a solid cross country seasons that ended in rough results at the national meet. This weekend will be a good opportunity for them to get back on the right foot as the indoor season truly kicks off.
Liam Anderson's Debut & James West's Potential Double
To continue the theme of collegiate debuts, Liam Anderson of Stanford, the 2019 NXN champion, is scheduled to make his collegiate debut in the 3000 meters this weekend.
Anderson comes in having run 4:09.39 for 1600 meters and 8:51.89 for 3200 meters during his time in high school. His win at NXN made him one of the top recruits in 2019 and after redshirting cross country, will be looking to build a legacy at Stanford starting this weekend. It is hard to say just how good Anderson can be on the track as has not raced since high school. If he is able to break 8:15 this weekend (in heat two), it should be considered a very solid debut.
James West is currently slated for both this race and the 1000 meters, though it would make more sense for him to opt for the longer distance. West is significantly better at the 3000 meters, having run 7:51.18 at last year’s MPSF Indoor Championships. However, it would not at all be surprising if Oregon is opting to use the 1000 meters as a rust-busting, speed-developing race
Also entered in both the mile and 3000 meters is Tibebu Proctor of Washington. The 2018 cross country All-American has only run one 3000 meter race before, clocking a time of 8:16.22 at the UW Invitational in 2019. Proctor typically competes in the 5k and 10k during the outdoor season, meaning that the 3000 would almost be a speed workout. He could certainly run faster than 8:10 if the pacing is right this weekend, but how far under that mark he goes is the real uncertainty.