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800

Robert Heppenstall of Wake Forest comes into the ACC Championship as the de-facto favorite to win the 800. He holds an indoor personal best of 1:46.88 and has collected six All-America honors, one for each indoor and outdoor season of his collegiate career. This season, Heppenstall has the fastest outright performance over 800 meters in the ACC at 1:48.33, but factoring in conversions he sits at #3 behind Duke junior Matt Wisner and Virginia Tech freshman Bashir Mosavel-Lo who ran converted times of 1:47.68 and 1:47.92, respectively at the Camel City Invitational.


Georgia Tech’s Avery Bartlett is another competitor to watch with a season-best of 1:48.68. He has run 1:47.32 indoors in the past, however, so if Bartlett is primed to run a PR he could be in the title picture.


Clemson comes in with the powerful duo of Malik Epps and John Lewis who have run 1:49.75 and 1:49.87, respectively. Lewis holds a PR of 1:47.14, which could prove to be dangerous in the final.


Virginia Tech will look to continue the 800 prowess that they have shown in recent years with Matthew Harding (1:47), Owen Buck (1:50), and Thierry Siewe Yanga (1:51). Buck and Siewe Yanga may not have the credentials of former Hokies like Patrick Joseph and Drew Piazza, but they are still young and have thrown down some pretty quick times. Harding is a big name to watch as he could throw down a strong time. Keep him on your radar.


Dante Watson and Drew Glick of Pittsburgh both have PR's of 1:50 and could be in the scoring picture as well.

Mile

The men’s mile at this year’s ACC Championship could be interesting. Many of this season’s top performers are entered in other events, opening up the picture a bit more. It is possible that we could see some dark horses emerge, along with some freshman stars.


Aidan Tooker of Syracuse comes into this race as the conference leader at 3:59.39, the only ACC athlete under 4:00. With that being said, it is not safe to call Tooker the favorite. Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse has a season best/personal best of 4:01.10, but has run significantly faster on relay legs, including his anchor leg of Notre Dame’s DMR that broke the NCAA record last weekend at the Alex Wilson Invitational. Nuguse gained some fame after out-kicking Grant Fisher on the anchor leg of Notre Dame’s 2nd place DMR at NCAA's last year. Nuguse and Tooker are two of the top entries in this race, but Nuguse seems to be more of a true miler. Tooker specializes in the steeplechase outdoors, so we’ll see what he can do in what will likely be a tactical mile.


The rest of the field is pretty strong, with Virginia Tech’s Diego Zarate coming in at #2 on the performance list with a time of 4:00. Virginia Tech also has Antonio Lopez-Segura entered, a freshman who has run 4:07 this year. 4:07 is not remarkably fast in a Power 5 conference, but with a somewhat watered down field due to many athletes opting for the 800m of 3k, it could be a factor.


Florida State senior Michael Hall holds a personal best of 3:59 and has run 4:01 this season.


The next fastest entry is Michael Phillips of Syracuse, a freshman who has run 4:02 this season. If Phillips can get himself in good position in what will be his first collegiate championship race, he and Tooker could form a solid 1-2 punch for the Orange.


Notre Dame freshman Dylan Jacobs made some noise last year as a senior in high school when he won the Foot Locker Cross Country Championship. This year, he has run 2:24 in the 1000 meters and 8:11 in the 3k, but has yet to race a mile. He also led off Notre Dame’s NCAA record-setting DMR last weekend. Notre Dame has a recent history of putting out strong freshmen as seen with Nuguse last year along with Danny Kilrea’s exciting performances in cross country this past fall, so we’ll see if Jacobs can follow up those performances with an impressive one of his own.


Ian Ritchie of Boston College has run 4:06 this season, making him one of this year’s fastest ACC performers entered in the mile. Going farther down the list, Virginia’s Matthew Novak has a season best of 4:07, but a lifetime PR of 4:03. Sebastian Fischbach has a lifetime PR of 4:05, but has only run 4:17 this season so whether or not he has the ability to be a factor is unclear.


3000

The 3k is absolutely loaded with ACC talent. Unlike the mile, many of the top performers of this season are entered in what should be quite the showdown. A lot of these athletes are also entered in the 5k which is the day before, so that will likely make for two very tactical races.


Peter Seufer of Virginia Tech comes in as this season’s leader with a flat-track converted 7:54. Georgia Tech’s Nahom Solomon follows close behind with a personal best 7:57 from this season.


Syracuse has loaded up this race with some of their top talent. Noah Affolder and Iliass Aouani come in with season bests of 8:01 (although Aouani has previously run 7:57). Joe Dragon is not far off either, with a time of 8:07. Aidan Tooker is also entered in the 3k, but is in the unseeded section as he has not raced a 3k this year. Tooker’s lifetime PR of 7:56 certainly makes him a factor and he may try to push the pace in the slow heat to put himself in a position to score. This may be exceedingly difficult, as 37 athletes are entered in the unseeded section. We’ll see how many end up scratching, but 37 guys is a lot on a 200 meter indoor track.


Notre Dame also has a strong pair of Andrew Alexander, who has run 8:06 this year, and Danny Kilrea who has yet to debut in the 3k, but earned an All-American finish in cross country this past fall. He had a gutsy race at the ACC Cross Country Championship where he finished 10th after leading much of the first half of the race. Alexander will not be running the 5k and may be feeling much fresher than many of his competitors in the last couple laps.


Boston College’s Sean Burke has run 8:10 this year, which may be enough for this experienced veteran to score some points. On the other hand, Wake Forest freshman Zach Facioni comes in with a time of 8:08. Facioni also ran an impressive race at the ACC cross Country Championship this past fall as he battled eventual champion Peter Seufer to the line, finishing 2nd overall.


The men of Virginia enter this race with one of the deepest squads in any event. AJ Ernst (8:05), Alex Corbett (8:07), and Ari Klau (8:08) make up three of the top 11 spots in the ACC this season. They all have scoring potential, and Ernst, the fastest of the trio, will not be coming off a 5k double so he may be better equipped to kick hard at the end of this race.


5000

The top of the 5k is pretty stacked with incredibly talented athletes who will also be competing in the 3k. This double is not impossible as the races are over 24 hours apart, but it will likely result in the 5k going out pretty slow as a lot of guys will want to save as much as they can for the 3k the next day.


Georgia Tech’s Nahom Solomon is the ACC leader by a huge margin going into the championship. His time of 13:41.48 is a full 10 seconds ahead than #2 Iliass Aouani of Syracuse who comes in with a 13:51.87. After that, the times get a lot closer.


Virginia Tech’s Peter Seufer comes in next at 13:52, and is followed by Alex Corbett and Ari Klau of Virginia at 14:00 and 14:03, respectively. Along with their teammate Aouani, the Syracuse men will be looking to do some damage with Joe Dragon (14:05), Kevin James (14:14), and Noah Affolder (no indoor PR, 14:07 outdoors). This group may try to control the race early so that it plays into their favor later on, as they could score some major points here.


Notre Dame freshman Danny Kilrea comes in with a time of 14:11, and Wake Forest Freshman Zach Facioni comes in without a 5k PR, but his 8:08 3k and fast cross country times may be the perfect combination for him to be a factor in this race.


Sean Burke of Boston College hasn’t run a 5k this season, but holds a PR of 14:12. Just like in the 3k, his experience may come in handy here. North Carolina State’s Patrick Sheehan has run 14:08 this year, but has a lifetime PR of 13:57 which could be a major factor in this race.


DMR

I messed up and overlooked the fact that the DMR ran on Thursday...here are the results

  1. Notre Dame, 9:38.85

  2. Virginia Tech, 9:45.03

  3. Duke, 9:47.29

  4. Georgia Tech, 9:47.34

  5. Virginia, 9:49.17

  6. Pittsburgh, 9:52.18

  7. North Carolina State, 9:53.59

  8. Wake Forest, 10:01.22

  9. Florida State, 10:04.78

  10. Clemson, DQ

  11. Boston College, DQ


Predictions

800

  1. Robert Heppenstall, Wake Forest

  2. Avery Bartlett, Georgia Tech

  3. John Lewis, Clemson

  4. Bashir Mosavel-Lo, Virginia Tech

  5. Matt Wisner, Duke

  6. Malik Epps, Clemson

  7. Dante Watson, Pittsburgh

  8. Owen Buck, Virginia Tech


Mile

  1. Yared Nuguse, Notre Dame

  2. Aidan Tooker, Syracuse

  3. Michael Hall, Florida State

  4. Dylan Jacobs, Notre Dame

  5. Michael Phillips, Syracuse

  6. Alex Milligan, North Carolina

  7. Ian Ritchie, Boston College

  8. Matthew Novak, Virginia


3000

  1. Nahom Solomon, Georgia Tech

  2. Peter Seufer, Virginia Tech

  3. Andrew Alexander, Notre Dame

  4. AJ Ernst, Virginia

  5. Danny Kilrea, Notre Dame

  6. Iliass Aouani, Syracuse

  7. Joe Dragon, Syracuse

  8. Zach Facioni, Wake Forest


5000

  1. Peter Seufer, Virginia Tech

  2. Nahom Solomon, Georgia Tech

  3. Iliass Aouani, Syracuse

  4. Ari Klau, Virginia

  5. Patrick Sheehan, North Carolina State

  6. Noah Affolder, Syracuse

  7. Alex Corbett, Virginia

  8. Sean Burke, Boston College

WOMEN

800

The women’s 800m at this year’s ACC championship is incredibly deep and relatively wide open. Rachel Pocratsky of Virginia Tech has the conference-leading time of 2:05.20. Pocratcky’s lifetime PR of 2:02.67 makes her a strong bet to win. She will be followed by Mikayla Schneider and Kelly Hart of Notre Dame who have run 2:06.56 and 2:07.00, respectively this season.


After those three, the rest of the field is pretty densely packed with 12 women who have run 2:08 to 2:10 this season. Clemson’s Kamryn McIntosh has run 2:08.07 this year and holds a lifetime PR of 2:03.59 which will make her a strong contender for the title. Miami’s Kayla Johnson has run 2:03.04 in the past, and has a season best of 2:08.40. Duke’s Brittany Aveni has run 2:08.58 this season, but ran 2:06.61 previously which could put her in the picture.


Madison Harris of Florida State has run 2:10.21 this season, but has a PR of 2:07.57. Shannon Quinn of Virginia Tech comes in with a strong time of 2:08.07.


Mile

Sarah Edwards of Virginia Tech enters the meet with the top seed at a converted 4:33.78. She and her teammate Rachel Pocratsky ran the exact same time at the Camel City Invitational, but Pocratsky has opted to focus on the 800 instead.


Clemson’s Logan Morris comes in with a converted time of 4:38.51 which puts her solidly in the conversation as well. Dominique Clairmonte of North Carolina State has run 4:38.55 (which was run at Virginia Tech, where ACC's are being held) to put herself in the running for a podium spot.


Morgan Ilse of North Carolina’s converted time of 4:39.76 and Maudie Skyring of Florida State’s 4:40.17 aren’t too far off the leaders either. Florida State follows up Skyring’s performance with Jodie Judd who has run 4:42.


Like in the 800, the mile is packed with talent and the performance list is full of individuals with times in the mid-4:40s. It’s safe to say it’s anyone’s race as we move back beyond the podium spots.


3000

Elly Henes comes into the meet with the top performance this season; a flat-track converted time of 9:01. This time puts her a good bit ahead of the #2 seed, Militsa Mircheva of Florida State, who has run 9:07 this year.


After Mircheva, Morgan Ilse of North Carolina comes in with a converted 9:08. North Carolina State’s Dominique Clairmonte will be doubling back from the mile to run the 3k as well. Will her converted 9:14 be enough to get her into a scoring spot after potentially two mile races (prelim and final)? Both Ilse and Clairmonte are two names you'll want to keep an eye on this weekend.


Sara Friex of Virginia Tech has run a converted 9:16 this year, good for #5 on the performance list. Reigning ACC cross country champion Dorcas Wasike is entered, and although she has not run a 3k this season, she has run 15:25 in the 5k and had a stellar cross country season, finishing 14th at NCAA's. She certainly has the ability to contend for a title or two this weekend.


Rachel Bonner of Syracuse has run 9:22 this year as well as 4:46 in the mile, so she has the credentials of a potential scorer in this field. Notre Dame freshman Jacqueline Gaughan comes in with a PR of 9:22 and has been having a great year so far with some impressive cross country finishes as well.


Syracuse’s Paige Stoner is entered, but has yet to race a 3k this season. Her 9:12 PR should sit quite well in this field.


5000

The women’s 5k is pretty top-heavy with Dorcas Wasike leading the way with a time of 15:25. After a very impressive cross country campaign and the absence of Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer, Wasike seems like a rather safe pick as the favorite in this race.


North Carolina State’s Elly Henes has the second fastest 5k in the conference this season, but she is only entered in the 3k. These two times hold up not only in the ACC, but put these two women in the national qualifying picture as well.


Militsa Mircheva of Florida State has run 15:43, putting her comfortably in the #3 spot.


Syracuse senior Paige Stoner has an incredible amount of championship experience, and her 15:41 PR (15:55 this season) should put her in a great position to score big points. Notre Dame’s Jacqueline Gaughan has run 15:52, putting her high in this field.


Sara Friex of Virginia Tech will be doubling in the 3k and 5k like many of these women, and her 16:07 could put her in scoring position. Wake Forest’s Samantha Halvorsen has also run 16:07 this season and has a second-team All-American finish in the 10k from last spring, adding her to this conversation as well. Laura Dickinson of Syracuse has run 16:10 and Kelly Hayes of Pittsburgh has run 16:11 this season, rounding out the top seeds.


DMR

I messed up and overlooked the fact that the DMR ran on Thursday...here are the results

  1. Virginia Tech, 11:08.02

  2. Florida State, 11:13.05

  3. Notre Dame, 11:13.73

  4. North Carolina State, 11:15.78

  5. Duke, 11:15.82

  6. Wake Forest, 11:19.01

  7. Clemson, 11:28.70

  8. Georgia Tech, 11:29.62

  9. Pittsburgh, 11:31.18

  10. Boston College, 11:35.36

  11. North Carolina, 11:38.36

  12. Virginia, 11:55.53


Predictions

800

Rachel Pocratsky, Virginia Tech

Kamryn McIntosh, Clemson

Brittany Aveni, Duke

Kelly Hart, Notre Dame

Kayla Johnson, Miami

Madison Harris, Florida State

Shannon Quinn, Virginia Tech

Erin Sullivan, Notre Dame


Mile

Sarah Edwards, Virginia Tech

Dominique Clairmonte, North Carolina State

Logan Morris, Clemson

Maudie Skyring, Florida State

Morgan Ilse, North Carolina

Jodie Judd, Florida State

Rachel DaDamiano, Notre Dame

Nevada Mareno, North Carolina State


3000

Elly Henes, North Carolina State

Dorcas Wasike, Louisville

Militsa Mircheva, Florida State

Morgan Ilse, North Carolina

Paige Stoner, Syracuse

Sara Friex, Virginia Tech

Dominique Clairmonte, North Carolina State

Jacqueline Gaughan, Notre Dame


5000

Dorcas Wasike, Louisville

Paige Stoner, Syracuse

Jacqueline Gaughan, Notre Dame

Militsa Mircheva, Florida State

Jacqueline Gaughan, Notre Dame

Samantha Halvorsen, Wake Forest

Sara Friex, Virginia Tech

Kelly Hayes, Pittsburgh


Note: I am new to covering the women’s side of the sport and am admittedly not as knowledgeable as I would like to be. If you notice I missed somebody important, let me know!