Bragging Rights

Updated: Jun 14, 2019

Scores tallied by Ben Weisel

At the beginning of the season, our TSR crew got together for a draft where we picked runners who we thought would be the most valuable scorers at the national meet in June. With the National Championships now complete, let's take a look back and see who had the best picks...and who had the worst.

Men's Draft

1. Sean Collins

Conner Mantz (BYU): 5 + 2 = 7

Steven Fahy (Stanford): 10

Alex Rogers (Texas): 3

Bryce Hoppel (Kansas): 10

Devin Dixon (Texas A&M): 8

Thomas Ratcliffe (Stanford): 18

TOTAL SCORE: 56 one was beating Sean. He beat 2nd place (me) by nearly double my points. Heck, even if you take out Thomas Ratcliffe's triple points, Sean still would have run away with the win. Outside of the Ratcliffe's performance, Sean got a nice surprise boost from Fahy winning the steeple along with Rogers snagging a 6th place finish of his own. When you add up Mantz's two All-American finishes and the best two 800 runners in the country, it should have been obvious that Sean was going to run away with the win. He simply had the best team in this draft.

2. Garrett Zatlin

Gilbert Kigen (Alabama): 8 + 5 = 13

Connor McMillan (BYU): 6

Morgan McDonald (Wisconsin): 10


All things considered, I have to be happy with runner-up. McDonald not doubling in the 10k forced me to settle for lesser points, but Kigen stepped up with two solid All-American finishes of his own. The same goes for McMillan after he finished 3rd in the 10k. Still, John Dressel never pulled through for me in either the 5k or the 10k. The DQ from James West in the regional rounds followed by Tanner Anderson and Simon Grannetia not working out is what ultimately cost me a much higher score (but I'm still not sure it would have been enough to beat Sean).

3. Michael Weidenbruch

Clayton Young (BYU): 10 + 3 = 13

Justine Kiprotich (Michigan State): 8

Cooper Williams (Indiana): 3

Edwin Kurgat (Iowa State): 4


The Clayton Young double was huge, especially when he secured the national title. Michael also got a nice surprise boost from Kiprotich who nearly took home the title in an extremely deep field. Scoring from Williams and Kurgat was expected, but the reliable picks that seemed destined to score points (Worley and Tooker) never panned out.

4. John Cusick

Robert Brandt (UCLA): 2

Yared Nuguse (Notre Dame): 10

Grant Fisher (Stanford): 8

Kyle Mau (Indiana): 1


John was able to at least stay competitive thanks to a big performance from Yared Nuguse. The Notre Dame ace was expected to be an All-American, but winning the 1500 meter national title really gave John a boost when paired with the 8 points he gained from Fisher. Unfortunately, he got dealt some bad luck. Brandt and Mau both scored, but they only provided minimal points. Plus, Cole Rockhold and Waleed Suliman were two stars who were expected to advance out to their respective finals, but surprisingly did not.

5. Sam Ivanecky

Tyler Day (Northern Arizona): 3

Carlton Orange (Texas A&M): 5


We knew it was going to be a rough national meet for Sam who failed to qualify Charlie Hunter, Nick Hauger, Kyle Burdick, and Joe Klecker (who is recovering from injury). Things only got worse in the 10k when Rory Linkletter dropped to 15th in the 10k and Tyler Day dropped out of contention for the title. At least Carlton Orange was able to salvage some points...

6. Matt Holcomb

Casey Comber (Villanova): 1

Obsa Ali (Minnesota): 5


Matt just had a bunch of bad luck. Carlos Villarreal failed to advance to the 1500 finals, Joe White never toed the line at regionals, Vincent Kiprop was out for the season, Lawrence Kipkoech dropped to last in the 10k, and Luis Grijalva simply couldn't hang with the pack in the final moments of the 5k. It may not have been a great draft, but at least he wasn't last.

7. Ben Weisel

Oliver Hoare (Wisconsin): 5


Similar to Matt, it seemed like Ben just couldn't catch a break this season. High value scorers like Amon Kemboi, Isai Rodriguez, and James Sugira were all absent (entirely) from this outdoor track season. Meanwhile, national title contender Marco Arop fell out of qualifying for Nationals in the regional rounds. Ben tried hedging his bets by drafting the favorite for the 1500 (Oliver Hoare) and the guy who upset him in the mile during indoors (Beamish), but Hoare faded in the final straightaway and Beamish couldn't hang in the final laps of the 5k. Better luck next year, Ben...

Total distance points possible: 195

Total earned by our teams (excluding the 3x multiplier from Thomas Ratcliffe): 141

141/195 = 72.3%

Women's Draft

1. Ben Weisel

Sinclaire Johnson (Oklahoma State): 10

Allie Ostrander (Boise State): 10

Nia Akins (Penn): 8


Don't feel too sorry for Ben. He may have been last in the men's draft, but he quietly dominated the women's draft. While others were looking for sleeper picks who would pull off breakout performances, Ben settled for women who had established themselves on the big stage. He won by 9 points despite more than half of his draft picks either not running at all this season or simply not making it to the finals.

2. Matt Holcomb

Taylor Werner (Arkansas): 5 + 8 = 13

Isobel Batt-Doyle (Washington): 6


He didn't have a ton of women to rely on, but he didn't need to thanks to a phenomenal double from Taylor Werner who provided a surprising 13 points. As for Batt-Doyle, she backed up her early season performances with a strong 3rd place finish in the 10k. But the real kicker to all of this is that he could have easily won the women's draft if it wasn't for Danae Rivers and/or Karisa Nelson who both failed to make it out of the prelims at Nationals. If Rivers wins the national title or finishes in the middle of the All-American spots with Karisa Nelson in the 1500, then Matt is walking away with the overall draft victory by one point over Ben. As for his other picks, they were all good selections (Rawlings, Egbeniyi, and Logue), but they just simply didn't work out for him.

3. Garrett Zatlin

Paige Stoner (Syracuse): 2

Whittni Orton (BYU): 1

Charlotte Prouse (New Mexico): 8

Erica Birk (BYU): 4

Makena Morley (Colorado): 3


Quality over quantity is the major takeaway from these picks. Despite having five women finish as First Team All-Americans, they simply didn't produce the big points that I needed. Stoner failed to match her expectations and Birk's fall on the final water pit didn't do me any favors. My all-out gamble on Erin Finn never worked out and I was on the unlucky side of Nicole Hutchinson failing to qualify for Nationals.

4. Sean Collins

Weini Kelati (New Mexico): 10 + 4 = 14

Anna Rohrer (Notre Dame): 3


Yes, Anna Rohrer may have scored, but Sean's team was mostly propped up by Weini Kelati who had a great weekend after finishing 1st in the 10k and 4th in the 5k. Much like Ben, Sean attempted to go after established stars who had proven themselves on the big stage. Unfortunately for him, he just picked the wrong women. Julia Rizk was last in the 1500 finals while Arkansas' Carina Viljoen failed to make it out of the prelims. When you add in the fact that Ednah Kurgat missed an All-American finish by one spot, it becomes clear why Sean was "only" 4th in our Draft standings.

5. Sam Ivanecky

Jessica Hull (Oregon): 8

Adva Cohen (New Mexico): 5

Fiona O’Keeffe (Stanford): 2


Frankly, all of Sam's scorers roughly worked out as expected. However, his reliance on steeplechasers Briana Ilarda and Cierra Simmons backfired as neither woman found themselves in the top eight at NCAA's. It also didn't help that Martha Bissah was the first woman to miss out on the 800 meter finals.

6. Michael Weidenbruch

Dani Jones (Colorado): 10


Thanks goodness Dani Jones was healthy enough to race this season. If she wasn't, Michael would be looking at a score of 0 (and a lot of embarrassment). Aragon never raced this season, Wasike never toed the line for the regional meet, both Paladino and Edwards missed qualifying for the 1500 finals, McArthur failed to make it out of the regionals, and Jessica Drop just couldn't handle the heat when racing the 5k (finishing 19th overall). Most of these picks had great upside, but the tradeoff was that they were far less reliable than other women who could have been chosen.

7. John Cusick

Susan Ejore (Oregon): 5

Allie Wilson (Monmouth): 4


John's chances of winning the women's draft were already looking bleak before the national meet even began. Monson was injured and didn't race at regionals while Rainsberger and Gregory surprised many of us by failing to qualify for Nationals. With Alexis Fuller and Rachel King struggling in the prelims, John had to salvage any points he could by relying on his 800 runners. Although they put up respectable numbers, it still wasn't enough to keep him out of last place.

Total distance points possible: 195

Total earned by our teams: 114

114/195 = 58.5%