Colorado Invite Preview

Updated: Apr 8, 2019

NCAA Indoor Mile Champion Stephanie Cotter Set to Make Outdoor Debut

Adam State’s standout freshman Stephanie Cotter is ready to prove to everyone why she was the 2019 NCAA indoor mile champion. Cotter was the surprise winner at Indoor NCAA's, upsetting her teammate Roisin Flanagan and she looked smooth doing it.

Cotter will also be making her 2019 outdoor track debut in the 800 this weekend. She may be known as a miler now, but she enters the race with a respectable PR of 2:09.49 in the event.

Cotter won’t be the only Adams State Grizzly in the 800 as teammates Roisin Flanagan and Haleigh Hunter-Galvan will be running with her. As we already mentioned, Flanagan was runner-up in the mile behind Cotter at NCAA’s. As for Hunter-Galvan, she joined Flanagan and Cotter on the DMR this past winter to help Adams State take home the national title. Expect all three of these women to run provisional times as they get their outdoor seasons started.

Thomas Staines Goes Up in Distance

The NCAA DII record holder and multiple time national champion Thomas Staines of CSU-Pueblo will be switching it up this weekend. Instead of his traditional 800, he’ll be running the 1500 against a loaded field. Staines will have his hands full competing against recent national champions such as Elias Gedyon and Sydney Gidabuday.This exciting 1500 will be paced by Nike professional Riley Masters.

We all know how dangerous Staines is in an 800 (he's nearly unbeatable), but it will be interesting to see how he holds up against established distance runners such as Gedyon and Gidabuday in a longer event.

Also joining in on the fun will be Fort Hays State’s Brett Meyer who is a national runner-up and owns a PR of 3:43. He recently finish 4th in the mile at the NCAA indoor national meet. He has some extremely underrated speed and is one of the better tactical runners in the country. Watch out for him this weekend.

Meyer will be joined by Luke Julian of Colorado Mines as well. The 5th place finisher from the NCAA indoor 3000 has run a 4:09 mile and he anchored the Orediggers DMR team to a 3rd place finish at NCAA's.

Ross Husch of Western Colorado anchored the Mountaineers DMR team to an 8th place finish just a few weeks ago. He recently ran 4:05 (for the mile) at Fum Mcgraw and is in search of a faster time. Adams State teammates Jackson Sayler (4:05 mile) and Paddy Robb (3:49.58 for 1500) are the last two D2 athletes in the heat.

It would be amiss of us if we didn’t mention the trio of elite Buffaloes who will be competing as well. Joe Klecker is fresh off of a 2nd place and a 3rd place finish in the 5000 and 3000 meters at the NCAA meet this past winter. He will be making his season debut this weekend. Teammate John Dressell has run 3:45.49 while Ryan Forsyth is fresh off a winter of training after finishing 9th at the NCAA cross country national meet.

How Fast Will the Flanagan Sisters Run? How Will the 800 National Champion Fare?

Roisin and Eilish Flanagan are the most dominant siblings in the NCAA. Both are entered to run the 1500 in the fast section which includes the defending indoor national champion in the 800, Sklyln Webb of UC-Colorado Springs.

Roisin has an impressive 1500 PR of 4:22.62 and Eilish has a personal best of 4:35.06. Webb is coming off a historic indoor season, running 2:04.68 and winning the 800 meter national title. We know she has the power and speed to run something fast, so it will very interesting to watch how Webb will be pulled by distance elites like the Flanagan sisters. All three women can run provisional and even automatic marks in this interesting 1500 field.

Making her debut this season is Alicja Konieczek of Western Colorado who currently holds the D2 collegiate record in the steeplechase. She also holds a personal best of 4:23.71. It’ll be interesting to see where Konieczek stands in terms of fitness. It’s an early test for her, but she should be in the thick of things.

Malena Grover and HaiLeigh Hunter-Galvan (Adams State) are the last D2 women in this heat. They both have 1500 PR's under the 4:34 mark.

NCAA vs the Pros

There is some big talent in the fast section of the men’s 800. Andrew Ferris of South Dakota Mines (1:52.48), Patrick Scoggins of CSU-Pueblo (1:53.07), and Cole Willis of Nebraska-Kearney (1:53.46) will be accompanied by a handful of professionals in this event. Chad Noelle, the former Oklahoma State All-American and current ASICS runner, will be pacing the field. He'll be joined by Will Leer of Under Armour and Tripp Hurt, the recent bronze medalist in the two mile at the 2019 USATF Indoor Championships. This race will be very fast as expected and these three runners should have no problem making things quick.