D1 National Meet Scouting Report: 5000 Meters (Men)

Our TSR staff is previewing each athlete in each distance event for the Indoor National Championships. Below, we offer analysis and evaluate how each of these athletes will fare at the National Championships. Names are ordered by seed time.

View Predictions Here

Tyler Day (NAU)

Other Events: 3k

Day exhausted his cross country eligibility in 2018 and had to train throughout the 2019 cross country season, but when he took to the indoor track, he emerged as a completely new athlete (for the better). His 13:16 5k at the Boston John Thomas Terrier Classic ranks him as the 3rd fastest indoor 5k runner all-time in collegiate history. When you add a 3:59 altitude converted mile and a 7:45 3k to his resume, it becomes clear that Day has become a multi-faceted threat in more than just the longer distances. Day will benefit from NCAA’s being held at altitude. With four other teammates in the race, this could end up being a training run for him.

Edwin Kurgat (Iowa State)

Other Events: 3k + DMR (not expected to run)

The 2019 cross country individual champion will be looking for his first indoor title in the 5k. Kurgat has recorded a trio of personal bests in the mile, 3k and 5k this season. However, he is coming off of a tough mile/3k/5k triple at the BIG 12 Championships, leaving us to wonder how he'll bounce back from roughly six miles of racing.

Alex Masai (Hofstra)

Other Events: N/A

Hofstra’s Masai enters Nationals with a 13:28 PR which he recently ran at Boston’s Last Chance Qualifier. In a field full of professional athletes, Masai held his own and took 25 seconds off of his personal best in said event. Aside from a strong 5k, Masai has also turned in a 7:53 3k this season, so it's clear that he has been consistently improving. However, for someone who is a clear front-runner, the Hofstra ace may struggle at altitude where asserting fast paces is difficult to do. He'll have to rely on a hard mid-race surge to separate himself (and others) from the pack.

Luis Grijalva (NAU)

Other Events: 3k

NAU’s Grijalva has the nation’s fastest 3k time, but also has a top 5k time and will be joined by plenty of his teammates at Nationals. Grijalva has quietly strong range, underrated kick, experience at championships and he trains at altitude. There is a lot to like about this NAU runner coming into this weekend.

Morgan Beadlescomb (Michigan State)

Other Events: N/A

Beadlescomb stayed somewhat under-the-radar this season mainly because he didn't leave the midwest for races. Even so, he secured his 5k national qualifier at the Iowa State Classic, winning by five seconds over Peter Seufer. He also out-leaned Indiana’s Ben Veatch at the BIG 10 Championships to pick up the 5k conference title. In other words, the Michigan State star has shown on multiple occasions that he can take down some of the NCAA's best. That should be an encouraging sign for the Spartan veteran heading into NCAA's.

Joe Klecker (Colorado)

Other Events: 3k

Klecker is the man of the hour and the top returner from the 2019 indoor national meet. He was 2nd last year in the 5k and then 2nd in cross country. Does he finally win his first individual title this weekend? Klecker has only raced three times this indoor season, an altitude-converted 3:55 mile, a 7:47 3k and a 13:34 5k, all of which are personal bests. He took down Iowa State’s Kurgat at the NYRR Millrose Games and is one of the favorites in the showdown with Kurgat and Day this weekend. He is arguably the most well-rounded runner in the field and the best suited to race at altitude.

Peter Seufer (Virginia Tech)

Other Events: 3k + DMR (not expected to run)

Could we see Seufer implement the same race plan that landed him a 4th place finish at the cross country national meet this past fall? Seufer kept the national meet honest during cross country and he will be making his debut at the indoor national meet this weekend. In what has been a breakout year for him, Seufer may attempt to get to the front and push the pace this weekend.

Jackson Mestler (Oregon)

Other Events: DMR (not expected to run)

Oregon’s sole Duck competing in the 5k is Jackson Mestler. He finished 2nd to Colorado’s Joe Klecker at the Husky Classic and it was there that he shaved 10 seconds off of his previous PR. One of the most underrated distance runners in the country, Mestler can be highly competitive in nearly any race he toes the line for. His consistency should translate into a great finish at the national meet.

Kigen Chemadi (Middle Tennessee State)

Jacob Choge (Middle Tennessee State)

Other Events: DMR (neither are expected to run)

The MTSU duo of Choge and Chemadi have been great this year. They secured a pair of sub-13:40 marks early in the season at Boston University before attacking the shorter distances for the next few months. It's clear that this duo has worked on refining their speed and tactics, but will that be enough to overcome their championship inconsistencies from the past few years?

Jacob Heslington (BYU)

Other Events: DMR (not expected to run)

BYU’s Jacob Heslington secured his national qualifying time in the 5k at the Husky Classic when he finished 4th, only five seconds away from 1st place. Heslington had a very strong cross country season, finishing 21st at NCAA’s and scoring valuable points to help BYU win the team title. Since then, he has carried that momentum over to the track. He has taken 19 seconds off of his 5k personal best as well as eight seconds off of his 3k this season. Heslington is on a hot streak and now gets to compete at altitude against a field where half of his competitors train at sea level.

Blaise Ferro (NAU)

Other Events: N/A

Ferro, NAU’s third 5k national qualifier, earned his qualifying time at the Husky Classic, finishing 5th just behind BYU’s Jacob Heslington. He didn’t start racing until late January/early February after recording a DNF at the Boston Season Opener. Despite nagging injuries, Ferro has bounced back incredibly well this season and not yet reached his full potential. He easily has the most upside out of anyone in this field if he's healthy.

Abdihamid Nur (NAU)

Other Events: N/A

Nur’s qualifying time was earned when he and teammate Ryan Raff ran altitude-converted 5k personal bests in Flagstaff. In his first NCAA season, Nur has performed with poise. He was a recent double-winner at the BIG Sky Championships in the 3k and 5k, beating numerous teammates in the process. He should benefit from both the altitude of New Mexico and having teammates to race with.

Eric Hamer (Colorado State)

Other Events: N/A

Without any cross country eligibility, Hamer put in a block of solid training during the fall and opened up in December at the Boston Season Opener. It was there that he turned heads when he ran a 19 second PR of 13:40 essentially by himself in the non-invite heat. Hamer later proved that his PR wasn't a fluke as he ran 13:43 to validate his fitness.

Tanner Anderson (Washington)

Other Events: N/A

A trend with some of these men is that they were out of cross country eligibility this past fall. Anderson was one of those men. The Washington senior got his PR and NCAA qualifying time at Boston’s Season Opener in December. The Husky veteran has been a consistent contender in the NCAA for years now and has great understanding of how to handle the elites in this field. He may not have a devastating kick or incredibly front-running tactics, but his quietly great positioning and experience should help him this weekend.

Ryan Raff (NAU)

Other Events: N/A

Raff is seeded at #16 in this field and can only go up from here. He picked up the final national qualifying spot with his altitude-converted 13:40 from the Mountain T’s Invite, a 30 second improvement off from his previous PR. Northern Arizona has a slew of elite talents, but Raff may be unfairly overlooked at times. He has quietly posted a handful of impressive performances between last fall and now. He's a key sleeper pick to watch on Friday night.