Was not ranked the week before
First number indicates the change in a runner's ranking from week prior
Second number indicates where the runner was ranked last week
20. Shane Bracken, Saint Leo (Unranked)
Bracken jumps onto our list because of his performance last weekend. He ran 3:44 at the UF Tom Jones Invitational and currently has the second fastest raw time in the country. I have him moving into these rankings because he’s currently a lock to make the National Championship, while others at the end of this might not make the NCAA meet.
19. Jake Mitchem, Colorado Mines (-1 / 18)
Mitchem was idle this past weekend.
18. Jacob Kernell, Walsh (Unranked)
Kernell finds himself in the rankings for the first time this year after a strong conference championship race. The senior from Walsh ran 8:52 and captured the #4 fastest time in the country. It was also a seven second improvement upon his previous personal best. Kernell also ran a personal best in the 5000 with his time of 14:41 and was just edged out by freshman Emeric Arnaud of Davis and Elkins.
17. Luke Julian, Colorado Mines (-1 / 16)
Julian was idle this past weekend.
16. Christian Noble, Lee (Tenn.) (+1 / 17)
Noble attempted the rare 10k-Steeple-5k triple at his conference meet this past weekend. Even more rare than the three events was Noble taking home the title in all three of the races. He ran 32:42 to win the 10,000 by two seconds. He then ran 9:06 in the steeple to also win by two seconds. And on the last day, he ran the 5000 in 14:46 to win by three seconds. It’s safe to say that Noble is locked in on championship racing and will be ready for Nationals.
15. Devundrick Walker, CSU-Pueblo (-1 / 14)
Walker was idle this past weekend.
14. Ayman Zahafi, TAMU-Kingsville (+1 / 15)
I think we could go out on a limb and say that Zahafi has had one of the better seasons in terms of improvement. He’s essentially improved in every single race from the indoor season and now sits with a personal best of 1:48.54. That was already the fastest raw time in the NCAA and after the conversion, he sits at 1:48.13. With Thomas Staines focused on bigger things (like maybe the World Championships?), Zahafi has the top spot at Nationals in his sights and has a chance to achieve it.
13. Victor Moreau, Academy of Art (0 / 13)
Moreau raced at the Payton Jordan Invitational last week and ran 3:47 in the 1500. Surely he was looking to improve upon his 3:46 personal best, but he’s now raced three weekends in a row and I think it showed a bit over the last 200 meters of his race. Moreau is still insanely strong and should still be considered as a legitimate threat in the 1500.
12. Brett Meyer, Fort Hays State (0 / 12)
The Fort Hays senior capped off his regular season career with two 1st place finishes this past weekend. He took home the 1500 title in a time of 3:49 which also marked his second straight title in the event. He was also able to take home the 800 title with a time of 1:51.45. That time is also a top 30 mark in the NCAA. Meyer is still a favorite of many heading into the NCAA meet at 1500 meters and with his focus on just one race, we could see him take home his first NCAA title.
11. Taylor Stack, Western Colorado (0 / 11)
Stack was idle this past weekend.
10. Leakey Kipkosgei, American International (0 / 10)
Kipkosgei was a two-time champ at the Northeast-10 Championships over the weekend. He won the 1500 in a time of 3:53 and also won the steeplechase with a time of 9:09. There had been some question in regards to which event(s) would he run at the national meet and I think this is a clear indicator of what he will choose. Given his times throughout the season, Kipkosgei has the ability to double and these are his two strongest events. There’s a legitimate chance of him winning both of these race given the championship racing style.
9. Josh Hoskinson, Colorado Mines (0 / 9)
Hoskinson was idle this past weekend.
8. Marcelo Laguera, CSU-Pueblo (0 / 8)
Laguera was idle this past weekend.
7. Dennis Mbuta, Grand Valley State (0 / 7)
Mbuta was the 1500 meter champion for the GLIAC this past weekend in a time of 3:52. He also competed in the 800 where he finished 2nd in a time of 1:52. It’s still unclear if we will see him double up at the Outdoor National Championships like he did during indoors. His stronger race is the likely 800 and unlike indoors, he’ll have to get through prelims of the 1500 before the 800 prelims.
6. Felix Wammetsberger, Queens (N.C.) (0 / 6)
Wammetsberger was idle this past weekend.
5. Daniel Wallis, Queens (N.C.) (0 / 5)
Wallis was idle this past weekend.
4. Elias Gedyon, Adams State (0 / 4)
Gedyon ran at the Payton Jordan Invitational where he was trying to improve upon his personal best of 3:45. He ran 3:47 and was unable to finish with the leaders down the homestretch. The opinion of Gedyon doesn’t change given he’s run 13:45 on the year and ran just as fast at altitude this year. He's a strong favorite to compete for both the 1500 and 5000 title.
3. Thomas Staines, CSU-Pueblo (0 / 3)
Staines was idle this past weekend. He’s also made it known that his intentions are to qualify for the British team for the upcoming World Championships in Doha this summer. The Music City Distance Carnival where he’ll be attempting to achieve that is the weekend after Nationals, so his focus may be turned to something greater.
2. Sydney Gidabuday, Adams State (0 / 2)
Gidabuday finally debuted in the 5000 to a tune of 13:59. For Gidabuday, it wasn’t his greatest race, but it’s also the #3 fastest time in the NCAA this year. Behind only Panning and his teammate Gedyon, there’s a strong chance that it’ll be a three-man race like it was for the 3000 during indoors. Gidabuday hasn’t raced a 10,000 this year, but has raced multiple 1500s which has us believing that he’ll be attempting just the 5000 or go for the rare 1500/5000 double at NCAA's.
1. Zach Panning, Grand Valley State (0 / 1)
Panning's only race was the 5000 this past weekend where he was the winner in a time of 14:07, 23 seconds clear of 2nd place. Panning has been deemed as the favorite for the 5000 and 10,000 titles later this month for a while now. His ability to run his own race and force the issue gives him the upper hand on others who do not want to redline too early. He’s the reigning 5000 outdoor champ and with Ngandu out of the picture, the 10k looks to be his for the taking.
1. Thomas Staines (CSU-Pueblo)
2. Dennis Mbuta (Grand Valley State)
3. Ayman Zahafi (TAMU-Kingsville)
4. Devundrick Walker (CSU-Pueblo)
5. Shaquille Dill (St. Augustines)
1. Daniel Wallis (Queens (N.C.))
2. Felix Wammetsberger (Queens (N.C.))
3. Elias Gedyon (Adams State)
4. Brett Meyer (Fort Hays State)
5. Victor Moreau (Academy of Art)
1. Leakey Kipkosgei (American International)
2. Taylor Stack (Western Colorado)
3. Christian Noble (Lee (Tenn.))
4. Jacob Kernell (Walsh)
5. Jake Mitchem (Colorado Mines)
1. Zach Panning (Grand Valley State)
2. Sydney Gidabuday (Adams State)
3. Elias Gedyon (Adams State)
4. Josh Hoskinson (Colorado Mines)
5. Eddie King (Chico State)
1. Zach Panning (Grand Valley State)
2. Marcelo Laguera (CSU-Pueblo)
3. Tom Goforth (Saginaw Valley State)
4. Stetson Rayas (Dallas Baptist)
5. Jack Mastandrea (Charleston (W.V.))