(Unranked): 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
15. Ayman Zahafi, TAMU-Kingsville (Unranked)
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t high on Zahafi going into the weekend, but I guess I’ve learned my lesson. Zahafi impressed with a 3rd place finish in the 800. He ran 1:49.81 which happened to eclipse his previous personal best of 1:49.96 that he set at his conference meet at the end of February. The sophomore looks to be primed for a breakout outdoor season.
14. Devundrick Walker, CSU-Pueblo (-2 / 12)
Walker is really only falling here because everyone else had a great national meet performances. He helped CSU-Pueblo take home it’s very first national title in the distance medley relay with an awesome 800 leg. He had qualified for the 800 final earlier in the day and he came back the next day to finish 6th. In fact, he ran the EXACT same time in the prelims and the finals. I like Walker moving forward into the outdoor season.
13. Victor Moreau, Academy of Art (+1 / 14)
Moreau didn’t qualify for the mile on the first day, largely due to being in the slower (first) heat, but still had himself a strong meet. He came back on day two and ran 8:13.45 to finish 4th in the 3000. It was also Moreau’s first All-American honors and he couldn’t have run a better race given the circumstances of the three finishers in front of him.
12. Benoit Campion, American International (-1 / 11)
Campion finished better than I expected, but like Walker, he slips here because others had better races than he did. The freshman impressed with his savvy racing skills in the preliminaries to get into the final. The only thing that he really needs to improve upon is his closing speed, but that will come with experience and maturity.
11. Brett Meyer, Fort Hays State (-6 / 5)
I think Meyer would agree with us that he had a disappointing weekend considering the expectations that he had put on himself. He came in with the #3 fastest seed time and althugh he finished 4th in the mile, he succumbed to being the leader for most of the race. In reality, Meyer did not have a bad weekend, but there is room for improvement considering he was 2nd at this meet last year.
10. Rowan Doherty, Simon Fraser (-1 / 9)
Doherty started his National Championship weekend with one of the best performances of the meet. He helped Simon Fraser earn a 2nd place finish in the distance medley relay with an awesome mile leg to edge Colorado Mines by .08. He then came back on day two and finished 7th in the 3000 to claim his second All-American performance of the weekend. Doherty was an athlete that I liked coming into the weekend and I think he performed up to his expectations, if not better.
9. Josh Hoskinson, Colorado Mines (-1 / 8)
It was a hot and cold weekend for Hoskinson. He impressed with his 3rd place finish in the 5000 as he played the field perfectly and was able to hold off his opponents in the last 50 meters. However, it seemed that he felt some ill effects from the day before as Hoskinson ran 8:22 to finish four seconds out of the 8th position in the 3000 meters. Given how close he was to his PR in the 5000, the outdoor season should be extremely good for the Colorado Mines senior.
8. Taylor Stack (Western Colorado) (-1 / 7)
I think Stack had a very impressive national meet. He garnered himself two All-American spots last weekend. The first came the way of the 5000 meters as he finished 8th and ran 14:12 after deciding he was going to lead the chase pack to go after Panning and Gidabuday. He came back the next day in the 3000 meters and finished 6th. It certainly looks like his experience from last year has given him the experience needed to be successful.
7. Daniel Wallis, Queens (N.C.) (+6 / 13)
Wallis may have impressed me the most after his showing. He proved me wrong in the mile by finishing 2nd overall as he helped show the country that Queens University is a school that should not be reckoned with. After leaving us a tad curious as to why he ran the 3000 meters the weekend before, he came back and finished 8th in that race, giving him his second All-American honors in the span of a couple hours.
6. Dennis Mbuta, Grand Valley State (0 / 6)
Mbuta found himself in an interesting place last Friday evening as he qualified for the 800 meter final and in just a short time span after, he had the baton in his hand as Thomas Staines breathed down his neck. He was able to survive the onslaught of other teams as he helped the Grand Valley team finish in 5th place. He came back the next day and was the runner-up in the 800.
5. Felix Wammetsberger, Queens (N.C). (+5 / 10)
Wammetsberger was one of the biggest surprises of the weekend. The Queens athlete usurped the favorites in the mile after he swung wide in the last 50 meters giving him the national crown. He was a mere .02 in front of his teammate Wallis giving the Royals a 1-2 finish in a fantastic race. Given his success this indoor season, he should also see a successful season as outdoor rolls around.
4. Zach Panning, Grand Valley State (-1 / 3)
It’s tough to figure out where to place Panning after his weekend. He placed 2nd in the 5000 with a personal best effort of 13:46.87 and was a half second behind the winner in Sydney Gidabuday. The two battled to one of the best championship races in recent history and Panning came up just short. The next day, Panning finished 3rd in the 3000 behind the likes of Elias Gedyon and Gidabuday. Panning is an elite talent who just so happens to be competing against some of the best D2 athletes in history.
3. Elias Gedyon, Adams State (+1 / 4)
After leaving Gedyon off of the DMR roster, it was clear that the intention was for him to win the mile and to maximize points in the 3000. Gedyon was the favorite coming into the mile after his performances throughout the season. After easily making the final, he was outraced in the final and finished 3rd. He bounced back later and took home the 3000 meter crown in a strong race.
2. Sydney Gidabuday, Adams State (0 / 2)
Gidabuday won the 5000 meter race for his seventh national title and he won it in a very strong effort from the gun. It was a strong tactical race that allowed him to take advantage of his closing speed. It was fully expected for him to take home his eighth title in the 3000, but instead, his teammate took home the win. His 2nd place finish helped maximize the distance points needed for the team title (although they ended up losing by one point). Gidabuday, if he hasn’t already, has solidified himself as one of the greatest D2 runners in NCAA history.
1. Thomas Staines, CSU-Pueblo (0 / 1)
Staines continued to build his legacy with another pair of titles this weekend. The first one from the distance medley relay as he was the anchor on the Thunderwolves team that brought home the first DMR title in school history. He came back on day two and won his third straight 800 meter title by a second over Mbuta of GVSU. This gives Staines four national titles in seven national meet races. With another title likely on the way during the outdoor season, Staines will cement his legacy as one of the best 800 meter athletes in D2 history.
1. Thomas Staines (CSU-Pueblo)
2. Dennis Mbuta (Grand Valley State)
3. Devundrick Walker (CSU-Pueblo)
4. Ayman Zahafi (TAMU-Kingsville)
5. Samuel Yaro (Lindenwood)
1. Felix Wammetsberger (Queens (N.C.))
2. Elias Gedyon (Adams State)
3. Daniel Wallis (Queens (N.C.))
4. Brett Meyer (Fort Hays State)
5. Benoit Campion (American International)
1. Sydney Gidabuday (Adams State)
2. Zach Panning (Grand Valley State)
3. Elias Gedyon (Adams State)
4. Victor Moreau (Academy of Art)
5. Luke Julian (Colorado Mines)
1. Sydney Gidabuday (Adams State)
2. Zach Panning (Grand Valley State)
3. Josh Hoskinson (Colorado Mines)
4. Gidieon Kimutai (Missouri Southern)
5. Jacob Klemz (Washburn)