Indoor Top 25: Update #1 (1/15) (Men)

25. Cooper Teare, Sophomore, Oregon

The Oregon sophomore ran 7:53 and 3:59 last year, just missing the qualifying spots for Nationals. He bounced back last spring with times of 3:43 and 13:46 which eventually led to a national qualifier in the 5k. Teare didn’t have the greatest finish to his cross country season this past fall, but his talent should help him bounce back to have his best indoor season yet.

24. Zouhair Talbi, Junior, Florida State

The transfer from Morocco holds elite PR's in the 3k to the 10k running 8:01, 13:29, and 28:22. However, Talbi has yet to run collegiately, making him a huge question mark for this indoor season. Still, this is someone how could be yet another top runner to watch in the 5k.

23. Clayton Young, Rs. Junior, BYU

The Cougar ran a converted 7:59 in the 3k at the BYU Cougar Indoor Meet this past weekend to earn the win. Young has been known to throw down some incredibly fast times during the regular season and 2019 will likely be no different.

22. Devin Dixon, Junior, Texas A&M

Dixon finished 5th in the outdoor 800 last year and holds a PR of 1:45.62. A wide open 800 give Dixon a chance to finish in the top five once again with an outside chance of cracking into the top three. While he might not be the biggest name on this list, he certainly be a major factor this winter with another year of experience under his belt.

21. Vincent Kiprop, Senior, Alabama

The Alabama men deserve some love in these rankings, but the status of their health is still unknown. Although they are likely ready for the indoor season, we still need to see how they will rebound after so much time off. At the very least, we know Kiprop is someone capable of contending for a national title. That alone is enough to put him in a Top 25 spot for now.

20. Rory Linkletter, Rs. Senior, BYU

The All-American in cross country recently ran a 4:03 altitude converted mile at the BYU Cougar Indoor meet this past weekend. Linkletter finished 6th in last year’s indoor 5k and is the second-best returner only behind Alabama’s Vincent Kiprop. The Cougar should benefit from the tactical nature of championship races because of his great finishing kick.

19. Jonah Koech, Senior, Texas Tech

The brand new Red Raider has some of the best range in the country, sporting a 1:46 PR in the 800 and All-American accolades in cross country. Last year, Koech finished 9th in the indoor mile and 6th in the outdoor 800. Koech will be a legitimate contender in whatever event he chooses, but the mile looks like the perfect opportunity for him. With overwhelming speed and plenty of experience, don't count out Koech as a potential title contender.

18. Mick Stanvosek, Junior, Washington

The former Oregon Duck ran his first indoor race of the 2019 season in a Washington uniform, throwing down a 2:21.25 in the 1000 at the UW Preview. Stanvosek has run 3:57 for the mile and was able to qualify for Nationals last winter. The mile, like the 800, is pretty wide open so there is no reason why Stanvosek can’t earn himself a top five finish come March.

17. Kasey Knevelbaard, Rs. Junior, Southern Utah

Last year’s 5th place finisher in the mile during indoors, Knevelbaard is coming off of a redshirt cross country season. Luckily, he hasn't lost any momentum, running 13:56 for 5000 meters this past December. Knevelbaard is the top returner in a field that doesn't have an obvious favorite. With strong range and exceptional racing tactics, this Southern Utah Thunderbird could make some noise over the next two months.

16. John Dressel, Rs. Junior, Colorado

John Dressel reminded us of his talent by finishing 9th at cross country national meet a few months ago, but we shouldn’t forget about what he can do on the track. An injury held out Dressel for the 2018 indoor track season, but based on his recent cross performances he seems to have regained his fitness. Look for Dressel, along with teammate Joe Klecker, to be major factors in the 3k this year.

15. Kyle Mau, Junior, Indiana

Although it's not a time that will qualify him for Nationals, 4:01 in the mile at the Jim Green Invite is an impressive mark this early in the season. The Hoosier junior is coming off of a great cross country season and owns personal bests of 3:59 and 7:50. Look for Mau to qualify for Nationals in the 3k like he did last year, but earn a much stronger finish.

14. Johnathan Davis, Rs. Sophomore, Illinois

Davis was one of the four freshmen (indoor eligibility) who qualified for Nationals last year and 2019 will surely be no different. With PR's of 3:58 (unconverted) and 7:49, the Illinois ace is someone who could potentially earn double All-American in the mile and 3000 this year. With the mile not holding an overwhelming favorite, Davis could maybe even sneak into the national title conversation.

13. Carlos Villarreal, Junior, Arizona

After the strongest cross country season of his career, Villarreal will look to carry that momentum into track season. The Wildcat qualified for Indoor Nationals in the mile last year, but also owns a PR of 1:46 in the 800 which puts him right up there with the top 800 guys. If he decides to run the mile (which we believe he will), then he will have one of the best 800 PR’s in the field. If the mile comes down to the last lap, then Villarreal is a good bet to bring home the title.

12. Edwin Kurgat, Junior, Iowa State

Despite Kurgat’s 3rd place finish at Nationals during cross country, the Iowa State star has somehow gone under the radar. After failing to qualify for the indoor national meet last year, Kurgat will look to build upon his consecutive All-American finishes (from outdoors and cross country) and find the podium once again come March.

11. Bryce Hoppel, Junior, Kansas

The second-best returner from last year’s outdoor 800, Hoppel will look to strengthen his collegiate resume this winter. After a phenomenal regular season (wher he went undefeated) thee Jayhawk ace finished 8th at the indoor national meet. Since then, he has dramatically improved his PR in the 800 (1:47 to 1:45). Look for Hoppel to be near the front, battling it out with a few of the other top guys ahead of him on this list.

10. Robert Heppenstall, Senior, Wake Forest

Mr. Consistency clocks in at #10. Heppenstall has made it to Nationals every season of his career, and this winter may be his best shot at bringing home a title. I don’t know if there is another athlete in the 800 who is a bigger lock to make the 800 final than Heppenstall.

9. Tyler Day, Rs. Junior, Northern Arizona

Day started out his season on fire running 14:02 in the 5k which converted to a 13:31 when factoring in the altitude and flat-track. Day should be a contender in the 5k, but in a crowded field it is hard to say where he will finish if the race turns tactical. Regardless, he's one of the best distance runners in the nation and someone to keep an eye on.

8. Cameron Griffith, Senior, Arkansas

Griffith just missed All-American status in cross country, but is unlikely to miss out on that honor during indoors. The top returner from the 3k last year, Griffith boasts a 7:49 3k PR along with a 3:43 1500 PR. He showed his speed by finishing 8th in the 1500 during outdoors in 2018. Griffith should be one of the favorites in the 3k, and . who knows? He might be one of the rare few who attempts the 3k/mile double.

7. Amon Kemboi, Junior, Campbell

I don’t know if anyone had a better start to the season than Kemboi who threw down a 13:33 on December 1st. As our trusty Admin pointed out, Kemboi’s time puts him in elite company (especially this early in the season). With a PR of 3:39 in the 1500, Kemboi also sports some of the quickest legs among those competing in the 5k. Outside of Fisher and McDonald there might not be anyone as talented as Kemboi right now.

6. Marco Arop, Sophomore, Mississippi State

The top returner from last year’s outdoor 800 has yet to race individually, but was a part of Mississippi State 4x400 and DMR teams this past weekend. The sophomore qualified for Indoor Nationals last year, but didn’t make the final. Outdoors, however, was a different story after Arop ran a personal best of 1:45 to earn a runner-up finish at Nationals. Hopefully he has learned from those past two experiences and is able to put himself in contention for a title two months from now.

5. Joe Klecker, Rs. Junior, Colorado

Like his teammate John Dressel, Klecker had a strong finish to his 2018 cross country season, placing 8th at national meet. He did not run indoors last year, but he did finish 4th in the 3000 meters in 2017. After a statement race this past fall, don’t be surprised to see Klecker continue to make headlines on the track.

4. Joe White, Senior, Georgetown

As mentioned in our weekend review article, White ran 2:21.99 for 1000 meters at the Nittany Lion Challenge. White’s blend of experience and overwhelming talent makes him one of, if not THE, favorite in the 800 meters. In an 800 field that lacks any previous champions, White has to be in the top five of the power rankings at this point in the season.

3. Grant Fisher, Rs. Junior, Stanford

It might be a little controversial to put the runner-up in cross country 3rd in the power rankings, but I think that is more of a testament to the guys ahead of him. The runner-up to McDonald will be looking for revenge come indoors. With PR's of 7:48 and 13:30, Fisher can run with anyone (but we already knew that). He is one of the favorites to win both the 3k and 5k and bring home his first-ever indoor NCAA title.

2. Oliver Hoare, Junior, Wisconsin

I know I’ve said the mile field is pretty even across the board throughout these rankings, but Hoare might be the one exception. The guy has been running VERY as of late. After winning his first national title in the 1500 meters last spring, Hoare came back and had the best cross country season of his career (which eventually led to an All-American finish). He was 8th in the 3k last year and owns elite PR's of 3:37 and 7:51. There doesn’t seem to be much he can’t do. Hoare enters this indoor season as the favorite in the mile, but he could also look to record a top five finish in the 3k as well.

1. Morgan McDonald, Rs. Senior, Wisconsin

Last, but certainly not least, is the reigning champion from cross country: Morgan McDonald. The Wisconsin Badger showed everyone what he was capable of this past fall. He can hang with any pace, kick with pretty much anyone, and most importantly he puts himself in good positions to win races. The Aussie starts the year in the #1 spot due to his win in cross country. Until we are convinced otherwise, he'll remain at the top of the rankings.