Indoor Top 25: Update #3 (2/12) (Women)


25. Dorcas Wasike, Rs. Sophomore, Louisville (-11 / 14)

She hasn't done a whole lot since running 15:25 at Boston a couple of months ago. She ran 4:48 in mid-January, but the lack of results makes it hard to gauge her fitness. Still, she has a top-tier time this season and that is a big reason why she will stay in the rankings.


24. Jessica Pascoe, Junior, Florida (-1 / 23)

She hasn't run poorly since her 15:34 from December, but a 4:43 mile and 9:21 3k show that Pascoe may not have the same foot speed that others on this list do. Regardless, she is still a top runner in the NCAA.


23. Susan Ejore, Junior, Oregon (+1 / 24)

Ejore remains as one of the more underrated runners in the NCAA, but isn't moving much from her previous position in the rankings thanks to so many phenomenal performances from others on this list. So far this season, Ejore has produced times of 2:05, 2:44, and 4:35. I think she's a very realistic All-American candidate in whatever event she decides to run.


22. Katie Rainsberger, Rs. Sophomore, Washington (-9 / 13)

Rainsberger isn't dropping in the rankings based on her performances. It just happens to be one of those years where everyone is at another level. After running 4:36 earlier in the season, Rainsberger went on to run 9:02 at the Husky Classic this past weekend. She was the first woman to miss going under the nine minute barrier (finishing 7th overall). It's hard to penalize her for not running under 9:00, but I would have like to see her mix it up a little more with the top group.


21. Fiona O'Keeffe, Rs. Sophomore, Stanford (+4 / 25)

Her 4:39 personal best earlier this season was encouraging, but finishing as the top collegiate in the Husky Classic 5k was very impressive. With a time of 15:35, O'Keeffe has entered the All-American conversation in what has to be one of the deepest years for the 5k that the NCAA has ever seen.


I also like that she has a strong mile time on her resume. That's usually an indicator that she can compete in tactical championship meets. However, if the Cardinal opt to go all-in for the DMR later this season, then O'Keeffe may try to qualify for the 3000 meters at the MPSF Championships. That way, Stanford can have O'Keeffe scratch from the 5000 and attempt the DMR / 3k double.


20. Makena Morley, Junior, Colorado (Unranked)

Yes, I know O'Keeffe beat Morley in the Husky Classic 5k this past weekend, but Morley has yet to disappoint in the 2018-2019 academic calendar. Finishing at 8th the Cross Country National Championships, running an altitude converted 9:04 at the Colorado Invite, and running 15:37 this past weekend is not something that happens a lot. In simpler terms, Morley will produce big results regardless of where (or what) she has to race.


19. Carina Viljoen, Junior, Arkansas (0 / 19)

We haven't seen her run anything since her 4:33 mile at the Arkansas Invite, but I'm still a believer in her talent. When you look at the predicted scratches, she could be in contention to do something special in the mile come NCAA's.


18. Elly Henes, Junior, NC State (+4 / 22)

Henes has quietly put together one of the better seasons in the NCAA this year. She's run 4:38 for the mile and earned flat-track conversions of 9:01 and 15:34 this season. The NC State veteran knows how to handle the big stage has picked up a lot of momentum since the season began.


17. Sharon Lokedi, Senior, Kansas (-5 / 12)

We are likely dropping Lokedi far too much in these rankings, but I haven't been wowed by her like I have with other athletes in her our top 25. Her 9:06 at Iowa State this past weekend was respectable, but Erica Birk beat her soundly by six seconds. With the best women in the country running well under nine minutes, Lokedi isn't necessarily in the conversation when it comes to the 3k.


16. Karisa Nelson, Senior, Samford (-6 / 10)

It was an ugly race for Nelson at Millrose as she struggled to stick with the blistering fast pace that was set. Her time of 4:44 isn't indicative of her actual fitness, but it certainly didn't help her in the rankings. Much like Paladino, she has incredible range from 800 to 3000 meters. Still, I'm not sure this is the same Karisa Nelson who the 2017 national title in the mile two years ago.


15. Millie Paladino, Senior, Providence (+3 / 18)

2:08, 4:33, and 9:13 is incredible range for someone who also ran 2:42 for 1000 meters earlier this year. The Providence ace had (arguably) the best performance of her season last week in Boston where she was the top collegiate finisher in the mile. It's hard not to like a veteran who has succeeded on the national stage multiple times before and has elite range.


14. Sinclaire Johnson, Sophomore, Oklahoma State (-7 / 7)

Johnson's 9:10 for 3000 meters this past weekend was respectable, but it wasn't enough to stay inside our top 10. Still, her time of 2:43 for 1000 meters earlier this season, as well as her remarkable DMR/mile double at the UW Invitational, is hard to forget. She is still the real deal.


13. Allie Wilson, Senior, Monmouth (Unranked)

My goodness, Allie Wilson has been at another level this season. She may be the most consistent runner on this list. In her past four meets, she has run 2:06, 2:06, 2:05, and 2:02. That kind of improvement and those kind of times spell danger for her opponents in March. She hasn't always been the top collegiate in all of her races, but confidence and momentum is an underrated aspect of indoor track.


12. Martha Bissah, Junior, Norfolk State (Unranked)

Bissah has been a steady performer this indoor season. She started off running 2:47 for 1000 meters before shaving two seconds off of that time and running 2:45 one week later. Fast forward to the end of January, and Bissah ran 2:04. After taking her talents to Camel City, Bissah ran 2:03.99 which converted to 2:02.58 (NCAA #1). There's a lot to like about Bissah who already has an All-American finish under her belt from last spring.


11. Taylor Werner, Junior, Arkansas (Unranked)

We've only seen Werner in two 3k's this season, but both have been super impressive. She comfortably won the Arkansas Invite 3k in 9:08 before dropping a huge time of 8:56 in a wild Husky Classic 3k this past weekend. It's only been two races, but Werner has shown us a lot of good things so far.


10. Erica Birk, Senior, BYU (Unranked)

It was a statement race for Birk who comfortably took care of Sharon Lokedi at Iowa State in a time of 9:00 (six seconds better than Lokedi). If Birk had been in a faster race (i.e. Husky Classic), then I have no doubt that she would have been able to dip under the nine minute barrier. She's an aggressive runner who will fight with anyone for a top spot, and that is a big reason why she's #10 on our list.


9. Rachel Pocratsky, Senior, Virginia Tech (+2 / 11)

I love the versatility that Pocratsky owns. Her wicked fast 1k's, flat-track converted 4:33, and winning time of 2:05 at Iowa State this past weekend makes her the full package. She's consistent, constantly improving, running fast, displaying range, and earning top finishes/wins. There's not much more you could want.


8. Lauren Gregory, Rs. Freshman, Arkansas (+11 / 19)

Gregory owns a lethal blend of speed and endurance that most runners simply can't develop. Her 4:32 mile from the Arkansas Invite beautifully complements her 8:55 from the Husky Classic 3k where he placed 4th overall. She even ran 2:44 for 1000 meters earlier this season. For a redshirt freshman in her first season of competition, she has been wildly impressive.


I'm always a bit cautious of youngsters on the national stage, but Gregory has shown a lot of poise in her past two races when facing Jessica Hull. If anyone knows how to handle a championship race, it's Gregory.


7. Nicole Hutchinson, Senior, Villanova (+10 / 17)

I am a big fan of runners who can be competitive in both the mile and 3000 meters. Unsurprisingly, Hutchinson belongs to that group. Hutchinson displayed a lot of confidence in her aggressive push to the front in the Husky Classic 3k this past weekend. She was eventually rewarded with a huge personal best of 8:55. I like the way she attacked the race near the front of the pack and never relinquished a relatively favorable position. Hutchinson is ready to go for Nationals this year.


6. Ednah Kurgat, Senior, New Mexico (-2 / 4)

Is it just me or did Kurgat's 8:59 from the Husky Classic feel underwhelming? I hate saying that for anyone who runs that fast, but then again, Ednah Kurgat isn't just "anyone". With a lap to go, Kurgat wasn't near the top group and she simply didn't have enough leg speed to cover the gap. She's still a national title contender in the 5000 meters, but I'm not sure I see her doing the same in the 3k.


5. Allie Ostrander, Junior, Boise State (+4 / 9)

I really liked the race we saw from Ostrander at the Husky Classic this past weekend. She put herself in the top pack relatively early on and kept that position for the entire race. The Boise State junior didn't have the finishing speed that Hull had, but she was able to fend off a number of top talents (Hutchinson, Gregory, and Werner) who all have better mile PR's than her. With the exception of a better kick (in an already fast race), I'm not sure she could have done much more.


4. Weini Kelati, Sophomore, New Mexico (+1 / 5)

A number of fans were so distracted by a handful of different results that they failed to acknowledge the 6th place finisher in the Millrose 3k. Weini Kelati had a phenomenal race as she clung to a fast pace and let the field bring her to a time of 8:53.98 (NCAA #3). With a handful of high-level professionals in this race, the most you could ask for was Kelati to run a fast time (and she did just that).


3. Alicia Monson, Junior, Wisconsin (+18 / 21)

It's hard to put into words just how incredible Monson's performance at Millrose was. The Wisconsin junior held her own against a field of elites, leaving the Armory with a legendary win and an NCAA #3 All-Time result of 8:45. It's the best time for 3000 meters in the NCAA by nearly eight seconds this season.


We knew Monson was among the top-tier of women in the NCAA, but we didn't know where in that top-tier she stood. Clearly, her Millrose performance showed us that she is one of (if not the) the best collegiates in the country.


Unfortunately, I have to be a critic by asking some (fair) questions. Will Monson ever be able to replicate that performance again? Can she win a tactical race at Nationals? I'm not saying that I have the answers to those questions, but I'm not quite ready to hand Monson the national title just yet.


2. Jessica Hull, Senior, Oregon (0 / 2)

Yes, Monson may have run the fastest 3k in the NCAA this past weekend, but Jessica Hull has done too much to not earn the #2 spot. She can win fast races, she can win tactical races. She can win a mile, she can win a 3k. In other words, she can do it all. Her 8:53 win at the Husky Classic showed that Hull still has the best kick in the country even when you make the pace fast. I'm not sure I see a scenario where she isn't a national champion next month.


1. Danae Rivers, Junior, Penn State (+2 / 3)

As good as Hull might be, Rivers has matched all of her 2019 accolades. So far this season, Rivers has shattered the collegiate record for 1000 meters (2:38.58), owns the #3 time in the country for 800 meters (2:02.94), and just ran an NCAA #10 All-Time mile at Millrose (4:29.47). Between a collegiate record and an All-Time performance, I can't find an argument to not put Rivers at the #1 spot in our rankings.