John Thomas Terrier Classic Preview

Boston University's John Thomas Terrier meet is commonly known for giving athletes the chance to PR and nail-down solid early-season times and performances. The women will compete on Friday while the men finish it up on Saturday (well, most of them). Below, we breakdown some of the major storylines that you need to know for the next two days...

NAU Men Fill Out Loaded 5k Field on Friday Night

The Lumberjack quartet of Tyler Day, Geordie Beamish, Luis Grijalva, and Blaise Ferro headline an absolutely star-studded 5k field at this weekend’s meet in Boston. Craig Engels is set to pace Nike teammates Eric Jenkins and Paul Tanui through 3000 meters at around 13:13 pace, so look for the NAU men to latch on to that trio for as long as possible.

The four NAU men opened up their seasons at altitude at the NAU Skydome (6,877 feet elevation) by running the mile on January 17th. After conversions, Beamish, Grijalva, and Day secured mile times in the 3:58 to 3:59 range while Ferro - typically known for his prowess in the longer distances - recorded a converted time of 4:07.

Geordie Beamish, the defending NCAA indoor mile champion, will be an interesting name to watch given the uncertainty surrounding what he may pursue at Nationals. In addition to his incredible mile skills, Beamish also owns PR’s of 7:56 (3000) and 13:31 (outdoor 5000). He will look to dip under that 13:30 mark as he attempts to join Edwin Kurgat in the sub-13:30 club. Ironically, Kurgat ran his 13:24 earlier this season on this very track.

Veteran Tyler Day (seeded at #3) is another name who has produced some outstanding results over the past few years. His incredible consistency and willingness to attach himself to ultra-aggressive paces makes him a favorable candidate to potentially challenge Kurgat's NCAA #1 time on Friday.

As for Grijalva, this performance could end up being pivotal as he figures out what event he is best suited for at NCAA's. Conventional wisdom says that he's best at the 3000 and 5000 meters, but his converted 3:58 mile from last weekend was encouraging.

Then we have Blaise Ferro who will use this race as a potential bounce-back opportunity after a quiet cross country season. The 10k specialist hasn't always been a major factor on the indoor oval, but that could change on Friday night.

Each year, there seems to be a prime event at Boston that is held during the Friday night time slot. This year is no different. The NAU men will no doubt look to take advantage of some world-class pacing duties and a high-caliber field.

Boston College Women Well Represented in 5000 Meters

The Boston College Golden Eagles, who are coming off of a standout cross country season, currently have five women slated to run the 5000 meters on Friday and all five are listed in the top 10 of the meet’s performance list. In order of seed time, they include: Emeline Delanis, Isabelle Kennedy, Lauren White, Fian Sullivan Sweeney, and Anna Oeser.

Delanis is listed as the top athlete in the entire field and will look to work with her teammates to pace around a finishing time just under the 16:00 barrier. Delanis was unfortunately a DNF at this past fall’s NCAA XC Championships, but proved to be a vital piece of the BC cross country contingent. She currently owns indoor PR’s of 9:20 (3000) and 16:12. (5000), so it isn't totally out of the question for her to potentially win this race.

Isabelle Kennedy is listed next at a seed time of 16:15.

Kennedy proved to be an important piece of BC’s team this past fall when helped guid her team to a surprise National Championship birth and finished 51st at NCAA’s. She was able to open her indoor track season back in December at the Boston University Colyear-Danville meet with a respectable time of 16:34, and will surely look to improve upon that mark as she attempts to run alongside (or ahead of) Delanis.

Rounding out the top three of the field is Lauren White, who opened up her season a week ago by winning the Beantown Challenge 3000 meters in a time of 9:52, her current indoor PR. White finished in a respectable 104th at the NCAA XC Championships last fall and 17th at the Northeast XC Regional Championships. Though her seed time is slightly slower than her two teammates, look for White to bring her cross country success to the indoor oval en route to an improved resume.

The Eagles have a chance to put several of their athletes within the top 10 of this race. With athletes from other schools also pushing the pace at the front, it may give the Eagle women a chance to sit in and get their rhythms intact before they potentially take over the race in the last 1000 meters or so.

Worley, Carrozza Make Indoor Debut in the Mile for Texas

Texas star Sam Worley is entered as the #4 seed and top-ranked collegian in the men’s mile this weekend. His seed time and current indoor PR for the mile (3:57.98) slates him right in the middle of some top mile talents including Nike fan-favorite Craig Engels. Worley will also be joined by fellow Longhorn and freshman teammate Crayton Carrozza.

Carrozza will kick off his first indoor season as a collegiate and will hope to use teammate Worley to run as close as he can to his listed seed time of 3:58. He has already experienced some top level competition in his young college career, having finished 187th overall at last fall’s NCAA XC Championships. Despite the unexciting finish on the grass, Carrozza is clearly better suited for the track, owning personal bests of 1:50 (800) and 3:46 (1500) as a high schooler.

Worley was one of the most sought after recruits out of high school and has done nothing but show why he was so highly recruited. He has shown incredible middle distance range from the 400 meters up to the mile and even earned a top 30 finish at the NCAA XC Championships two months ago.

Carrozza is still young, but like Worley he has a high school resume that can make him a long-time problem for his conference rivals over the next four to five years. Look for him later on in the season before we get to the BIG 12 Championships.

Lotte Black Looks to Contend as Top Collegian in Mile

University of Rhode Island’s Lotte Black is listed as the top collegian in the women’s mile, sitting at a seed time of 4:35. While some may point to her current mile personal best of 4:48, it's important to recognize that Black ran 4:13 for 1500 meters last spring (en route to a 4th place finish at the national meet). If anything, that seed time of 4:35 is potentially slower than what her outdoor time suggests that she can do.

Black has also shown solid range over most middle and long distances throughout her career. She has an 800 meter PR of 2:04, a 1000 meter PR of 2:47, and (recently) a 3000 meter PR of 9:10. That 3k time actually came at Boston back in early December as she held off Arkansas ace Carina Viljoen (and Amy Cashin) for the win.

Considering her recent cross country success, exceptional range, and breakout spring track season, don't be surprised if Black is the new NCAA leader in the mile after this weekend.

Binghamton’s Schaffer Aims to Maintain Momentum

Dan Schaffer of Binghamton is slated to run the 3000 meters at this weekend’s meet with a listed seed time of 7:54.

Schaffer made some noise on January 11th at the Great Dane Classic in Staten Island, New York when he placed 1st in the mile in a blistering time of 4:01. His time placed him almost three seconds ahead of the next-best finisher and a whopping 15 seconds ahead of the next collegiate athlete. He was also able to finish ahead of Binghamton alum and current Garden State Track Club athlete Eric Holt, who has run under four minutes in the mile before.

Schaffer also opened up his indoor season back in December at the BU Colyear-Danville meet, running 14:03 for 5000 meters and finishing 18th in an uber-deep field.

This weekend, Schaffer will look to smash his current indoor 3k PR of 8:14 and make himself a member of the sub-eight club. If he is able to achieve that, then he will position himself nicely to begin a run at several of the America East conference titles in just about a month’s time.