Predictions & Previews: Husky Classic & Iowa State Classic


Husky Classic

800

As we review the entries for this event, there are a variety of solid athletes sprinkled throughout the field. The fast heat will feature a pair of sub 1:50 guys in Idaho State's Daniel Garz (1:49) and Wyoming's Ricky Faure (1:48). We first saw Garz dip under the 1:50 at the end last spring season, although he has yet to break 1:51 this season (despite hitting the mark three different times). Meanwhile, Faure is coming off of a disappointing mile appearance at the Colorado Invite where he finished last overall.


When you add these individuals into a field that hold pros like Ryan Martin, Harun Abda, and Clayton Murphy, it's hard to think that Garz or Faure couldn't run a fast time.


Others to watch include Washington's Devan Kirk, Washington State's Justin Janke, and Penn State's Billy McDevitt.


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY)

1. Daniel Garz (Idaho State)

2. Billy McDevitt (Penn State)

3. Ricky Faure (Wyoming)


Mile

This event will be an exciting one as each heat is set to become progressively faster when you look at the talent throughout the field. In heat 6 of 7, we'll begin to see some potential sub-4 minute miles. Alex Rogers (Texas), based on PR's, is most likely the favorite in his heat when you consider his 1:48/3:40 range. However, he'll have to deal with the reemergence of Adam's State Elias Gedyon as well as rising stars like Ethan Moehn (Arkansas), Joe Maloney (Weber State), and Austin Tomagno (Oregon). Thomas Coyle is also a sub-4 miler in his own right, but he is still fighting to hit that mark for the first time since his sophomore year.


Overall, if the race comes down to speed, Rogers, Mohen, and Tomagno may be best suited to succeeded when you consider their accolades in the 800 and 1k.


As we work into the entries of the final heat, we'll notice a lot of talented top-tier names. The Nike Bowerman duo of Evan Jager and Lopez Lomong will toe the line to battle it out with some of the best collegiates on the west (and occasionally the east) coast.


The first few names we need to look at come from the Oregon men. Mick Stanovsek, Reed Brown, Sam Prakel, and Blake Haney will battle it out in an effort to better their NCAA ranking to solidify their spot to Nationals. Stanovsek appears to be the only Duck who isn't in real jeopardy of potentially losing that qualifying spot. Meanwhile, Blake Haney hasn't even dipped under the 4 minute mark yet this season. If he is able to get under it this weekend, will it even be enough?


Arizona's Carlos Villareal is in a similar situation and he went under the 4-minute barrier for the time in his career just few weeks ago. With a PR of 3:59, even he admitted that it may not be enough to qualify to the Big Dance (it won't be).


Maybe Texas freshman star Sam Worley is feeling the same pressure despite earning an altitude conversion of 3:58 last week. He'll be entering this race as well to further improve his mile qualifying time.


Arkansas' Cameron Griffith is coming off of an outstanding 3k debut a few weeks ago while Matthew Fayers (Oklahome State) and Liam Dee (Iona) are looking to become repeat achievers within the sub-4 mile club.


For some of these guys, there is a lot on the line, so don't expect the race to go out slow, especially with some elite professionals sprinkled throughout the field. Many guys are on the cusp of getting into NCAA's so they can't let this race get away from them in terms of the pacing.


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY)

1. Sam Prakel (Oregon)

2. Mick Stanovsek (Oregon)

3. Carlos Villareal (Arizona)

4. Cameron Griffith (Arkansas)

5. Blake Haney (Oregon)

6. Reed Brown (Oregon)

7. Liam Dee (Iona)

8. Alex Rogers (Texas)

9. Matthew Fayers (Oklahoma State)

10. Austin Tomagno (Oregon)


3000

Much like the mile, this event could provide a lot of excitement. The 4th of the five heats will be where things get interesting when you consider entries such as Trent Powell (Colorado State), Dustin Nading (Western Oregon), John Rice (Texas), Daniel Garcia (Butler), and Eduardo Herrera (Colorado).


However, the final heat is where things get really interesting. Two weeks off from his breakout 3:58 mile performance, David "Mr. 501" Ribich is ready to return to the track, this time in the 3000 meters. The WO senior has already shown off some impressive speed with a 2:21 1k earlier this season, but now we get to see what his endurance is like.


Of course, Ribich will have his hands full with this field. He'll be facing off against D2 distance specialist Sydney Gidabuday (Adams State) who can boast personal bests of 7:56 and 13:37.


Another notable name is Cooper Teare who will be attempting his first non-mile collegiate race this weekend. I'll be curious to see how he handles the upped level of competition in a race that he has yet to race in (collegiately).


The Arkansas duo of Cameron Griffith and Jake Bruce are also set to race, although it may make more sense for Griffith to race in the mile and Bruce to race in the 5k when you consider that both athletes currently rank top 10 in the nation for the 3k.


The milers from the Colorado Invite are also making a trip to the UW facility as they attempt to go up in distance from last week. Both Zach Perrin and Ben Saarel will look to build on their 1-2 finish from last week while Cole Rockhold will attempt to show off why he was an All-American in this event last year.


There are plenty of other big-time names to mention, but a few others to keep an eye out for include Mike Tate (Southern Utah), Jeff Thies (Portland), Colby Gilbert (Washington), and Garrett Corcoran (California).


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY)

1. Zach Perrin (Colorado)

2. Cole Rockhold (Colorado State)

3. Ben Saarel (Colorado)

4. Sydney Gidabuday (Adams State)

5. David Ribich (Western Oregon)

6. Jeff Thies (Portland)

7. Cooper Teare (Oregon)

8. Garrett Corcoran (California)

9. Kasey Knevelbaard (Southern Utah)

10. Zach Long (Tennessee)


5000

The last distance event that we'll cover is actually very similar to the field we'll see in the 3k as Gidabuday, Bruce, and Tate are all entered in this event again. I find it more likely that we see Bruce and Tate actually step on the track for the 5k rather than the 3k.


Of course, there is more talent than just those three. Alex George (Arkansas) will step onto the track for the first time in a while in an attempt to show that he has still maintained his endurance from the fall. On the flip side, Colorado State's Grant Fischer is coming off of a sub 8 minute 3k time (converted) and is looking to add a well-rounded 5k to his resume this season.


Fischer, however, will not be able to shake the man who beat him last week. Colorado's Ryan Forsyth is fresh off of a 3k win at the Colorado Invite last week and is looking to tack on another win. Luckily for Fischer, the 5k is an event that favors him more than it does Forsyth.


Yet, if there is one guy that I'll be watching the most, it has to be UCLA's Robert Brandt. He hit an 8:01 3k earlier this season at the Armory, but the 5k may the event that is better suited for him. With a personal best of 13:45 from his time with California, it's hard to dismiss this guy as a potential top three finisher.


There are a slew of other men that could be legitimate threats to place at the top of this field. Hassan Abdi (Oklahoma State), Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse (Portland), Gilbert Kirui (Iona), Tanner Anderson (Oklahoma State), and Emmanuel Rotich (Tulane) are just a few names of guys who could potentially put together a surprise finish in this event.


At the same time, be sure not to sleep on Butler's Barry Keane or the Air Force trio of Mickey Davey, Jacob Bilvado, and Andrew Johnston. Of these four, one of them is due for a breakout race.


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY)

1. Grant Fischer (Colorado State)

2. Emmanuel Rotich (Tulane)

3. Robert Brandt (UCLA)

4. Ryan Forsyth (Colorado)

5. Hassan Abdi (Oklahoma State)

6. Jack Bruce (Arkansas)

7. Alex George (Arkansas)

8. Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse (Portland)

9. Barry Keane (Butler)

10. Tanner Anderson (Oregon)


Iowa State Classic

800

As we review the entries for the ISU Classic, you can't help but get excited about the times we could see here this weekend.


In the fastest heat of the day, Isaiah Harris (Penn State) will return to the track in order to improve his NCAA #5 time of 1:47. Although he will be the favorite, he'll have to battle with other 800 studs like BYU's Abraham Alvarado and Indiana's Daniel Kuhn. Kuhn hasn't been the same elite 800 runner that we have grown used to seeing, but this would be a great opportunity to get his groove back and run under that 1:49 mark. He does own a PR of 1:46 after all...


Dylan Capwell (Monmouth) will also be in this field as he looks to continue his comeback campaign and reestablish himself among the elite 800 runners in the nation.


Yet, as fast as the final heat might be, the 8th heat could be just as fast if not faster. Iowa's Carter Lilly will return to the half-mile distance in an effort to battle 4x All-American Robert Heppenstall (Wake Forest). Others like Roshon Roomes (Iowa State), Bryce Hoppel (Kansas), Avery Bartlett (Georgia Tech), and Clay Lambourne (Utah State) will all be entered in this field as they look to better their NCAA qualifying time and secure themselves a spot to the Big Dance.


With qualifying position on the line, expect most of these races to go out fast. Many of these guys can't afford to let things get slow.


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY)

1. Abraham Alvarado (BYU)

2. Isaiah Harris (Penn State)

3. Robert Heppenstall (Wake Forest)

4. Dylan Capwell (Monmouth)

5. Daniel Kuhn (Indiana)

6. Bryce Hoppel (Kansas)

7. Avery Bartlett (Georgia Tech)

8. Jaymes Dennison (Iowa State)

9. Clay Lambourne (Utah State)

10. Roshon Roomes (Iowa State)


Mile

We may only have half the number of heats in the 800, but this field is still set to produce some strong results.


In heat 3 of 4, we could see a few rising stars have their breakout race. Former JUCO star and current Iowa State Cyclone Festus Lagat appears to be making his season debut in this event while other low-key milers Taylor FloydMews (Bradley), Shane Streich (Minnesota), David Graham (BYU), and Parker Scott (Ole Miss) are all potential names that could upset him for the win in this heat.


Yet, the biggest name to watch in heat 3 has to be Michigan's Connor Mora who, oddly enough, didn't qualify for the fast heat of this event (although teammate Chase Barnett did with a 4:03 PR). Mora will be the favorite in this field, but he shouldn't expect too many others to push the pace in this one when you consider how much of the heavy favorite he is.


As we transition away from heat 3 and begin our discussion about heat 4, there isn't much that changes. Bradley's Daniel Gagne will be the big name to watch in this one as he makes one last hard effort to go under the 4 minute barrier. He was so close at the UW Invite a few weeks ago, so now appears to be his last big chance to do so.


Gagne will have to battle some of the best rising milers out there such as Chase Barnett (Michigan), Dan Curts (Iowa State), and Christopher Marco (Monmouth). All of these guys have been a few ticks away from dipping under the 4 minute barrier, so expect someone to take this pace out hard as they attempt to establish themselves at the top of the NCAA leaderboard.


Yet, out of all of these names, the most glaring miss has to be Sean McGorty who was originally entered in this event prior to the release of the heat sheets. We didn't see him on the DMR at the Power 5 Invite and now we aren't seeing him at ISU. What is Stanford doing with one of the biggest stars in the NCAA?


Other notable names to watch include Kigen Chemadi (Mid. Tenn. State), Waleed Suliman (Ole Miss), Joseph Murphy (Indiana), and Bryan Kamau (Georiga).


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY)

1. Daniel Gagne (Bradley)

2. Chase Barnett (Michigan)

3. Dan Curts (Iowa State)

4. Connor Mora (Michigan)

5. Festus Lagat (Iowa State)

6. Waleed Suliman (Ole Miss)

7. David Graham (BYU)


3000 (Open + Invite)

In the fastest heat of the Open section, we'll get to see Michigan's Aaron Baumgarten battle it out with XC breakout star Nahon Solomon (Georgia Tech). Those two, along with Bradley's Michael Ward, most likely help push the pace in an effort to put themselves at the top of the NCAA leaderboard. Neither Baumgarten nor Solomon have gone under the 8 minute barrier yet this season, but Michael Ward did run a very fast 7:58 in Washington a few weeks ago.


Of course, the race is bound to be fast when you involve the BYU men. The Cougs will be fielding Kramer Morton and Jacob Heslington in hopes that they could break the 8 minute barrier (and potentially go even faster).


Others to watch out for include Casey Comber (Villanova) and Noah Schutte (Portland).


As we transition away from the Open section, we finally get to the invite section where things become much faster and much more interesting. Grant Fisher (Stanford) will be the headline name in this field as he looks to attempt his first open event as an attached collegiate since entering the Stanford program. With a personal best of 7:50 from his freshman year when he ran unattached, he should be one of the favorites to win it all.


Yet, despite Fisher's elite status within the running community, he'll have his hands full with plenty of other collegiate talent. Tyler Day, although redshirting, will be entered and he just came off of a mile performance where he ran a converted time of 3:56. Clearly, Day is in shape and has the capability of winning it all this weekend (although since he is unattached, he won't be counted in our predictions).


Speaking of fast converted miles, Illinois' Jonathan Davis will be seeing how far his range extends as he is set to enter this race as well. Davis caught the attention of many NCAA fans around the nation after running a 3:58 mile on a flat-track at the beginning of the season. That time was eventually given a conversion of 3:55. A good race for him here could do wonders for his confidence and give validation to his monster mile performance from a few weeks ago.


As we stay on the topic of fast milers, the top collegiate finisher at the UW Invite mile (Andy Trouard) is also set to enter. For most of his career, he has been recognized as a miler, but a big race for him here gives him the luxury of escaping a deep mile field and pursuing the 3k at Nationals.


Returning to the 3000 is Wisconsin's Oliver Hoare who ran a monster 7:54 time at the Armory a few weeks ago. He'll be looking to better his time and get key experience against some of the NCAA's best prior to Nationals.


Joining Hoare from the Armory is Iowa State's own Andrew Jordan who ran 7:56 in that race. That time, although fast, probably won't be enough for Jordan to get into NCAA's (and it appears that Coach Smith knows that). Jordan will make one last hard effort in this event to improve his time in the rankings.


Other names to look out for include Ben Veatch (Indiana), Kyle Mau (Indiana), Aidan Tooker (Syracuse), Matthew Baxter (NAU), Colin Abert (Penn State), Sean Tobin (Ole Miss), and Jack Keelan (Stanford).


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY) <-- OPEN

1. Grant Fisher (Stanford)

2. Andy Trouard (Northern Arizona)

3. Oliver Hoare (Wisconsin)

4. Jonathan Davis (Illinois)

5. Andrew Jordan (Iowa State)

6. Matthew Baxter (Northern Arizona)

7. Ben Veatch (Indiana)

8. Aidan Tooker (Syracuse)


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY) <-- INVITE

1. Michael Ward (Bradley)

2. Aaron Baumgarten (Michigan)

3. Nahom Solomon (Georgia Tech)

4. Noah Schutte (Portland)

5. Jacob Heslington (BYU)

6. Kramer Morton (BYU)

7. Casey Comber (Villanova)


5000 (Open + Invite)

Finally, the biggest event of the weekend! The performance list gave us a taste of what we could expect and the heat sheets have only confirmed out suspicions. Let's see if we can break down all of this madness at once...


The Open section for meets like these usually has a bad rep for being "boring" but the entries listed here are far from it.


BYU's Clayton Young has a 13:45 PR and will headline the field along with teammate's Conner Mantz and Connor McMillan. These three along with the field, could surprise a few people and help someone dip into the low 13:50's. Heck, it's possible that someone dips into the high 13:40's...


Guys like Philo Germano (Syracuse), Ben Flanagan (Michigan), and Jaret Carpenter (Purdue) will be interesting names to watch, especially when you consider that most of their training and racing has been long-distance oriented throughout most of their careers. Flanagan will be one of the biggest names on my radar this week after he hopped out of the Power 5 Invite 5k with just 800 meters to go. Maybe it was just a fluke, but you have to hope that he'll healthy enough to give it another go this weekend.


Peter Lomong (NAU) was an interesting entry that caught my eye. After his breakout 8th place finish at XC Nationals this past fall, I think we all knew that we would see him in longer races like these. Still, I question whether or not he can replicate that kind of magic on the track.


Other names to keep an eye out for include Tim McGowan (Penn State), Aaron Templeton (Furman), Cory Glines (NAU), and Andrew Marston (Villanova).


Now, we get into the part that everyone wants to talk about: The Invite 5k.


This field is absolutely stacked with some of the NCAA best distance runners set to compete. As most of you have heard, Justyn Knight is the main name to watch in all of this. He's coming off of 3:55 and 7:45 mile and 3k performances over the past two weeks. This man is on fire and should the heavy favorite to take it all.


Yet, just like Fisher, Knight will have his hands full when you look at some of the elite talent in this field.


The entire Alabama trio is entered this race, so you can expect one of them to push the pace and keep things honest even after the rabbit steps off. Even if they don't end the day with a fast time, they will certainly not let things get slow. The same goes for Campbell's Lawrence Kipkoech who has been known to push the pace in big races such as this.


That, of course, plays well into the hands of guys with some of the best PR's in the field such as Rory Linkletter (BYU) and Dillon Maggard (Utah State).


Linkletter boasts "only" a PR of 13:49, although his 7:55 3k and 28:58 10k tell us that he could go faster. Maggard, on the other hand, has the 5k PR of 13:41 to back up our hype. It also helps that he secured the win at the UW Invite with a 7:52 earlier this season. Simply put, Maggard is in some wicked shape and should not be taken lightly.


If we mention Rory Linkletter, that means we can't leave out his BYU brethren. Daniel Carney and Clayson Shumway are guys that I'll be watching in this race. When racing together in elite fields like this, the Cougars have always found a way to be successful. I'm expecting all three of these athletes to be under 14 minutes by the end of the weekend.


Jonathan Green (Georgetown) is a name that should definitely be on your radar. He quietly put together some very solid performances over the cross country season and could do so here in one of the fastest 5k's in the country. Historically, he has done well with faster competition, so this race should be beneficial for him.


It's impossible to mention everyone, but you should also keep your eyes on Jacob Thomson (Kentucky). The man soloed a 7:53 3k earlier this year. I'll be curious to see how he handles a crowded field of talent that is just as good as him.


Finally, I think it's important to note that Wisconsin's Joe Hardy is entered this field. The Badger senior had a huge cross country season this past fall and has maintained that fitness throughout this winter. He ran 7:57 for 3k a few weeks ago, so expect a increase in the racing distance to benefit him.


Other names in this field include Amon Kemboi (Campbell), Azaria Kirwa (Liberty), Blaise Ferro (NAU), Arsene Guillorel (Samford), Iliass Aouani (Syracuse), and Steven Fahy (Stanford).


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY) <-- OPEN

1. Clayton Young (BYU)

2. Philo Germano (Syracuse)

3. Connor McMillan (BYU)

4. Ben Flanagan (Michigan)

5. Jaret Carpenter (Purdue)

6. Aaron Templeton (Furman)

7. Conner Mantz (BYU)

8. Tim McGowan (Penn State)

9. Andrew Marston (Villanova)

10. Peter Lomong (Northern Arizona)


FINAL PREDICTIONS (COLLEGE ONLY) <-- OPEN

1. Justyn Knight (Syracuse)

2. Dillon Maggard (Utah State)

3. Rory Linkletter (BYU)

4. Alfred Chelenga (Alabama)

5. Jonathan Green (Georgetown)

6. Jacob Thomson (Kentucky)

7. Daniel Carney (BYU)

8. Joe Hardy (Wisconsin)

9. Lawrence Kipkoech (Campbell)

10. Clayson Shumway (BYU)