Power Five Invite
In one of the more underrated fields of the weekend, the Power Five Invite could bring us some fast times. In the mile, we'll get to see recent sub-4 miler Kyle Mau (Indiana) toe the line along with teammate Ben Veatch, a guy who has been grabbing headlines in the longer distances this year. The Hoosier duo will also be joined by teammate Joseph Murphy.
Luckily, Indiana won't be the only team crowding the field as Stanford has entered two athletes of their own (Thomas Coyle & Patrick Perrier). Perrier has been a great consistent miler for the Cardinal over the past few years, but he just can't seem to dip under that 4 minute barrier. Thomas Coyle is a sub-4 minute miler himself, but he hasn't accomplished that since his sophomore year. Is this the meet where he'll get back under that 4 minute mark?
Other guys to keep an eye on are Michigan's Chase Barnett who just ran a 4:03 at Boston last week while Shane Streich of Minnesota could be a great sleeper pick when you consider his great tactical racing skills.
1. Kyle Mau (Indiana)
2. Chase Barnett (Michigan)
3. Ben Veatch (Indiana)
4. Patrick Perrier (Stanford)
5. Shane Streich (Minnesota)
6. Thomas Coyle (Stanford)
The 3K will be a mix of some great distance-oriented programs such as Michigan, Virginia, NC State, and Minnesota. The Michigan men will be led by Aaron Baumgarten, the Wolverine senior who owns a personal best time of 7:57 in this event. He will be favored to take the win in this field. His teammate, Connor Mora, has a PR of 8:06 in this event, but his 3:59 mile speed could make him a threat in a tactical race.
Others like Brent Demarest (Virginia), Obsa Ali (Minnesota), and Micah Beller (Michigan) all have PR's under 8:10, but they have yet to crack 8 minutes. With a guy like Aaron Baumgarten leading the race, you could definitely find one or two of those guys under the 8 minute barrier if everything goes perfectly.
If you're looking for a breakout performer, keep your eyes on Evan Ferlic (Minnesota) and Ben Barrett (NC State). Both of these individuals are young talents that have slowly begun to put together some really solid results. In a field like this, they could definitely thrive and record a fast time.
1. Aaron Baumgarten (Michigan)
2. Brent Demarest (Virginia)
3. Evan Ferlic (Minnesota)
4. Connor Mora (Michigan)
5. Aubrey Myjer (NC State)
6. Micah Beller (Michigan)
7. Obsa Ali (Minnesota)
At first, the entries may seem a little thin. Yet, upon a second look, you'll find that there is a lot of talent in this field.
Michigan's Ben Flanagan will most likely be the favorite when you consider that he is on his home track and is arguably the most experienced out of anyone on the performance list. With a PR of 14:02, he'll certainly be fighting at the front.
Yet, even with that personal best of 14:02, Flanagan still doesn't hold the fastest PR in this field. That accolade would belong to Indiana's Bryce Millar. The Hoosier sophomore owns a personal best time of 13:59 in this event which he ran in December of 2016. In a field that is not too strong, but not too weak, Millar could find himself back under that 14 minute mark if the pace is strong enough.
If you're looking for other sleeper picks, you should look at the young guys from NC State. Elijah Moskowitz and Patrick Sheehan have put together some really solid times throughout their career, but they are still waiting for that big breakout performance. Much like Millar, this field may be the perfect amount of talent to stay competitive, but still be pushed.
1. Ben Flanagan (Michigan)
2. Bryce Millar (Indiana)
3. Elijah Moskowitz (NC State)
4. Alex Corbett (Virginia)
5. Patrick Sheehan (NC State)
This will most likely be the event of the meet as we get to see Stanford's fully loaded relay (McGorty & Fisher) match up with Indiana's talented group (Kuhn & Mau). The matchup between these two will be exciting, although it's fair to say that Stanford is the heavy favorite. With two of the best individuals to ever come through a historic Stanford program, it will be hard to take down this group. Still, if Indiana can keep it close up until the mile leg, then they are bound to run something incredibly fast.
Of course, it would ignorant to forget about the home team, Michigan. They will be fielding a very solid relay of their own which includes sub-4 miler Connor Mora and 4:03 miler Chase Barnett (on the 1200). In theory, this group should stay close to Indiana throughout most of the race. However, the Wolverines will be without their 800 stud Brennan Munley which could give Indiana an advantage on the 800 leg when Daniel Kuhn gets the baton.
Don't be surprised if you see Stanford dip under 9:30 while two others flirt with the 9:31 mark...
1. Stanford Cardinal
2. Indiana Hoosiers
3. Michigan Wolverines
New Mexico Collegiate Classic
Admittedly, the field isn't all that stacked with college athletes. Most of the entries here are filled with professionals. That said, Sam Worley is entered to race, although he is also entered in the mile. If he doesn't run the mile, then this field, along with a nice altitude conversion, could put him somewhere along the lines of a 1:48 time.
In addition to Worley, I will be interested to see how Texas' Jake McConnell performs in this event. A strong result from him could give the Longhorns enough confidence to pursue a DMR in the future.
1. Sam Worley (Texas) <--if he doesn't run the mile
2. Kristian Hansen (New Mexico)
3. Jake McConnell (Texas)
This field will hold some of the best names in the state of Texas which should make for a great race. The star of this race will be Sam Worley (Texas) and unlike the 800, I believe that Worley will actually toe the line for this event. Worley will get to face off with UTEP stud Jonah Koech who ran a 4 flat mile (converted) a few weeks ago. Having a pair of 800/mile stars like these two could make this either an exciting race from the gun or a huge sit-and-kick race near the end.
However, we can't forget about Texas veteran Alex Rogers who owns personal bests of 1:48 and 3:40 (1500). This guy is a stud who has some great speed and even greater range. Rogers can do more than just compete with Worley and Koech. He can beat them.
Yet, with that in mind, Koech seems to be having a bounce-back season. Plus, he has the experience of racing at altitude. Worley does not. It will be interesting to see how these mile stars clash.
1. Jonah Koech (UTEP)
2. Alex Rogers (Texas)
3. Sam Worley (Texas)
The 3000 meters will essentially be a duel meet between Texas & UTEP with New Mexico sprinkled throughout the field. The Longhorns will be fielding key XC guys like John Rice and Connor Hendrickson while UTEP will have their long-distance guys, Cornelius Kapel and Antony Kosgei, toe the line as well. The finishing times for this race may not be incredibly fast, but it does present a great matchup.
We also need to take some time to acknowledge that Jacob Pickle (Texas) is finally back and set to race this weekend! After dealing with a series of injuries throughout his career, it's an encouraging sign to see him back on the performance list. Pickle will be racing in the 2nd heat of this event alongside freshman standout and teammate Connor O'Neill.
1. John Rice (Texas)
2. Antony Kosgei (UTEP)
3. Connor Hendrickson (Texas)
4. Connor O'Neill (Texas)
5. Jacob Pickle (Texas)
6. Cornelius Kapel (UTEP)