Predictions & Previews: UW Invite & John Thomas Terrier Invite

UW Invite


The fastest heat of the 800 could be an exciting one as Utah State's Clay Lambourne will toe the line next to Arizona veteran Collins Kibet. Lambourne is coming off of an outdoor track season where he ran a big PR of 1:47 while Kibet is attempting to reignite the fitness he had in the early portion of his career when he ran 1:46.87.

Yet, maybe the most exciting entry in this field is Stanford's Brandon McGorty, the freshman superstar who just ran 2:23 in the 1k two weeks ago. The younger McGorty brother already has PR's of 1:48 from high school which makes him a legitimate threat in this much so that he could even win. Still, he'll need to battle through some highly-skilled veterans and put himself at the front.

Speaking of fast freshmen, make sure you keep an eye on Washington freshman Devan Kirk who owns a personal best time of 1:51 from high school. He'll be competing in the 2nd fastest heat of the day and could mix it up some of the Washington State guys (Paul Ryan and Justin Janke) as well as Stanford's Christian White.


3. Collins Kibet (Arizona)

2. Brandon McGorty (Stanford)

1. Clay Lambourne (Utah State)


This will most likely be the race of the day as multiple heats of this event could set up for some very fast times. In the fastest heat, we'll get to see some of the NCAA's most underrated milers toe the line and engage in what should be an exciting race with multiple sub 4 minute results.

In terms of just the collegiates, I think it's fair to say that D2 star David Ribich is the favorite to be the top finisher. The guy already has a personal best of 3:39 in the 1500 and has become one of the biggest breakout stars over the past two track seasons. His 2:21 1k to defeat Oregon's Reed Brown and Mick Stanovsek a few weeks ago shows that he is in top fitness. He could very easily go under 4 minutes this weekend. Dare I say 3:57? I don't think I'm exaggerating.

Luckily for Ribich, he'll be pushed by some established milers. Kasey Knevelbaard, another recent star that has emerged over the past two track seasons, may have the most wicked kick in all of the NCAA. If the race turns tactical or he's close to the leaders at the end, he could very easily snag a win. With a personal best of 3:40 in the 1500, Knevelbaard is a contender to take the win.

Others like Jack Keelan, Andy Trouard, and Colby Gilbert are all experienced stars in their own right who all own personal bests under the 4 minute mark. Gilbert should thrive in a meet like this when you consider that he's racing on his home track. He's run 3:58 here before and should be able to do that once again.

Yet, one name in the fast heat that you need to know is Bradley's Daniel Gagne. Gagne has plenty of big race experience and owns a very solid PR of 3:43 in the 1500. He's a great tactical runner and could play a big role in this race. Don't underestimate these Bradley athletes...

The next fastest heat still has plenty of big-time talent such as Carlos Villareal who ran 4:02 last weekend. He's been a consistent miler throughout most of his career, but now could be the time where he really breaks out and has a head-turning performance.

Other Names To Watch:

- Patrick Perrier (Stanford)

- Thomas Coyle (Stanford)

- Isaac Cortes (Stanford)

- Steven Fahy (Stanford)

- Tai Dinger (Stanford)

- Joe Maloney (Weber State)

- Matthew Baxter (NAU)

- Justin Janke (Washington State)


7. Daniel Gagne (Bradley)

6. Carlos Villareal (Arizona)

5. Andy Trouard (NAU) 4. Jack Keelan (Stanford)

3. Colby Gilbert (Washington)

2. Kasey Knevelbaard (Southern Utah)

1. David Ribich (Western Oregon)


Remember when I said the mile was going to be the event of the day? I could be wrong when you look at the firepower that is headlining this field. Some of the top collegiates in the country have come together for what should be a monster 3k.

Overall, there isn't one name that pops out and strikes me as the favorite. Mike Tate (Southern Utah) has the fastest 5k PR in the field with a 13:34, but we haven't seen him much in the 3k distance. The same goes for Cameron Griffith who has been running some excellent times in the mid-distance events lately, but hasn't ever competed in the 3000 according to TFRRS.

Andrew Jordan is an interesting name to consider. He has an 8:07 PR from last indoor track season, but he is most likely in better shape than that after a monster cross country season where he finished 15th overall at Nationals. He's been working on his speed in the weeks leading up to now with multiple mile appearances. Hopefully that speed works complements the endurance that he was able to build up in the fall.

The final three names that I'll be watching are Dillon Maggard, Jack Bruce, and Garrett Corcoran. Maggard has been on a tear as of late after an NCAA #1 mile (4:00.03 converted) and a 6th place finish at NCAA's this past cross country season. This guy is a monster with incredible range when you consider that he has a 13:41 5k PR and a converted mile PR of 3:58. We haven't seen Maggard run a serious 3K recently, but his combination of speed and endurance could make him the perfect 3K runner.

As for Jack Bruce, he not only has great times (3:41, 7:58, 13:38) but his silver medal from NCAA's last spring gives him the status of an experienced veteran. He has been working on his speed as of late which is an encouraging sign for a race that could come down to a quick finish.

The final name that deserves a mention is Garrett Corcoran, the California senior who has gone under the radar in terms of overall performances. Corcoran may be the most adept to handling the rigors of the 3K which is a tough cross between speed and endurance. With a personal best of 7:52 and mile speed of 3:59, Corcoran could definitely be a key factor in this race. Admittedly, he can be a little streaky with his performances. However, in a race like this where the pace will be pushed, I imagine that he'll thrive and dip into the mid-7:50's.

Other Names To Watch: - Andrew Rafla (Boise State) - John Whelan (Washington State) - Addison DeHaven (Boise State) - Michael Williams (Washington State) - Michael Ward (Bradley) - Noah Schutte (Portland) - Kasey Knevelbaard (Southern Utah)


6. Cameron Griffith (Arkansas)

5. Andrew Jordan (Iowa State)

4. Garrett Corcoran (California)

3. Mike Tate (Southern Utah)

2. Jack Bruce (Arkansas)

1. Dillon Maggard (Utah State)


As far as the pro's go, this field may be the most stacked. Nike Oregon Project's Galen Rupp and Yomif Kejelcha will battle Hoka One One's Scott Fauble and Matt Llano in a race that is most likely a speed workout for guys who have marathon aspirations.

As for the collegiates in this race, I must admit that the field seems rather light. Utah State's Luke Beattie and James Withers are coming off of respectable cross country seasons and could translate that xc fitness to the track. In the 2nd heat, you may also want to keep an eye on guys like Paul Ziess (California) and Jake Finney (Washington State) as they could be solid sleeper picks for a fast time.


3. Paul Ziess (California)

2. James Withers (Utah State)

1. Luke Beattie (Utah State)

John Thomas Terrier Invite


Like most distance events at the John Thomas Invite, the 800 is a huge event with 137 entries in total. Of those entries, the collegiate that catches my eye the most has to be Sacred Heart's Trevor Guerrera who has run 2:24 for 1K so far this season. Guerrera is someone who often comes out strong at the beginning of the season which leads me to believe that he'll flirt with a sub 1:50 this weekend.

Despite Guerrera's impressive range from the 800 to the 3000, Brown's Zach Emrich could pose as a threat with a personal best of 1:49.12. Emrich is more of a shorter distance guy who boasts a PR of 1:03 in the 500 which will make this an interesting matchup when racing against Guerrera. Of course, if we're going to talk about Zach Emrich, then we also need to talk about his teammate Zach Lanigan. Unlike Emrich, Lanigan has a focus on the mid-distances with personal bests of 1:49.89, 2:28, and 3:48.

So which Brown runner will best handle a race against Guerrera? The one with better speed or the one better endurance?


3. Zach Emrich (Brown)

2. Zach Lanigan (Brown)

1. Trevor Guerrera (Sacred Heart)


The 1000 is a lot like the 800 with a ton of entries, but only a handful of athletes to talk about. Zach Lanigan, as mentioned in the 800, is also entered in the 1K. He has nice range and a PR of 2:28 in this event, but he'll need to battle with Providence's Nick Carleo who just ran a 4:09 mile earlier this season and owns a PR of 2:27 in this event. Assuming Lanigan opts to stay fresh for this race, then we could see a great matchup with a result that is as fast as 2:26.


3. Nick Feffer (Dartmouth)

2. Zach Lanigan (Brown) <--if he doesn't run the 800

1. Nick Carleo (Providence)


Looking for a fast race? This could one of the fastest races of the weekend as Justyn Knight will match up against a field of elite-level pro's such as Shadrack Kipchirchir, Peter Callahan, Kirubel Erassa, and many more. If he runs 3:56 or faster, then does Knight pursue this event at NCAA's? It would be interesting to see how he stacks up in a mile...

Knight will also be joined by teammates Aidan Tooker and Philo Germano. We don't often see Germano in a race as short as this, so it will be interesting to see how he handles the distance.

Of course, Syracuse is not the only college program bringing their top athletes. Iona's Chartt Miller is an established miler who has great experience against some of the best runners in the NCAA. With a 1500 PR of 3:43 and a mile PR of 4:00, Miller will certainly be in the mix among the top collegiates.

We also can't ignore the Michigan low-sticks of Connor Mora and Aaron Baumgarten. Last year at this meet, Mora dipped under 4 minutes for the first time in his career and earned a personal best time of 3:59. In a field like this, he should definitely be close to that mark again. As for Aaron Baumgarten, his PR of 4:03 could definitely improve this weekend and maybe even scare the 4 minute barrier.

So how many sub 4 minutes can we expect? Last year we saw four collegiates under that mark and I think we could see the same number again this year with the most likely suspects being Knight, Miller, Mora, and a surprise name. Who could that surprise name be? It's tough to say, but if I had to guess I would say Aidan Tooker. As a freshman, Tooker ran a 4:02 at this meet last year and is coming off of a monster cross country season where he finished 10th at the Wisconsin Invite. All signs point to a sub 4 minute time for him this weekend...

Other Names To Watch: - Chase Barnett (Michigan) - Johannes Motschmann (Iona) - Leakey Kipkosgei (American International) - Noah Affolder (Syracuse)


6. Chase Barnett (Michigan)

5. Aaron Baumgarten (Michigan)

4. Chartt Miller (Iona)

3. Connor Mora (Michigan)

2. Aidan Tooker (Syracuse)

1. Justyn Knight (Syracuse)


The 3000 is filled with a slew of professionals, but the collegiates will certainly make things exciting. Syracuse's Iliass Aouani will be one of the top collegiates in this field with a lifetime best of 7:57 which he ran at this very meet last year. He had a limited role with Syracuse's varsity this past cross country season so it's tough to know what we should expect from him this weekend.

Although Aouani will be a tough challenger, Georgetown's Jonathan Green will most likely be the top college athlete in this field. He may "only" have a PR of 8:08 in this event, but he just cruised to a very easy 8:11 on the double a couple weekends ago at the Penn State Challenge. After such an outstanding finish to his cross country season, Green most likely has the momentum to run something fast this weekend.

When I look to see if there are any others that could challenge for the win as the top collegiate, I can't help but think Liam Dee could be in the mix. Iona is fielding a heavy portion of their distance squad in this race, but Dee's resume stands out the most. With a strong mile PR of 3:58 complemented by times of 8:02 and 14:04, I can't help but think that Dee could contend with Green and Aouani.

In addition to those three, I'm excited to see how Paul Luevano and Alex Seal will do on their home track. Luevano is definitely a longer distance guy who can stick with a pace if it gets fast. On the other hand, Seal's mile speed could come in handy if other top competitors are within striking distance at the end of the race.

Despite all of the big names that are coming from D1, we can't forget about someone who could potentially contend for the win (or at least finish as the top collegiate). That runner is Tiffin's James Ngandu, the 2017 D2 XC Champion and 9x All-American who owns PR's of 8:03 and 13:46. He would need a significant drop in his 3k time to contend for the win, but I wouldn't put it past him to do so when you consider the string of performances we've seen from him over the past year.


5. Liam Dee (Iona)

4. Paul Luevano (Boston U.)

3. Iliass Aouani (Syracuse)

2. James Ngandu (Tiffin)

1. Jonathan Green (Georgetown)


If we're being honest, the field doesn't have the same firepower that the mile and 3000 fields do. It appears that Syracuse is entering some of their distance-oriented guys which could make up most of the top times that we see from the first few collegiate finishers. The field is rather thin, so it's tough to say who you should watch out. However, I will say that I am waiting for a big time from Kevin James (Syracuse). He is due for a breakout performance.

In fear of making predictions without the proper research, here are just some of the top collegiates that you should watch out for this weekend...

Names To Watch: - Kevin James (Syracuse)

- Domenic Hockenbury (Syracuse)

- Joe Dragon (Syracuse)

- Simon Smith (Syracuse)

- Aaron Hanlon (Providence)

#preview #predictions #ncaa #gzatlin #analysis