The Weekend Review (4/23/17)

Virginia Challenge


What. A. Race.

In what may have been the best race of the weekend, we saw Isaiah Harris and Andres Arroyo battle to two sub-1:46 times. Harris was able to hold off Arroyo and earn the win in a time of 1:45.12 while Arroyo held on to finish runner-up in a time of 1:45.74. We all knew Harris was in 1:45 shape, but for Arroyo to get a personal best shows that this season may be different than all of the other ones…

The next two spots went to the Virginia Tech duo of Drew Piazza and Patrick Joseph who ran solid times of 1:46 to keep themselves in the national title conversation.

Penn State frosh Dom Perretta was a pleasant surprise in 5th place as he barely edged Robert Heppenstall 1:47.29 to 1:47.30. It’s a great race for the young Nittany Lion who is looking to be yet another national threat for Penn State in the future.

On the flipside, this is the first sub-par race Heppenstall has had in a very long time. I expected a 1:46 out of him but he faltered a bit behind in this race. Still, the future is bright for the Wake Forest sophomore and I’m sure he will rebound when the post-season rolls around.


As expected, Justyn Knight locked down the win this past weekend over a very strong field. The time was a respectable 3:42.11. However, his win was not easy. Michigan State sophomore Justine Kiprotich was just behind our winner with a time of 3:42.36.

This is the first true breakout race for Kiprotich who has run fast times and earned wins, but has never had a time as legit as this. Potential NCAA qualifier? Add him to the list…

Veterans like Wynne, Randon, and Gourley all finished with times of 3:42 to round out the top five. Solid runs for this trio, but times like that are expected at their level.

Not the best race for Ryan Adams as he runs a 3:44, but it looks as though this race was relatively tactical with the entire top five all within a second of each other. There is a good chance that a big final kick was too much for Adams to finish with that top group.

3000 Steeple

Welcome to the title conversation, Jamaine Coleman! The Eastern Kentucky junior completely separated himself from the field and won the race with a time of 8:42. Coleman absolutely dominated as no other individual dipped under 8:50.

Other notable performances included Syracuse freshman Aidan Tooker running a solid 8:54 in his steeplechase debut.

But for every good performance there is typically a poor one. Iona’s Johannes Motschmann struggled in his second steeplechase of the season by running a time of 9:00. I picked Johannes for the win so this was certainly a surprise in my mind.


While Johannes Motschmann may have struggled in his event, teammate Chartt Miller made up for it with a big-time win and a time of 13:49.60 to put him at an NCAA #21 overall. However, that win was not easy as Oakland’s Bryce Stroede finished runner-up in a time of 13:49.90. This has been a heck of a breakout season for Stroede who now has three personal bests and two school records in the past two months of competition. He has been on a roll this season and I’m only looking forward to seeing more performances from him.

ACC rivals Zach Herriot (Virginia) and Peter Seufer (Virginia Tech) were the next two finishers, each running times of 13:53.

In total, nine individuals broke the 14-minute barrier.

However, there were some big-name distance runners that failed to have much of an impact in this race. Sherod Hardt (Michigan State), Gilbert Kirui (Iona), and Colin Bennie (Syracuse) failed to break 14 minutes and all three placed outside of the top 10.


Sid Vaughn (Georgia) continues to roll with a nice win and time of 29:08. Vaughn is starting to establish himself as one of the more consistent long distance runners around the nation. A win like this could do wonders for his confidence in the post-season.

The next collegiate to cross the line was Navy’s Lucas Stalnaker in a time of 29:11. Andrew Tario (Iona), Kevin Pulliam (Notre Dame), and Bryan Kamau (Georgia) took the next three spots behind Stalnaker with times of 29:49, 29:50, and 29:51 respectively.

War Eagle Invite


Alabama alum Alex Amankwah took the win and guided Ryan Manahan (Ole Miss) to a very strong time of 1:46.92! That time currently ties Manahan with teammate Craig Engels for the 9th spot in the NCAA.

Sampson Laari (MTSU) was runner-up in this race with a time of 1:47.34.


What can Eliud Rutto (MTSU) not do? The MTSU senior seemed unfazed by his move up in distance and recorded an outstanding time of 3:41 (NCAA #11) to get the win. Rutto was able to lead teammate Geoffry Cheruiyot to an excellent time of 3:42 (NCAA #25) which is a massive six second personal best for the MTSU junior.

Auburn’s Wesley Curles was the third collegiate finisher in a time of 3:44.


Have a day Jacob Choge! The MTSU freshman pulled off a major upset this past weekend by defeating Alabama’s Alfred Chelanga 13:39 to 13:53. Not only is this a huge win for Choge, but it’s also the 7th fastest time in the nation.

This race only goes to show that Choge’s 28:42 10k at Mnt. SAC last weekend was no fluke and that this kid is for real.

LSU Alumni Gold Invite


Wow! What a race we had here between LSU’s Blair Henderson and the Clemson 800 trio. Henderson pulled off the win in a respectable time of 1:47.39, but he led Clemson’s Mpho Makofane and John Lewis to a pair of 1:47’s as well. Clemson frosh Terrell Jackson was super close to the sub 1:48 mark with a time of 1:48.01.

All three times were personal bests for the men in orange.

Duke Invite


Ryan Hastings (Appalachian State) took the win in a time of 1:48.02 to defeat Nike pro Cory Leslie and ECU junior Stefano Migliorati (each ran times of 1:48).

Michael Johnson Invite


Texas A&M freshman Devin Dixon got the win over Baylor’s Zacharias Curran, 1:48.27 to 1:48.60.

Larry Ellis Invite


Chris Hatler (Penn) dropped down in distance, but finished as the top collegiate in this event with a time of 1:48.88.


In one of the more underrated races of the weekend, we saw Princeton’s William Paulson pull off a huge upset victory over Adidas-sponsored athlete Drew Hunter, 3:42.23 to 3:42.89. Adam Palamar (Syracuse) and Julian Oakley (Providence) each ran times of 3:43 low to take the next two spots.

Before we move on, let’s emphasize the importance of this win for Paulson. Not only did he defeat one of the most exciting young talents in the nation, he also defeated two All-Americans in their own event! Paulson is currently 19th in the NCAA 1500 standings.

John Jacobs Invite

3000 Steeple

Dylan Blankenbaker (Oklahoma) solos an 8:49 to get the win by roughly 22 seconds.

John McDonnell Invite


Eric Brown (Wisconsin) earned his second straight win of the season with a time of 1:48 to get a surprise upset over Arkansas’ Carlton Orange.

I’m a bit concerned about Orange at the moment as he has yet to run under 1:48 so far this season. As a freshman, the Arkansas Razorback ran 1:46 and was an All-American during indoors.


Jack Bruce (Arkansas) continues his huge season with a personal best of 3:41 to defeat German Fernandez and put another win on his resume. Bruce is at another level and looks to be a legit All-American threat by the time the post-season rolls around.

After Bruce and Fernandez came Wisconsin’s Carl Hirsch and Oliver Hoare. The Badger duo ran solid times of 3:43 to show that this program can compete in more than the longer distances.

Stanford Cardinal Classic


Minnesota took the top three spots with Shane Streich and Derek Wiebke running 1:48.83 and 1:49.91.

800: INVITE Dillon Maggard and Colby Wilson has kept Utah State at the top of the results and it looks like Clay Lambourne will continue to do the same after defeating Mitch Hechsel (Minnesota) and Myles Marshall (Harvard). The entire top three ran 1:47 which is a personal best time for all three of these finishers.

Once again, Jake Burton (Florida State) struggled after finishing 5th overall with a time of 1:50. The 1:47 man and previous national qualifier has been having a rough season after a hamstring injury hampered his ability to train.

1500: INVITE

All eyes were on the Virginia Challenge to produce some fast 1500’s, but the best results in this event came from Stanford as seven individuals ran under 3:44. Saarel led the way with an impressive time of 3:40, but was closely followed by Craig Nowak (Oklahoma State) and Texas sophomore Alex Rogers. Both athletes were also at 3:40.

Saarel and Nowak are established milers, but Rogers is starting to become one of the most exciting young names that the nation has to offer. We saw Rogers qualify for nationals in the 1500 last year, but he was not running the times he is now. In just this season, Rogers has run three personal bests of 1:48, 3:40, and 8:48 (steeplechase).

Dillon Maggard (Utah State) and Andy Trouard (NAU-UNAT) ran 3:42 to round out the top five while Dan Curts (Iowa State) and Michael Hall (Florida State) ran the next best times in 3:43.


There were a lot of questions about what had become of NAU freshman Blaise Ferro and this weekend answered those questions. Ferro was the top finisher in this race with a time of 14:09 while Trent Brendel (Cal) was 14:12.

5000: INVITE

Welcome back Grant Fisher! After a long indoor season without seeing the young Stanford star, Fisher has now earned his second win in two weeks with a huge NCAA #3 time of 13:37. Not only did Fisher run fast and earn a win, but he defeated Klecker, Abdi, Dressel, Brandt, Baxter, and many more (in that order). The win over Klecker and Dressel certainly says something about Fisher’s fitness as those two were at the top of their game this past indoor season.

The next few finishers were…

-Joe Klecker (Colorado): 13:42

-Hassan Abdi (Oklahoma State): 13:43

-John Dressel (Colorado): 13:44

-Robert Brandt (California): 13:45

-Zach Perrin (Colorado): 13:46

-Matthew Baxter (NAU): 13:46

In all honesty, I’m not that surprised by the times this group was able to run. Most of these guys are established veterans who have proven that they can run fast and compete with the best.

#ncaa #gzatlin #weekendreview #VirginiaChallenge