The 800 was a little lack-luster in terms of performances from collegiates, but we did see New Mexico's Michael Wilson run a nice time of 1:49 to finish 3rd overall. The performance isn't earth shattering, but it does give Wilson some nice experience before he heads into the Regional Championships.
Brian Smith (Stanford) was close behind in a time of 1:50.28.
The 1500 garnered headlines for the incredible upset of 17 year-old Norwegian superstar Jakob Ingebrigtsen over US Olympians Matt Centrowitz and Paul Chelimo.
The up and down pace in a crowded field created some difficulties for the collegiates in this race. Grant Fisher was able to swing around the curve in good position, but didn't have the finishing speed that some of the pros did. He finished the day as the top collegiate in a time of 3:41. Meanwhile, teammate Sean McGorty was close behind as he closed the gap between him and Fisher in the final straight to also finish with a time of 3:41. Western Oregon's David Ribich struggled (for what seems like the first time in forever) and ended the day with a 3:45.
Outside of the Invite race, we still got a handful of decent performances. Ian Crowe-Wright (New Mexico) ran a very well executed race to finish as the winner of his heat with a solid time of 3:43. San Francisco's Jacob Allen held his position to place 2nd in 3:44.
Jordan Beutler (Utah State), Tai Dinger (Stanford), and Callum Bolger (Stanford-Unattached) all crossed the line with 3:44's.
In a separate section, we saw Georgetown ace Amos Bartlesmeyer make his season debut in the 1500. The race didn't go exactly as planned as the pace fluctuated, but Bartlesmeyer was still able to walk away with a respectable 3:43.
The pace was fast to start and Justyn Knight wasted no time putting himself at the front of the pack. Despite a multitude of lead-changes, Knight held his position and maintained an excellent time of 13:18 to finish as the top collegian.
How about Andy Trouard? We knew that the Northern Arizona veteran had a history of strong tactical races, but we didn't know how he would respond in an all-out effort like Payton Jordan. Any skepticism was pushed aside after Trouard did an excellent job of hanging onto the pace and producing a 13:22. For me, that's a sign that Trouard still has enough fitness to upset Knight (again) at NCAA's next month. Championship racing should make their rematch an interesting one...
Further down the results, we saw Arkansas' Jack Bruce run an excellent time of 13:29 while Utah State's Dillon Maggard was a stride behind in 13:30. Both of these are top-notch performances and I would keep both of these guys in the All-American conversation. Remember not to sleep on Jack Bruce. Grant Fisher wasn't the only guy who upset Knight last year...
BYU's Clayton Young ran a strong race of his own to finish as the 5th collegiate in 13:37, a new personal best by nearly 13 seconds. The time is now a great complement to his 28:27 10k that he ran at the Stanford Invite earlier this season.
Southern Utah's Mike Tate underwhelmed a bit with a 13:53 placing him 23rd overall. Tate has put together a series of decent performances this season, but he hasn't quite had the edge we saw from him this past winter. It will be interesting to see what his workload is like at BIG Sky's and what he'll attempt at the Regional Championships.
Portland's Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse was the last man under the 14 minute barrier with a 13:58 while Furman's Frank Lara settled for a 14:11.
There were only six collegiates entered, but they gave us a lot to talk about...
Is there any reason to doubt Tyler Day now? What can this guy not do? Just when you think you've seen it all, he comes out of nowhere and puts down another strong performance. When the packs were established and the breaks were made, Day was the sole collegiate to put himself near the front pack. The move paid off for him as he was able to ride the pace all the way to a new PR and new NCAA #1 time of 28:04. Oh, and keep in mind that his eligibility currently makes him a sophomore.
Although Day's performance was impressive, you've got to commend BYU's Connor McMillan for his performance. He was the 2nd collegiate overall (just ahead of Matthew Baxter) with an incredible time of 28:09. I could try to talk about how scary good this BYU team is, but I wouldn't be able to do them justice. The combination of McMillan, Young, and Linkletter may make those three the best trio in the entire NCAA (although NAU may argue that).
Matthew Baxter finished as the 3rd best collegiate in a time of 28:10. Don't overthink this result. His teammate may have gotten the better of him this time, but Baxter should still be kept in the title conversation.
Finishing 16th and 17th overall were Georgetown's Jonathan Green (28:36) and BYU's Rory Linkletter (28:43). For Green, this is a huge result and a personal best by 30 seconds. Prior to the race, I mentioned in our preview that he had a great ability to navigate through fast, crowded fields of competition and he did just that. As for Linkletter, he may have earned a PR, but I'm sure he was looking for something faster. Still, the 10k race at Nationals is usually rarely that fast and tactical running plays a heavy role. That is, after all, how Linkletter secured a silver medal last in this event last spring.
NAU's Peter Lomong was the last collegiate in a time of 30:01. While I am a huge fan of Lomong, we need to accept the fact that the 5k/10k distance may not be the ideal events for him. Yes, he did have a phenomenal breakout performance at Cross Country Nationals, but racing on the track doesn't always yield the same results. His track PR's of 14:06 and 30:01 are respectable, but I think he could really thrive in an event like the 1500. After all, he was initially recruited to NAU as an 800 runner.
3000 Steeple (Regular)
We got to see a slew of top collegiate athletes establish themselves and improve their marks in a strong display of steeplechase talent. After a few back-and-forth battles, Emmanuel Rotich (Tulane) opened up his stride and pulled away from the field to take the section win in a time of 8:40. He was able to fend off the BYU duo of Daniel Carney and Clayson Shumway who finished 2nd and 3rd, both with times of 8:41.
Gatien Airiau (Academy of Arts) ran a strong race to become the 4th overall collegiate in a very strong time of 8:46. BYU's Jacob Heslington was the last collegiate under the 8:50 barrier with a time of 8:49.
Furman's Troy Reeder and Santa Clara's Joey Berriatua were the last men under the 9 minute barrier with times of 8:51 and 8:52, respectively.
It's interesting to note that Troy Fraley (Gonzaga) started the race, but ended the day as a DNF. The 2017 steeplechase All-American is currently ranked 43rd in the West region with his 8:57 from Bryan Clay. With the West Coast Conference not having a championship meet, Fraley may be out of opportunities to run a fast steeplechase and ensure himself a spot at Nationals. He better hope that his time is good enough for him to run another day.
3000 Steeple (Invite)
We have only had two collegiate entries in Matt Owens (BYU) and Simon Grannetia (Portland), but we got to learn a lot about them as they faced a field of high-level pros.
First off, freshman Matt Owens is legit. I worried that his youth and inexperience racing against top-tier competition would hurt his performance, but Owens maintained a lot of poise. He held strong and pushed his way to an 8:39. That's a great sign as we head into the national qualifying time period.
As for Simon Grannetia, he may not have been the top collegiate finisher, but he put up another strong performance (8:40) which is still faster than the last time he ran. Navigating through a crowded field of strong competition will be a good wake-up call for what he can expect at NCAA's.
Ivy League Championships (Heps)
Wow! Talk about breakout performances. In a field with established half-milers like Josiah Langstaff (Columbia), Myles Marshall (Harvard), the Brown duo of Emrich and Lanigan, it was Princeton's Josh Ingalls with the upset win. The Princeton senior erupted for a huge personal best of 1:47 after leading wire-to-wire.
Langstaff was a second behind in 1:48 while Emrich, Marshall, Lanigan, and Zepf (Dartmouth) all ran 1:49's.
The Princeton duo (and future ASU commits) William Paulson and Garrett O'Toole put together a pair of strong performances to go 1-2. Paulson's time of 3:47 was enough to edge O'Toole who ran 3:48.
Chase Silverman (Cornell) was 3rd in 3:48 high.
The Columbia duo of Ryan Thomas and Lucky Schreiner were able to masterfully navigate through the field and finish with the top two spots in 14:09 and 14:10, respectively. They kept the young Princeton star Conor Lundy at bay in 3rd with a 14:11.
Before Columbia had a 1-2 punch in the 5k, they also took the top two spots in the 10k. Brian Zabilski and Kenny Vasbinder were the top two finishers running 30:20 and 30:24. They were followed by the Princeton duo of Gannon Willcutts and Conor Lundy who ran 30:25 and 30:26 for 3rd and 4th.
Penn's Daly brothers have been having an underrated season in the steeplechase and their conference championship performance only validates that. Will Daly was the winner in a time of 9:00 while Colin Daly finished runner-up only one second behind. Dartmouth's Marco Pompilij was 3rd in 9:01.
Jonathan Moore (Bethune-Cookman) was able to walk away as a conference champion securing the win with a 1:49. He held off Abbas Abbkar (Savannah State) who finished 2nd, also in 1:49.
Patriot League Championships
Paul Luevano (Boston U) pulled out the win in a time of 3:47 to defeat a formidable opponent in Keagan Smith (Army West Point) who ran 3:48 for 2nd.
Although Luevano got the win in the 1500, he had to settle for 2nd in the 5k. Navy's Cory Donley ran 14:22 to run away from Luevano who finished 2nd in 14:27.
Fun fact: the top four finishers in this event were all sophomores. Navy's Jake Brophy walked away with win in a time of 31:22 while the Army West Point duo of Robert Santoyo and Ben Petrella went 2-3 running 31:27 and 31:29, respectively.