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Transfer Market (Part Nine)

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Stephanie Cotter (Adams State to Northern Arizona)

It's official. The Stride Report has confirmed that Stephanie Cotter, one of the greatest milers in D2 history, will be finishing her eligibility with Northern Arizona as a graduate transfer starting next year. She is expected to have two years of eligibility remaining.

Cotter has been one of the top D2 distance talents of this era. She was a cross country national champion back in 2019, running the fastest time ever at a D2 national meet. The Adams State superstar has also dominated the 1500 and mile distances, winning three national titles in addition to a DMR title.

The addition of Cotter to Northern Arizona is massive. The Lumberjacks have proven to be a much improved program as of late. They have had consecutive years of top recruiting classes and their performances on the national stage have also showed plenty of promise. In fact, the NAU women recently finished 11th at the NCAA XC Championships to end their winter season.

Taryn O'Neill is the superstar of this NAU lineup while rest of the varsity group features strong supporting scorers. We should also note that women such as Jessa Hanson and Delaney Rasmusson have each had exceptional individual results over the last few months.

However, the addition of Cotter could be absolutely game-changing. O'Neill was the only All-American that the Lumberjack women had in Stillwater at the NCAA XC Championships earlier this month. Having another potential low-stick like Cotter would do wonders for a team is trending towards becoming a podium program over the next year or two.

On the track, there is no question that Cotter will bring exciting firepower and could potentially put herself in a position where she's qualifying for numerous D1 national meets and contending for multiple All-American finishes.

Cotter has largely been unchallenged at the D2 level for quite some time. Now, she'll be transitioning to the next level where she'll look to prove that she is one of the best in the NCAA.

Michael Coccia (Ole Miss to Transfer Portal)

The Stride Report has confirmed that Ole Miss veteran Michael Coccia is currently in the transfer portal. Coccia is expected to move as a graduate transfer and will have a full year of eligibility whenever he transitions to a new program in the fall.

The Ole Miss distance runner has been a very solid and very underrated talent within the Rebels' program for a while. He has often emerged as a pivotal top-five scorer for this team during cross country and has posted strong marks, including a 17th place finish at the Blazer Classic and a 9th place result at the Louisville Classic this past fall. He was a member of the 2019 Ole Miss national qualifying lineup and placed 13th at the SEC XC Championships that same year.

On the track, Coccia has run times of 8:02 (3k) and 14:02 (5k). It should also be noted that Coccia ran 3:41 for 1500 meters during a time trail which you can watch here.

When it comes to his scoring during cross country, he's not always the most consistent, but he can be a massively valuable piece for a handful of cross country teams in variety of scenarios. Whether it's a varsity squad looking to build out their depth, a team that needs another scorer to eventually qualify for the national meet or a group that is trying to bridge the gap from their low-stick scorers to their backend scorers, Coccia is a guy who can fill all of those roles.

Overall, this soon-to-be graduate transfer offers far more value than some people realize. When he's at his best, he's a three-season threat and as that time trial video shows, Coccia is someone who has not yet hit his ceiling.

Clarissa Morales (Stanislaus State to Oklahoma State)

In our last Transfer Market announcement, we reported that Clarissa Morales, a D2 distance standout, was on the transfer portal. Since then, she has found a new home at Oklahoma State and her eventual move is potentially a massive one.

Morales was primed to contend for D2 All-American honors in the winter and spring of 2020 before COVID-19 interrupted those endeavors. With personal bests of 9:35 (3k), 16:23 (5k unattached) and 35:48 (10k), Morales brings underrated talent to an Oklahoma State team that might be one piece away from making some major noise on the national stage.

The Cowgirls proved to be a solid team this past winter once they were able to get low-stick Molly Born back in their lineup. When paired with NCAA runner-up Taylor Roe and rising front-runner Gabby Hentemann, the Oklahoma State women had a lethal 1-2-3 punch when everyone was running well on the same day.

Not only that, but we didn't even see Taylor Somers race this past winter. She struggled quite a bit in the fall months despite being a high-finishing All-American at the 2019 NCAA XC Championships. When she's at 100% and back in this lineup, she fills a major gap within the Cowgirls' top-five.

But regardless of Somers' inclusion in this lineup, depth was still a problem for the Oklahoma State women this past winter. They had a very young backend that was still gaining experience, but that inexperience ultimately hurt this team.

The gap between Oklahoma State's top-three and bottom-two scorers of this lineup was evident all year long. However, if we assume that everyone from this group returns in the fall to use their extended eligibility (which isn't a guarantee), then Morales can fill a massive gap in this lineup and remedy a lot of scoring deficiencies.

Morales doesn't need to be a superstar or an All-American to make an impact. As long as she can provide some scoring stability at the backend of this lineup and close the gaps within this top-five, then Morales may end up being the most impactful transfer in the NCAA come next fall.

Caleb Brown (Wisconsin to Oregon)

A few months ago, The Stride Report was able to confirm that Caleb Brown was on the transfer portal. The true freshman was originally with the Wisconsin Badgers, but quickly decided that he'll be taking his talents elsewhere.

According to his Instagram bio, Brown will be attending the University of Oregon where he will presumably begin classes next fall (although that timeline is not yet confirmed).

Brown was an absolute star during his time in high school. The Ohio native boasts personal bests of 8:54 (3200) and 14:51 (5k) from his prep days and has also found major success on the grass. The future Oregon Duck finished 3rd at the 2019 NXN Championships in an elite, top-heavy field and was also the 2019 New Balance Outdoor Nationals champion in the 3200 meters.

Brown is set to join current Cincinnati distance standout and All-American ace Aaron Bienenfeld next fall in Eugene. It's not entirely clear who will be returning for the Oregon men next year, but should everyone return, then the Ducks have the potential to be one of the absolute best cross country teams in the nation, featuring some of the most lethal firepower in all of the NCAA.

The incoming rookie, who has not used any collegiate eligibility, could be the perfect transitional piece for Oregon. Brown can develop alongside fellow freshman Evan Holland as many of the top-tier distance talents on this Oregon roster near the end of their eligibility. In an ideal world, he can also be an immediate contributor who gives the Ducks some additional depth on the grass.

Kaitlyn Mooney (Coast Guard to Rutgers)

The D3 superstar is on the move! The Coast Guard Academy has granted a one-year waiver for Kaitlyn Mooney who be finishing the rest of her eligibility at Rutgers University as a graduate transfer starting next fall. The eight-time All-American, who won the D3 national title in the 5000 meters in 2018, will be joining a Rutgers program where she will be the clear number one option.

It is admittedly unlikely that Mooney's addition to the Scarlet Knights' roster will have any monumental impact on the team as a whole. However, this will be an outstanding opportunity to see how one of the best D3 talents in the nation is able to stack up against a handful of established BIG 10 programs and athletes.

Mooney will join Rutgers next year with strong personal bests of 9:27 (3k) and 16:23 (5k) -- two marks which came on the indoor oval. For perspective, those times would have ranked Mooney at #27 (3k) and #6 (5k) in the BIG 10 during the indoor track season this past winter.

If Mooney can make a leap at the D1 level, then she may be someone who can scare the 16 minute barrier in the 5000 meters and eventually emerge as a national qualifying candidate.

Matt Young (Arkansas to Georgetown)

One of the biggest distance transfers of the past few months has to be Matt Young. The Arkansas ace has had a pivotal role in the Razorbacks' success over the past few years and has put together a handful of breakout performances over the last few seasons.

Young has been part of four Arkansas teams that have qualified for the NCAA XC Championships. Although he has struggled in each of those races, his extensive experience on the national stage will prove to be incredibly valuable for a Georgetown team that is still relatively young.

Outside of the national meet, Young has proven that he can be a top finisher on the grass. He has finished in the top-10 of the SEC XC Championships over the past two years, placed 3rd at the 2019 South Central Regional Championships and finished 30th at Pre-Nationals that same season.

Of course, because this past cross country season didn't count towards eligibility, Young will be able to contribute to the Hoyas on the grass this upcoming fall. That will be huge for a Georgetown team that is missing a key low-stick like Young despite having a handful of promising young talents.

With conference rival Butler growing increasingly more strong and Villanova beginning the next phase of their roster development, Young will give this team some crucial scoring potency which should allow Georgetown to stay in the upper-tier of the BIG East during cross country.

Not only that, but Young has been quietly excellent on the track. Last winter, the Arkansas runner had a breakout year, posting times of 8:03 (3k) and 13:49 (5k). However, Young only got better this past winter, improving his 5k personal best to a time of 13:42. That mark qualified him for the NCAA Indoor Championships.

However, one could actually argue that Young is at his best when he is racing in the 10k. During the 2019 outdoor track season, Young recorded a new personal best of 28:56 at the Stanford Invitational -- a mark that likely sparked the onslaught of personal bests that we eventually saw from him.

The incoming graduate transfer will bring another veteran presence to Washington, DC after UCLA standouts Robert Brandt and Carter Blunt joined the team this past summer.

Ryan Ford (UT-Martin to Iowa State)

The Iowa State coaching staff continues to stay active in the transfer portal. This time, they've added Ryan Ford from UT-Martin to their roster. It is admittedly unclear when Ford will be joining the Cyclones, although based on Iowa State's current track roster, it's likely that Ford won't be joining the team until next fall.

Hailing from the same school that Edwin Kurgat once came from, Ford is a quietly underrated distance talent. He finished 16th at the loaded FSU Winter XC Classic this past winter and eventually went on to finish 4th at the OVC XC Championships earlier this month. Ford also finished 14th at the South Regional Championships back in 2019.

One result from Ryan Ford that may be overlooked was his runner-up finish at the UAH Chargers XC Open all the way back in September of 2020. In that race, Ford, who was running unattached, was the only one who was able to realistically challenge D2 superstar Christian Noble, finishing just three seconds behind the Lee standout.

In the grand scheme of things, Ford isn't an elite superstar who is expected to be an immediate All-American. However, he adds some depth to this program and has made some very encouraging progress over the past few seasons. If you look at the FSU Winter XC Classic, you'll see that Ford would have been the Iowa State's third scorer that day.

While it's too early to tell who from Iowa State will be coming back to use their eligibility, Ford is looks primed to emerge as a top-five runner in this lineup who can potentially fill in for one or two names who may eventually depart from this program by the start of the next academic calendar.

Carolien Millenaar (South Alabama to Wake Forest)

The Wake Forest women have landed a quietly underrated distance talent. The Demon Deacons have announced that they are adding Carolien Millenaar to their roster as a graduate transfer starting next fall.

Millenaar has quietly emerged as a talented distance runner who is beginning to post strong accolades. This past winter, Millenaar was an individual national qualifier for the NCAA XC Championships where she placed 117th overall. She was also the Sun Belt Conference champion this past fall.

On the track, Millenaar has posted respectable times of 9:40 (3k) and 16:50 (5k). She has also run 10:40 for the 3k steeplechase.

While she's not exactly a star low-stick, the former South Alabama runner will bring underrated depth and valuable scoring to a slowly growing Wake Forest squad. Women like Elise Wright and Hannah Brookover are solid steeplechase talents and could help Millenaar improve her steeplechase PR once she joins the program next fall.

Millenaar will also give the Demon Deacons' cross country lineup an extra scoring piece and additional depth. That should come in handy for a group that is still relatively young and that will likely return many of their women from this past fall.

Curtis Threlkeld (CSU-Bakersfield to Transfer Portal)

This may be one of the bigger developments of the transfer portal. Curtis Threlkeld is currently listed on the transfer portal as a graduate transfer. He has indoor track and outdoor track eligibility remaining.

One of the more underrated middle distance talents in the NCAA, the CSU-Bakersfield standout has run 1:48.89 for 800 meters and 47.45 for 400 meters. Threlkeld is a two-time WAC champion in the 800 meters and placed 15th at the 2019 West Regional Championships in the 800 meters, finishing just three spots away from a national qualifying spot.

Threlkeld hasn't competed during indoor track, but he is at his best on the outdoor oval and would have been primed for a breakout season in the spring of 2020 had the pandemic not interrupted competition.

A graduate transfer decision from Threlkeld could be coming in the near future.

Josiah Davis (Coast Guard to Florida A&M)

Just like teammate Kaitlyn Mooney, Coast Guard's Josiah Davis has also been granted an extra year of eligibility via waiver by the Coast Guard Academy and will be finishing his collegiate career as a graduate student at Florida A&M.

Davis is quietly one of the better middle distance talents at the D3 level. He owns personal bests of 1:51 (800) and 2:27 (1k). He was also an All-American at the 2019 indoor national meet and recently finished runner-up at the 2021 D3 Elite Indoor Championships.

The men of Florida A&M will be gaining a middle distance talent who can have an instant impact on the MEAC, a conference that often features respectable 800 meter runners from schools like North Carolina A&T and Norfolk State.

If Davis can continue to make progress, lean on his D3 national meet experience and capitalize on his competitive conference opportunities, then he could be someone who eventually flirts with the 1:50 barrier.

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