Youngstown State Icebreaker
The men from Pittsburgh took a trip to Ohio where some of their top mid-distance runners toed the line. Drew Glick and Dante Watson went 1-2 with Glick taking the win in an NCAA leading time of 1:50. Watson was close behind in 1:51 (NCAA #2). It's been seven years since the Panthers had an indoor 800 runner dip under the 1:50 barrier. Could Pittsburgh have two this season? It seems possible...
Dartmouth vs UNH vs Maine vs Vermont
Vermont's Taylor Kracher walked away with the win in a time of 1:54. After the flat track conversion, that time is converted to 1:52 (NCAA #3).
Vermont's John Benner took home the win this past weekend with a time of 8:27. After flat track conversions, his time becomes 8:21.
Clemson's All-American half-miler John Lewis opened up his season with an excellent NCAA leading time of 4:07 for the mile. For someone who was recruited to run the 400 and 800, this is an impressive mark. He'll likely follow a similar schedule as last year and run a few early-season 1000 meter races in late December / early January.
Jimmy Butler Invite
Illinois State's Jack Anstey has been an absolute nightmare on the track for his MVC rivals. After a breakout year in 2018, Anstey looks to be picking up where he left off. The junior recorded a time of 2:24 for 1000 meters which is one of the top times in the nation thus far. He was followed by Iowa's Nolan Teubel in 2:26 and Iowa State freshman Cebastian Gentil in 2:27. If you're looking for a sleeper pick in the mid-distances this year, look no further than Jack Anstey.
It's been a great few weeks for Drake's distance running program. Tinman Elite's Reed Fischer and Austin Brogan (who are both Drake alum) have found considerable success on the pro circuit as of late. To add to the excitement, Drake senior Kevin Kelly ran a new personal best of 4:09.99 to break the 4:10 barrier for the first time in his collegiate career.
That may not seem like a big deal, but the 2017-2018 indoor track season saw a number of small-school milers make significant improvements and carry their momentum into both indoor and outdoor track where they eventually became national contenders.
One of the best half-milers of the 2018 outdoor track season was Indiana's Cooper Williams who looked like a legitimate threat to earn All-American last year (but eventually fall short). The Australian mid-distance star started his season with a monster time of 2:23.91 to secure the win. He held off veteran teammate Teddy Browning who finished 2nd in 2:25. Virginia transfer and current Hoosier Kenneth Hagan ran unattached for Indiana, but finished 3rd with a 2:25 of his own.
Indiana freshman Dustin Horter took home the win this past weekend, edging out Kentucky's Kendall Muhammad, 4:11.52 to 4:11.71. Despite the strong performance, Horter was running unattached, indicating that he'll likely be redshirting the 2018-2019 indoor track season.
It was the race of the weekend as we got to see some of the top distance runners in the nation battle it out in an early season test of fitness. After redshirting the past two seasons of collegiate competition, we finally got to see Southern Utah's Kasey Knevelbaard back in action. The redshirt junior was the winner in a time of 13:56 (NCAA #7) after holding off Indiana's Kyle Mau (13:58) and Mississippi's Derek Gutierrez (13:58). As strong as those performances were, all three of those men will likely focus on the mile and/or 3000 meters this season.
It's also important to note that we got to see Indiana's Ben Veatch back in action after redshirting the 2018 cross country season. He finished 4th in a time of 14:03.