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  • Three Sentences Or Less: 2024 D2 NCAA Outdoor Championship Women's 3000-Meter Steeplechase Preview

    Click here to see start lists Editor's Note: Our TSR writers were asked to produce three sentences or less of analysis on every entrant in every distance event for every division. The below athletes are ordered alphabetically to match the start list Predictions coming later this week! 1. Margaux Basart (Colorado Mines) During the winter months, Margaux Basart proved that she could be nationally competitive, something that was further evidenced this spring. Even so, Basart's experience is highly limited on this stage and her seed time puts her near the very back of the field. She has been quietly solid in her last two showings, but it will take a big performance for this Colorado Mines talent to put herself in the top-half of this field. 2. Allison Beasley (Western Colorado) In a world without Gracie Hyde, you could argue that Allison Beasley is capable of earning NCAA gold in this event. With a 10:12 PR in the steeplechase as well as an RMAC title in the event, the Western Colorado star looks as sharp as ever. There's a good chance that this field pulls her to a new PR, but trying to battle Adams State's contingent of stars will not be easy. 3. Sira Bo (Wingate) The sophomore from Wingate has had a great breakout season, although the bulk of her success has largely come in this event. It is admittedly going to be a major challenge for someone so young and relatively inexperienced to challenge the top women in this field, especially with a seed time that sits at the backend of the entries. Even so, Sira Bo has been steadily improving this spring and her consistency is a promising aspect going into this weekend. 4. Mckenna Cavanaugh (Lee (Tenn.)) Arguably the most underrated distance talent in this field, Mckenna Cavanaugh has looked great this spring, producing PRs in the steeplechase and over 5000 meters. Three personal bests in three different events have all come in the last month, making this Lee star a major problem in the multi-round system of the national meet. 5. Thailyia Christensen (Wayne State (MI)) It's clear that Thailyia Christensen is beginning to peak after producing three personal bests in three different events in her last two meets. On paper, her ongoing improvements could put her in the All-American hunt. However, it's fair to question how much higher her ceiling can go this season after already making somewhat significant leaps in her fitness. 6. Marissa D'Atri (Chico State) This Chico State veteran has somehow looked even better than last year, ripping off multiple PRs, securing major wins and consistently posting nationally competitive times in her primary event (the steeplechase). On paper, Marissa D'Atri is a heavy All-American favorite, although she missed out on that same honor last year by two spots. 7. Ila Davis (Western Washington) Seeing Ila Davis post a huge 10:11 PR in the steeplechase back in March was wildly encouraging. However, since then, we have yet to see this Western Washington sophomore match the caliber of that mark in any other race that she has toed the line for. That, in turn, makes this Viking standout a bit of a wild card going into this weekend. 8. Katharina Goetschl (Academy of Art) There was a stretch throughout the month of April where Katharina Goetschl ran four personal bests in four different events in three separate meets. And after that, she secured two PacWest titles. There is an argument to be made that this Academy of Art ace still has some untapped upside, something that could be further unveiled in a national meet field as stacked as this. 9. Landyn Howell (Grand Valley State) Despite holding a slower seed time, Landyn Howell has shown encouraging consistency in the steeplechase this season, theoretically giving her a high floor for this weekend. That should give her a somewhat realistic chance of potentially making it out of the prelims. Of course, with the talent in this field, that is certainly not going to be an easy task. 10. Gracie Hyde (Adams State) I never want to say that anyone is a national title lock in the steeplechase, mainly because the barriers and water pits cause so much variability in the event. Now, with that being said...Gracie Hyde is a lock to win the steeplechase national title and it won't be close if she doesn't want it to be. 11. Morgan Hykes (Adams State) Despite running an outstanding steeplechase time of 10:06 earlier this month, Morgan Hykes isn't even a top-three runner on her team in this event. Regardless, you're not going to find many women who boast the raw talent, extensive experience and recent momentum that this Grizzly veteran does. She is one of the safer women to place in your predictions for a top-eight honor. 12. Anna Igims (Slippery Rock) Sure, Anna Igims had already proven that she could be a competitive name earlier in the year, but her recent momentum over the last month has been outstanding. Pair her postseason peak with prior national meet experience from last year and you get a very underrated athlete who could potentially get out of the prelims. 13. Alexa Keiser (Saginaw Valley State) Alexa Keiser has always been strong, steady and reliable, but we questioned if her upside would allow her to truly contend for All-American honors on the national stage. Well, after running times of 16:41 (5k) and 10:27 (steeple) earlier this year, it seems like Keiser has elevated her fitness to a level where she could, in fact, crack the top-eight this weekend. 14. Shannon King (Colorado Christian) Shannon King has only raced the steeplechase once this year, producing a time of 10:32. That mark matches her PR from 2022, but trying to get a proper grasp on what she can do in this event is admittedly difficult with so few data points to analyze. 15. Maria Mitchell (Grand Valley State) While a steeplechase time of 10:31 won't catch anyone's attention in a major way, it should be noted that Maria Mitchell made it to the mile finals at the NCAA Indoor Championships this past winter after running a 4:47 PR in the prelims. And given that she has run her steeplechase PR of 10:31 twice in her career, there's a good chance that Mitchell peaks yet again and finds herself in the finals this weekend. 16. Ava O'Connor (Adams State) A small handful of encouraging half-mile and 1500-meter performances earlier this spring was nice to see, but those marks didn't necessarily reflect the star-caliber talent that we know that Ava O'Connor has. Of course, O'Connor showcased her raw fitness and then some with a monster 9:54 steeplechase effort at the Portland Twilight earlier this month. While teammate Gracie Hyde will be heavily favored for gold, O'Connor could absolutely get silver (especially with Elena Carey not in this field) and be part of an Adams State sweep in this event. 17. Ashley Reeck (Western Washington) A 10:34 mark in the steeplechase at the Stanford Invite earlier this year was encouraging to see. However, Ashley Reeck hasn't improved upon that time since then. She has mostly held her own throughout this season, but she'll need to find another jump in her fitness if she's going to find herself in the finals this weekend. 18. Kayce Rypma (Grand Valley State) An established veteran with tons of national meet experience, Kayce Rypma was an All-American in this event back in 2022. Unfortunately, she hasn't come within striking distance of her 10:23 PR this season, but the fact that we know that Rypma has that kind of talent makes her an impossible name to ignore heading into this weekend. 19. Emily Schoellkopf (Adams State) Ignore her steeplechase performance at the Bryan Clay Invite -- that was a fluke (and she still ran 10:42). Emily Schoellkopf has quietly been a consistent All-American over the last few years, even if some of her results put her at the backend of those honors. With teammates like Gracie Hyde, Ava O'Connor and Morgan Hykes headlining this field, there's a good chance that Schoellkopf will know exactly what to expect at the front of the prelims and finals. 20. Margot Thomas (CSU-Pueblo) A bronze medal in the steeplechase at the RMAC Outdoor Championships, which yielded a converted time of 10:26, was the perfect reflection for how far Margot Thomas' fitness has come this year. The CSU-Pueblo talent also boasts national meet experience in this event from last year, but trying to handle a 2024 field where most of the women are highly established at this discipline will not make things any easier for Thomas.

  • Three Sentences Or Less: 2024 D3 NCAA Outdoor Championship Men's 10k Preview

    Click here to see start lists Editor's Note: Our TSR writers were asked to produce three sentences or less of analysis on every entrant in every distance event for every division. The below athletes are ordered alphabetically to match the start list Predictions coming later this week! 1. Hayden Beauchemin (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) After flirting with the nine-minute barrier in the steeplechase this season, Hayden Beauchemin finally cracked that mark with an 8:56 PR. He would later go on to run a new 1500-meter PR of 3:47. This CMS distance talent has clearly peaked perfectly for the postseason, making him a very realistic threat to make the finals in a steeplechase field where 16 men are separated by less than three seconds. 2. Mason Brown (UW-La Crosse) We'll admit, Mason Brown is a challenging name to gauge going into this weekend. He has contested three steeplechase races this spring, producing times that are a little all over the place (9:15 then 8:56 then 9:06). Pair that with zero prior national meet experience and you get a massive wild card who could sneak into a backend All-American spot or finish near the very bottom of this field. 3. Jack Brown (Central College) A recent 8:57 steeplechase PR was a huge momentum boost for Jack Brown prior to the national meet. That result, however, was a clear outlier compared to the rest of his steeplechase marks. That's not necessarily the most encouraging aspect of his resume, but when you consider that he's only a freshman, jumps like that usually reflect plentiful youth-based upside. 4. Christopher Collet (Wartburg) Christian Patzka may be the current seasonal Division Three leader in this event, but it's Christopher Collet who holds the NCAA D3 record with an 8:38 mark (barely faster than Patzka's 8:38 mark). Collet's 8:48 effort from the Drake Relays earlier this season doesn't put him in the same tier as his UW-Whitewater counterpart from a time perspective, but prior history and proven race savvy should make this Wartburg veteran a threat to Patzka and to win NCAA gold. 5. Ethan Domitrovich (John Carroll) An 8:49 PR in the steeplechase already made Ethan Domitrovich dangerous enough. However, the fact that he was a mile All-American this past winter and boasts sneaky-good turnover could make this John Carroll talent a major problem if the finals turn even the slightest bit tactical. 6. Sam Elsen (Wheaton (IL)) Sam Elsen has only contested the steeplechase twice this year, first running 9:30 and recently running 8:58. That's a massive difference for just two races, but Elsen did something similar last year when he ran 9:16 before running 8:58...and then producing a DNF result at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Simply put, we have no idea what to expect from this Wheaton distance talent this weekend. 7. Austin Gappa (George Fox) Unlike a handful of men in this field, Austin Gappa has shown some steadiness in the steeplechase this spring. The George Fox talent has run 9:02, 9:08, 9:04 and 8:58 in his last four attempts at this event. As long as he replicates that steadiness in the prelims, Gappa will have a realistic chance of making it to the finals despite the tightness of these seed times. 8. Cameron Hatler (Pomona-Pitzer) Cameron Halter has proven that he can be a nationally competitive name within Division Three. However, the Pomona-Pitzer product has been unable to make it past the prelims of the steeplechase at the outdoor national meet in prior efforts. But in a field where almost half of the men are underclassmen, Hatler's veteran status should help him advance to the finals. 9. Alex Hillyard (SUNY Geneseo) Alex Hillyard barely snuck into the national meet with an 8:59 (steeple) mark that he produced at the AARTFC Outdoor Championships (en route to a win). He has consistently cut off time from his steeple PR throughout the spring months, but he'll likely need to continue that if he wants to finish near the top-half of this field. 10. Will Kelly (St. Olaf) The future Montana State runner holds a 8:52 steeplechase PR and a history of success in this event which should make him an All-American favorite. Will Kelly has run under the nine-minute barrier multiple times throughout his career and that reliability should serve him well in a field full of highly variable names. 11. Emmanuel Leblond (Johns Hopkins) Despite being a sophomore, Emmanuel Leblond has showcased an ability to be nationally competitive despite his youth. His strength over 5000 meters could benefit him (more than other underclassmen) should guys like Christian Patzka and Christopher Collet opt to be aggressive with the pace. 12. Adam Loenser (UW-La Crosse) Seeing Adam Loenser produce a monster 8:44 steeplechase PR at the Bryan Clay Invitational certainly caught our attention. However, his performances since then have left us wanting a bit more. Even so, the UW-La Crosse runner will still be heavily favored for an All-American honor in this event. 13. Zeke Micheel (Wisconsin Lutheran) Zeke Micheel had not been truly tested in the steeplechase until he reached the Augustana Final Qualifier where he ran 9:09 and faded to 9th place. While you would certainly hope to see a better result as we prep for the NCAA Championships, it's good that Micheel at least had his first non-solo steeplechase experience of the season now rather than during the national meet. 14. Walter Moak (Oberlin) Gosh, it's really hard to dislike Walter Moak right now. He has made steady progress in the steeplechase this season, but running 8:59 and 8:57 in his last two efforts, both en route to wins against talented fields, is extremely promising to see. Few men have the momentum that he does heading into this weekend. 15. Connor Oiler (Johns Hopkins) Sure, Connor Oiler may be the last seed in this field, but he has run 9:10 or faster in the steeplechase four times this season and ran his 8:59 PR at the Widener Final Qualifier. With a handful of PRs scattered throughout his resume this spring, there's more to like on Oiler's resume compared to a number of men who are seeded above him. 16. Christian Patzka (UW-Whitewater) With an 8:38 steeplechase PR that barely missed the NCAA D3 record, it's hard to imagine Christian Patzka not winning NCAA gold. Guys like Christopher Collet and Adam Loenser won't make things easy for him, but this UW-Whitewater runner is just flat-out better than everyone else in this field right now. 17. Elias Ritzke (UW-La Crosse) Just as he did last year, Elias Ritzke timed his peak perfectly, running an 8:59 steeplechase PR to earn himself a spot to the national meet. After a horrid result at last year's national meet, we would expect this UW-La Crosse runner to find far greater comfort in 2024 now that he knows what to expect. 18. Caden Schneider (UW-Platteville) Here's a fun fact: Since mid-February, Caden Schneider hasn't gone more than two meets without producing a personal best in any event (including javelin). He has also made great progress in the steeplechase, seemingly catching fire lately en route to an 8:57 PR. The sophomore from UW-Platteville isn't perfect, but there's a lot more to like about him than not. 19. Mason Shea (UW-Eau Claire) Between a very narrow runner-up finish at the Augustana Final Qualifier en route to an 8:57 steeplechase mark, a PR of 8:53 from last year and a mile All-American honor from this past winter, Mason Shea is almost certainly better than what his 11th seed suggests. The UW-Eau Claire talent made it to the steeplechase finals of last year's outdoor national meet and although he finished last in that section, being familiar with many of these returning men can only help him. 20. Lance Sobaski (Wartburg) One of the biggest surprises of last year's outdoor national meet was Lance Sobaski running back-to-back 8:51 marks in the steeplechase to earn NCAA bronze as a true freshman. Admittedly, the Wartburg sophomore hasn't been able to replicate that form since, although he is actually ahead of schedule in his fitness compared to last year. 21. Joey Sullivan (UW-La Crosse) An 8:49 steeplechase PR was extremely encouraging, but what really made that result so huge was the fact that Joey Sullivan has also run 14:14 (5k) this season. On a handful of occasions, this second-year talent has more than held his own, making him a legitimate All-American threat despite his relative youth. 22. Jayden Zywicki (UW-La Crosse) With some impressive mile prowess -- boasting a 4:07 PR and a 5th place All-American honor this past winter -- Jayden Zywicki has some lethal turnover that most men in this field can't match. Admittedly, his latest showing at the WIAC Outdoor Championships was a bit underwhelming, but his overall fitness has been on display in a far greater way than what many of his opponents have shown this spring.

  • Three Sentences Or Less: 2024 D3 NCAA Outdoor Championship Women's 3000-Meter Steeplechase Preview

    Click here to see start lists Editor's Note: Our TSR writers were asked to produce three sentences or less of analysis on every entrant in every distance event for every division. The below athletes are ordered alphabetically to match the start list Predictions coming later this week! 1. Kendall Accetta (Colorado College) A 10:45 (steeple) mark to place 5th at the Washington U. Distance Carnival was encouraging. However, it's her recent 1500-meter PR and 5000-meter PR which suggest that Kendall Accetta has some of the better momentum of any backend seed in this field. 2. Jenna Allman (Calvin) The early portions of 2024 were somewhat quiet for Jenna Allman, but the Calvin ace has begun to put together a very nice string of races. A 10:38 (steeple) PR, a 17:14 (5k) PR and two MIAA conference titles in those same events gives Allman a solid enough resume. It wouldn't surprise me if her current reliability translates to an All-American honor. 3. Sophie Bull (Calvin) Despite her sophomore status, Sophie Bull has been subtly great for the last few months. She has also run very well when teammate Jenna Allman is racing alongside her. That, however, won't be the case for the steeplechase prelims on Thursday, leaving Bull with the task to advance to the finals on her own. 4. Annika Carlson (Chapman) A 10:45 (steeple) PR at the Franson Last Chance meet was a great way to enter the steeplechase field at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. However, with every other mark on her resume being comparatively slower by a good margin, Carlson is going to have to replicate that late-season magic if she wants to contend for a top-half finish. 5. Katelyn Chadwick (UW-La Crosse) Sure, Katelyn Chadwick may be near the tail-end of this field in terms of seeding, but she has posted three steeplechase marks under 10:50 throughout her career, including a pair of 10:46 efforts this spring. If she can make a few minor improvements and maintain that reliability in the prelims, then a spot to the finals won't be outside of the realm of possibility for her. 6. Aubrie Fisher (Wartburg) Aubrie Fisher is the defending national champion in this event and even if she hasn't replicated her steeplechase PR of 10:15 this season, her 16:28 (5k) personal best from April suggests that she's still in top form. However, Fisher took a surprising loss (settling for 4th place) at the American Rivers Conference Championships earlier this season, leaving us far more cautious about her place in our predictions than we usually would be. 7. Molly Fitzgibbons (Williams) It's clear that Molly Fitzgibbons has not been in top form over the last year or so. And yet, her overall resume is good that we can't help but ask, "What happens if everything clicks this weekend?" There isn't much to suggest that we will see that, but talent rarely just disappears. 8. Ciara Gillen (Occidental) Ciara Gillen is a backend seed, but there are subtle aspects of her season that have left us encouraged. She recently posted a 4:34 mark over 1500 meters as well as a pair of 10:47 steeplechase efforts this spring. On paper, there may be some untapped potential within Gillen that is unleashed later this weekend. 9. Rachel Hirschkind (SUNY Geneseo) Following Aubrie Fisher's recent hiccup at the American Rivers Conference Championships, Rachel Hirschkind's chances to win a national title in this event have seemingly risen. Her D3-leading 10:17 (steeple) PR at the Penn Relays stands out way beyond anything else that she has run this season, but Hirschkind having success over the barriers and water pits is hardly anything new. 10. Megan Johnson (Central College) Megan Johnson joins Rachel Hirschkind as the only other D3 woman to run under 10:20 in the steeplechase this season (10:19). Johnson has been phenomenal this spring, flexing incredible range, earning marquee wins and posting flat-out fast times. There is a good argument that she is the national title favorite going into the national meet. 11. Caitlin Jorgensen (U. of Chicago) When it comes to the steeplechase, Caitlin Jorgensen has been super consistent this season. She has run under 11 minutes four different times this spring, although she has yet to reach her 10:45 PR. It feels like we're still waiting to see the best version of Jorgensen this season and even if we don't get that at the national meet, then her consistency should give her a fairly high floor despite being a lower seed. 12. Audrey Maclean (Middlebury) A 10:30 PR in the steeplechase and a 16:52 PR in the 5k headline the last two meets for Audrey Maclean. This Middlebury rookie is still young and inexperienced, but the youth-based upside of freshmen like herself can be incredibly dangerous, especially when on a hot streak like Maclean seemingly is right now. 13. Sophie McManus (Carleton) Sophie McManus a solid and steady name who is never going to truly crumble on the national stage. But while her floor is seemingly very high, we're still waiting to see if her ceiling translates to an All-American finish. She won't be favored to do so this weekend, but that's not an unrealistic scenario, either. 14. Caroline McMartin (Central College) With a 10:21 PR in the steeplechase and middle distance turnover that could make her a threat, nationally, over 800 meters, Caroline McMartin is one of the more dangerous women in this entire field. The Central College star has incredible range and simply looks super sharp every time she toes the line. It would not at all be a surprise if she took home NCAA gold this weekend. 15. Ellie Meyer (Wartburg) While we would have liked to see Ellie Meyer further improve upon her 10:33 steeplechase PR since posting that time in March, we still have to commend her consistency. The Wartburg talent has run under 10:40 two additional times this season while securing a handful of personal bests in other events. She may not be considered a national title threat, but simply going under 10:40 and watching stars naturally fade from the leaders should put Meyer in an All-American position. 16. Emma Odle (Augustana (Ill.)) We'll admit, a 10:39 PR over the barriers and water pits was a fairly big jump in Emma Odle's personal best. Even so, she has proven this spring that she can be competitive with a handful of top names in Division Three, something that she most recently showed at the Augustana Final Qualifier. 17. Addy Parrott (Central College) Speaking of the Augustana Final Qualifier, Addy Parrott secured a steeplechase win at that meet earlier this month with an excellent time of 10:36. The Central College runner sits in an awkward tier where she'll likely be flirting with an All-American honor, but could also produce a variety of results better or worse than that. 18. Julia Patterson (Washington U.) On paper, it may look like Julia Patterson's 10:42 mark in the steeplechase was a somewhat large jump considering that she had run no faster than 10:52 this season going into that race. However, this Washington U. talent did run 10:46 last year and she did so at the Augustana Final Qualifier. And although she didn't make it to the finals of the outdoor national meet last year, she was only two spots out from doing so, an outcome that could change this time around. 19. Abigail Patterson (Washington U.) While she may be a backend seed, Abigail Patterson has given us a lot to like about her going into this weekend. She has run 10:45 and 10:47 in the steeplechase this year, the former mark being part of three-straight PRs in each of her last three meets. In terms of momentum and upwards trajectory, Abigail Patterson has plenty of that. 20. Sara Stephenson (Johns Hopkins) Sara Stephenson is a stable and reliable veteran who ran her seed time of 10:42 at the Penn Relays against a field of very talented women. That should bode well for the experienced runner who is familiar with the national stage and what it's like to battle against some of the best women in the country. 21. Maddy Vantassel (UW-La Crosse) Sure, Maddy Vantassel did post a strong time of 10:47 in the steeplechase last weekend, but before that, she recorded a DNF mark in the steeplechase and had not run faster than 11:12 this season. However, you also have to remember that Vatassel peaked beautifully last year, running a 10:44 PR in the prelims of the national stage to make it to the finals. And if history holds true, then this UW-La Crosse talent could do the same thing again. 22. Ella Whinney (Wellesley) When you include the 2023 outdoor track season, Ella Whinney has posted five different steeplechase marks under 10:50, ultimately producing a PR of 10:37. That mark, of course, gave her an 8th place All-American finish in the steeplechase last spring. And now that she has a year of valuable experience under her belt, we can't help but wonder what kind of damage Whinney could do on the national stage in 2024.

  • Three Sentences Or Less: 2024 D2 NCAA Outdoor Championship Men's 10k Preview

    Click here to see start lists Editor's Note: Our TSR writers were asked to produce three sentences or less of analysis on every entrant in every distance event for every division. The below athletes are ordered alphabetically to match the start list Predictions coming later this week! 1. Will Aitken (Wingate) While he's not among the biggest names in this 10k field, we expect that Will Aitken should be able to hold his own. For one, he's among five men representing the defending cross country team champions and will get to race alongside his teammates. He has also flexed commendable dynamism and adaptability to different racing situations this spring, as evidenced by nationally competitive times in the 5k, the 10k and the 3000-meter steeplechase. 2. William Amponsah (West Texas A&M) Even if he has yet to win a national title on the track, William Amponsah is arguably the biggest favorite to win this event. He's run 28:00 for the 10k -- which is the fastest D2 mark this season by nearly 30 seconds and the third-fastest NCAA mark regardless of division -- so he may be able to dictate this race to the extent where he doesn't need to rely on tactical savvy or positioning. Plus, we know that he has championship pedigree after winning the individual cross country national title this past fall during his first season in the NCAA. 3. Jan Lukas Becker (Mississippi College) The defending national champion in this event has not quite displayed a level of dominance befitting of that title over the past year. That, of course, is not to say that Jan Lukas Becker is unfit to repeat, but attempting to secure a victory over his elite southern contemporaries will be his greatest challenge yet. 4. Logan Bocovich (Colorado Mines) A 10k All-American at the Division Three level last spring, Logan Bocovich already proved that he could hold his own since transferring to the D2 level when he emerged as a top-half All-American during the cross country season. Now, the questions are whether he and the Orediggers will employ a team strategy and if Bocovich is willing to be more ambitious for a top-eight finish in this event considering that he's one of several men doubling back to the 5k later in the weekend. 5. Dayton Brown (Adams State) Dayton Brown is one of the most variable D2 distance stars and we could realistically see him land in either the top-four or the bottom-five of this field. That being said, we like this NCAA veteran's chances more considering that he's only racing this event. Plus, his recent 28:35 PR is further evidence that he has the ceiling to hang with virtually anyone in this race. 6. Hamza Chahid (Wingate) With some of the best closing speed in this field and what feels like a baseline of an All-American finish, one can understand why Hamza Chahid is a contender to emerge from this race with a national title in a third different event. And while we have little questions about Chahid's fitness, what level is his 10k strength at as someone who has raced the event just once as a collegian and last did so nearly two months ago? 7. Lukas Ehrle (Wingate) It's undeniable that Lukas Ehrle has ingratiated himself to the high-level D2 distance scene faster than most. Not only has he produced quick times, but he has clearly been racing to win after producing 10k victories in his Bryan Clay Invite heat and at the South Atlantic Conference Championships. How might this rookie adjust to racing in a field in which he won't have strong odds of winning? 8. Duncan Fuehne (Colorado Mines) Duncan Fuehne is one of the more accomplished runners in recent D2 distance history who hasn't won a national title (yet). And while a recent RMAC 10k title (over mostly teammates) serves as fodder for his dark horse candidacy, a sixth All-American honor feels far more likely than a gold medal. It's certainly conceivable that Fuehne could match his previous highest national meet finish (3rd) in this setting. 9. Dawson Gunn (Colorado Mines) Colorado Mines has a men's 10k contingent to rival that of Wingate which is fitting given that those two programs made up the top-half of the podium at the 2023 NCAA XC Championships. Dawson Gunn was the RMAC Championship runner-up finisher over 10k behind Fuehne and a strong finish here could help him stake his claim as one of the future faces of his juggernaut distance program. 10. Paul Knight (Colorado Mines) A backend All-American in this very event last spring, Paul Knight seems to already straddle the status that his above-listed teammate, Dawson Gunn, is building towards. He doesn't have the highest ceiling in this fairly wide-open field, but you can bet that Knight has one of the highest floors and, in my opinion, feels like one of the more reliable individuals in terms of knowing what we can expect from him. 11. Cas Kopmels (Wingate) Holding recent PRs ranging from 3:46 (1500) to 29:15 (10k), Cas Kopmels boasts some of the better range in this field. It remains to be seen if this race will unfold in a manner in which he's able to flex that mile speed, but Kopmels' back-to-back All-American honors at the 2022 and 2023 cross country national meets suggest that he also has the aerobic capacity to hang with an honest pace for awhile. 12. Harry Louradour (West Texas A&M) Although he's more established on the grass, Harry Louradour appears to be on the greatest hot streak of his NCAA career after running PRs in three different events across his last three track meets. A 28:37 (10k) PR is one of the fastest in this field and that reszult implies that he can perhaps follow his acclaimed teammate, William Amponsah, to a top finish. 13. Brayden McLaughlin (Chico State) Brayden McLaughlin hardly holds the fastest PR in this field (although he just ran a new personal best of 29:16), but he has very much earned a spot among these men. Consider that he has twice been a cross country All-American and has contested this event at a prior outdoor national meet, and you begin to realize that McLaughlin shouldn't be discounted as someone who could finish in the top-half of this race. 14. Josphat Meli (Harding) There's an argument to be made that Josphat Meli has the widest range of potential outcomes in this race. The freshman narrowly fell short of All-American honors in two different events at the 2024 NCAA Indoor Championships and seems to be better as the distances increase. On the other hand, he has yet to emerge as an All-American or race the 10k at a national meet (he didn't compete in cross country this past fall), so we really don't know what to expect from this NCAA rookie who hails from the distance running mecca of Eldoret, Kenya. 15. Josh Pierantoni (Colorado Christian) Josh Pierantoni is undoubtedly one of the most established athletes in this field, so we really don't care that he's lacking a top-flight 10k mark this spring. After all, he placed 5th in this event at the 2023 outdoor national meet and has postseason experience dating back to 2019. He also looks like he hasn't skipped a beat in 2024 after taking the fall months off. 16. JP Rutledge (Colorado Mines) It feels easy (and reductive) to suggest that JP Rutledge has plateaued since joining Colorado Mines' distance powerhouse, largely because his 2021 cross country season suggests that he has a ceiling to rival nearly anyone in D2. And while his 2024 outdoor track campaign doesn't necessarily suggest it, Rutledge feels due for a return to All-American status. If anyone can get him there, it's Coach Chris Siemers. 17. Antonin Saint Peyre (Wingate) Antonin Saint Peyre is surging following a 10k runner-up finish at his conference meet and a PR in the same event over his two most recent meets to open this month. With that being said, this race (his first at a national meet in any season) feels like it may be more of an acclimation and introduction process for Saint Peyre who figures to be helped by the presence of several teammates. 18. Matthew Storer (Colorado Christian) A 10k win over the Colorado Mines contingent at the Dr. Dan Caprioglio Invite earlier this season was further proof that Matthew Storer deserves to be mentioned as a dark horse candidate to earn his first gold medal on the national stage after procuring silver (5k) last spring and bronze this past fall. That 10k victory came in March, sure, and Storer has raced just once since then. But that race was also more competitive than the RMAC 10k and among the deepest over that distance this season. 19. Sam Wilhelm (Alabama-Huntsville) His somewhat recent breakout and modest (but respectable) national meet performances make Sam Wilhelm difficult to gauge. On the one hand, he feels like a near-lock to finish in the top-half of this field and seems more likely than not to emerge with an All-American finish in either this event or the 5k. But it's hard to argue that he has an advantage over several of the more-heralded individuals who will be doubling back (or even racing fresh) alongside him.

  • Three Sentences Or Less: 2024 D2 NCAA Outdoor Championship Women's 10k Preview

    Written by Ian Dickenson, edits and additional commentary via Garrett Zatlin & Gavin Struve Click here to see start lists Editor's Note: Our TSR writers were asked to produce three sentences or less of analysis on every entrant in every distance event for every division. The below athletes are ordered alphabetically to match the start list Predictions coming later this week! 1. Kylie Anicic (Edinboro) Despite being the third seed, Kylie Ancic comes in as an underdog compared to the extraordinary talent ahead of her. But don't be mistaken, at an outdoor national meet race that often results in chaos, she could near her already-lofty seeding. No matter what, we know that this Edinboro senior should be in the mix deep into this race. 2. Zoe Baker (Colorado Mines) Zoe Baker hasn’t run a 10k PR this season, but with a recent sub-16:00 clocking in the 5k and a top-five finish in this setting a year ago, she's positioned to be at the front of this race. Baker doesn’t quite have the resume of rivals Florance Uwajeneza or Brianna Robles, but her aerobic acumen and experience level rivals those of everyone else in this pretty wide-open 10k field. 3. Najwa Chouati (Stanislaus State) With a better background in the middle distances than many of the women whom she'll face here, Najwa Chouati has a unique skill set that could bode well for her fate in a championship race. If she’s in a position to use her turnover at the end of this race, she could move up several places. 4. Madison Clay (Catawba) Madison Clay is one of the few underclassmen in this race, but she’s positioned to make a big splash as a returnee. She was the 14th place finisher in this race last year, but if she can replicate the form that she showed in late March when she set her 10k personal best of 34:07, then she should better that performance by quite a bit. 5. Kaela Dishion (Stanislaus State) Kaela Dishion is one of a few runners who just snuck into this meet with a late-season performance. Sure, we'll admit it, a 4th place finish in the 5k at the CCAA Championships before her 10k national qualifying mark was not the most encouraging sign. Even so, Dishion is a cross country All-American who has historically been at her best over the longer distances, making it hard to discount her in this kind of field. 6. Madison Ebright (Grand Valley State) As the last seed, Madison Ebright will perhaps be overlooked here, but comparatively low expectations and the pressure-cooked environment of an outdoor national meet should give her a chance to have the race of her life. Don’t count Ebright out from being a top-half finisher in this race, particularly after she has run PRs in her last three efforts. 7. Annika Esvelt (Seattle Pacific) Although her best performance at a national meet came back in 2022 when she placed 4th over this distance, Annika Esvelt's 33:41 PR this season shows us that she’s in the best shape of her life. After establishing herself as one of only four Division Two women to break 34 minutes in the 10k this season, she will surely be looking to nab a podium spot in Kansas. 8. Hannah Hartwell (Fort Lewis) A former JUCO athlete, Hannah Hartwell has impressed during her first year in the NCAA by making it to the outdoor national meet. If she can hang on and place towards the top-half of this field (and a 10k bronze medal at the RMAC Championships suggests that's possible), then that would be enough of a success to kick-start her Division Two career as a national-caliber talent who is here to stay. 9. Mikayla Jones (Catawba) This will be Mikayla Jones’ first time competing at a national meet on the track. However, she holds the advantage of having one of her teammates, Madison Clay, competing alongside her in this race. If they can work together, Jones could make her mark on the national scene of Division Two. 10. Molly Maksin (Colorado Mines) Over the past four years, Molly Maksin has been in and around the podium spots at numerous national meets. But despite what her cross country success may suggest, she's been better in the 5k than the 10k. Regardless, she likely has high hopes (and little fear) for the first-half of her weekend double in her final collegiate postseason showing. 11. Iresh Molina (Chico State) As one of only two freshmen in this field (redshirt or otherwise), the expectations on Iresh Molina may be low compared to most women in this field, but that can work in her favor. And of course, it's not like she's devoid of experience after emerging as a cross country All-American this past fall. 12. Holly Moser (Colorado Mines) As one of five (!) Orediggers in this field, Holly Moser can rely on her teammates to propel her deep into this race. When things start to get difficult, as they always do in championship 10k races, the familiar faces around her should give her the confidence to stay in it. Moser ran her 10k PR at the 2023 outdoor national meet, so further improvement could land her first All-American finish on the oval. 13. Precious Robinson (Adams State) Precious Robinson is one-half of a formidable Grizzly pair. She hasn’t been her best in recent races, but we know that the Adams State athletes have a tendency to turn it up when it comes to championship season (as evidenced by Robinson's five All-American honors). We expect Robinson to be relatively close by her superstar teammate... 14. Brianna Robles (Adams State) The second and more heralded half of Adams State's star tandem in this field, Brianna Robles could be vying for her team’s first national title of this outdoor national meet. Two years removed from her stunning 2022 track season, the Adams State ace has put together yet another phenomenal campaign. Her postseason history and improved foot-speed should give her further confidence to take the national title here. 15. Hannah Smrcka (Lewis) Another first-timer at the outdoor national meet, Hannah Smrcka has ridden a breakout year to get here. She notched conference titles on the grass, the indoor oval and just recently dominated the 5k at the GLVC Outdoor Championships. While Smrcka doesn’t have the experience that other upperclassmen in this field boast, she has taken a big step up this year and a top-half finish would be the perfect capper. 16. Grace Strongman (Colorado Mines) Back in April, Grace Strongman ran her 10k national qualifying mark at altitude in a heavily paced race with many of her teammates. There are always questions about the validity of converted times, but after she put forth a similar performance at the RMAC Championships, it's hard to argue against her fitness. That being said, Strongman still has her work cut out for her if she wants to be among the All-American contenders in this field. 17. Aubrey Surage (Augustana (SD)) Aubrey Surage is relatively (well, totally) new to this stage of competition on the track. However, a cross country All-American honor this past fall, as well as PRs throughout 2024, suggest not only that she belongs here, but that she can hold her own. 18. Florance Uwajeneza (West Texas A&M) The expectations are sky-high for Florance Uwajeneza in this race. With the times that she’s put down and the people who she has beaten this year (including for the indoor 5k national title), she may well be the biggest favorite in the field. Of course, it feels unfair to paint a picture of championship-or-bust considering that the reigning outdoor national meet runner-up, Brianna Robles, was over a minute faster than Uwajeneza (3rd) in this setting last year. 19. Abby VanderKooi (Grand Valley State) Since the end of the indoor track season, Abby VanderKooi has been relatively quiet. But let’s not forget that she was one of the most talented recruits coming into Division Two just two years ago and seems bound for a true breakout result fairly soon. She clearly has the ability to be great, but will her relative lack of racing keep her from showing that at this outdoor national meet? 20. Elizabeth Wamsley (Hillsdale) While there have been some more sudden breakout stars among Elizabeth Wamsley’s competitors, she stands out for the steady improvement that she’s shown. That trajectory has led her to building up fantastic momentum coming into this national meet with recent PRs in the 1500, the 5k and the 10k, including two of them in May. A 10k All-American finish for the second year in a row is very much in the cards for this Hillsdale veteran.

  • Three Sentences Or Less: 2024 D3 NCAA Outdoor Championship Men's 10k Preview

    Written by Gavin Struve, edits and additional commentary via Garrett Zatlin Click here to see start lists Editor's Note: Our TSR writers were asked to produce three sentences or less of analysis on every entrant in every distance event for every division. The below athletes are ordered alphabetically to match the start list Predictions coming later this week! 1. Matthew Coyle (Carnegie Mellon) While he hasn't raced at an outdoor national meet or nabbed an All-American finish up to this point, I'm not sure anybody would be surprised by Matthew Coyle achieving the latter feat in his first time doing the former. He has run a slew of PRs this spring and (despite falling a bit short) appeared primed last fall for his first top-40 cross country finish in his third time at the NCAA XC Championships. Coyle isn't lacking for experience or momentum entering what could be his biggest individual test yet. 2. Mitchell Dailey (RPI) Oft-overshadowed by his star-studded teammates, Mitchell Dailey deserves recognition of his own after winning the Liberty League 5k title and comfortably qualifying for the national meet in this event. Some healthy competition and motivation from his Engineer peers could power Dailey to a breakout result. 3. Corey Fairchild (UW-La Crosse) Corey Fairchild isn't in too different of a situation from Dailey and, in his first outdoor national meet appearance after multiple NCAA XC Championships races, may feel less of a burden by virtue of having a more accomplished teammate (Isaac Wegner) racing alongside him in this field. After all, he finished just one second behind Wegner en route to a 5k PR in his last race. 4. Derek Fearon (Pomona-Pitzer) While a bit more established in the 5k on the track, Derek Fearon has enjoyed his most success over 8000 meters at the cross country national meet. That suggests that he's built to find success in the longer leg of the 10k/5k double that he's set for. After all, Fearon chased a handful of D2 10k national qualifiers to his first sub-30:00 clocking earlier this month. 5. Jacob Green (Wartburg) It's a pleasant surprise to see Jacob Green back racing on the national stage. He actually raced at both the 2023 NCAA XC Championships and the 10k at the 2023 outdoor national meet, but since his breakout cross country All-American result in the fall of 2022, he has been in the shadows of his Wartburg contemporaries. A couple of PRs since the turn of the calendar year suggest that Green could be close to his top form. 6. Connor Havens (Manchester) It's difficult to gauge Connor Havens who's a relative novice to holding his own at this level despite his senior status. A top-10 D3 mark in the 10k this spring and a narrow conference meet runner-up finish behind Enrique Salazar suggests that he belongs here. The other PR that he ran this spring (in addition to his 29:32 (10k) mark) was a 3:53 (1500) effort which is a nice indication that he's working on some speed, something that he'll need for the often tactical national meet stage. 7. Simon Heys (Wilmington (OH)) Simon Heys is set to contest his fourth 10k race on the national stage and is the second-highest returning finisher in this event from the 2023 outdoor national meet. With that in mind, it hardly seems outside of the realm of possibility that this five-time All-American could nab his first national title. His 4th place finish and 29:12 (10k) PR at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Championships suggests that he's at his best in the postseason regardless of an underwhelming (but respectable) 33rd place 2023 NCAA XC Championships showing. 8. Conor Kolka (Wittenberg) After racing at a national meet for the first time this past fall, how will Conor Kolka fare in his first time doing so on the track? He ran his 10k PR and qualifying time in a deep Washington U. Distance Carnival field which figures to bode well for his prospects in a competitive setting such as this one. 9. Gavin McElhennon (Johns Hopkins) Gavin McElhennon has arguably enjoyed his greatest success on the grass, but he has also raced at national meets on the track multiple times. His skillset seems to imply that he'd be at his best in the 10k, but his track national meet appearances have actually come in the 3k (twice) and the 5k (once). Could moving up in distance lead to a late-career resurgence? 10. Spencer Moon (Simpson (IA)) What a year it's been for Spencer Moon. He didn't have a great finish at the 2023 NCAA XC Championships, but has since earned his first track All-American result. And after emerging as the top D3 finisher in the Washington U. Distance Carnival 10k, there are multiple positive developments which indicates that he's now a contender for his first national title. 11. Charles Namiot (Williams) You can count Charles Namiot among the most likely first-time All-Americans in the distance events across all divisions. His portfolio includes a near top-half 10k finish at the 2023 outdoor national meet as well as recent 14:09 (5k) and 29:13 (10k) PRs, the latter of which was run at Raleigh Relays and places him at NCAA #2 in D3 this season. Namiot is a battle-tested talent who has high-leverage experience and looks as sharp as he's ever been. 12. Matthew Porter (Carnegie Mellon) An Army West Point transfer in his first year at the Division Three level, Matthew Porter was one of the top names on the D3 scene throughout the fall before an underwhelming cross country national meet showing. He'll look to rectify that performance as he moves up in distance for this event. Having similarly named teammate Matthew Coyle in the same race should provide a decent barometer for success in this field. 13. David Reynolds (WPI) As a four-time cross country national meet participant, an individual outdoor national meet appearance in the 10k feels like a bit of a lifetime achievement award/reward for David Reynolds. Following PRs in seven different events in 2024, there's certainly reason to believe that he can hold his own here, too. 14. Anthony Rodriguez (Babson) A NEWMAC 10k title over MIT harriers such as Vedang Lad and Lowell Hensgen should not be dismissed, especially when Anthony Rodriguez ran a 29:43 PR in a 10k win one week prior to his conference victory. And following a 5k PR one weekend ago, can he continue this hot streak going into his season finale? 15. Enrique Salazar (Manchester) While he was a national-level talent before then, Enrique Salazar's true self-introduction to the high-level D3 distance scene came in this event at the 2023 outdoor national meet. There, he ran his still-standing PR of 29:12 en route to a 5th place finish. He has improved since then, so who's to say that his national meet finish won't improve as well? 16. Tyler Schermerhorn (Wartburg) Tyler Schermerhorn is Wartburg's latest emergent talent and perhaps the Knights' next focal distance star. In three consecutive races, he has placed 12th over 5000 meters at the 2024 indoor national meet and has run strong PRs in the 5k and the 10k. The underclassman's first All-American finish feels like not an "if" but a "when," and the answer to that could be "now." 17. Gunner Schlender (UW-Whitewater) The reigning 10k bronze medalist and top returnee from this event at the 2023 outdoor national meet, Gunner Schlender has had a somewhat understated outdoor track season. But it's important to remember that he's coming off of his best-ever cross country national meet finish and first double All-American showing at the 2024 indoor national meet. Schlender is one of several national title contenders in this field, but should he be the favorite? 18. Vince Simonetti (RPI) Vince Simonetti has a fascinating weekend double ahead. He made his first individual national meet appearance in the 10k last spring and then redefined his ceiling with a top-10 finish at the 2023 NCAA XC Championships which suggests that his potential is maximized as the distances increase. But after a top-half All-American result in the 5k this winter, Simonetti has a very real chance at earning double All-American status in the coming days. 19. Max Svienty (North Central) Given that he has never earned an All-American accolade over this distance, it may seem surprising that Max Svienty holds Division Three's fastest 10k mark this season (29:06) by a somewhat comfortable margin. But this is someone who's a multi-time All-American in the 5k and was the individual bronze medalist at the 2023 NCAA XC Championships. In other words, Svienty is very much among the men in the mix for their first national title in this race. 20. Isaac Wegner (UW-La Crosse) For someone who has run recent PRs in both the 5k and the 10k and was a top-half All-American this past fall, Isaac Wegner has flown surprisingly under the radar (and we're probably partially to blame for that). Perhaps that's in part because he has never competed at an outdoor national meet, but either way, this experienced Eagle seems well-suited for postseason success over this distance. 21. Peter Weiss (George Fox) From a near top-half All-American finish last fall to experience in this exact setting and a recent 10k PR, Peter Weiss seemingly checks all the boxes for someone who should find high-level success in this race. This field is ripe for the taking and while Weiss doesn't necessarily feel like a title contender, the sixth-year senior has a chance to go out with a bang. 22. Luke Witvliet (Calvin) A pair of conference titles and a 10k PR between his last two races should give Luke Witvliet all the confidence that he needs for a strong finish in a field in which seemingly any spot beyond the top-10 is ready to be had. He's among a small group of men in this field who have raced on the national stage on the grass, but not the track, and could draw from that experience in his first foray into national meets on the oval.

  • Three Sentences Or Less: 2024 D3 NCAA Outdoor Championship Women's 10k Preview

    Written by Kevin Fischer, edits and additional commentary via Garrett Zatlin & Gavin Struve Click here to see start lists Editor's Note: Our TSR writers were asked to produce three sentences or less of analysis on every entrant in every distance event for every division. The below athletes are ordered alphabetically to match the start list Predictions coming later this week! 1. Stephanie Ager (Wesleyan) In both of Stephanie Ager’s 10,000-meter efforts this season she has won by over a minute, including a dominant NESCAC Championship performance. To earn her way to this meet, despite largely having to work alone in the 10k, is hugely impressive. Be on the lookout for Ager to potentially surprise a few people come Thursday. 2. Evelyn Battleson-Gunkel (U. of Chicago) Following a personal best mark of 34:25 (10k) in her season opener, Evelyn Battleson-Gunkel hasn't put down jaw-dropping times in any event since then. Even so, she came away with a comfortable double victory over 10,000 meters and 5000 meters at the UAA Championships. This 1500-meter All-American’s decision to transition to the longer distances has paid off beautifully and she is in a position to hang with almost anyone in the country. 3. Alison Bode (St. Olaf) After missing the majority of the cross country season, it took Alison Bode until April to really get back to her best self. But nowadays, she is back where she belongs now after a 35:34 (10k) result at the Drake Relays which was a massive step considering that her indoor track seasonal best over 5000 meters was 18:05. It’s great to see Bode overcoming adversity to compete against the nation’s best again, but she will have her eyes set on more than just showing up at the national meet. 4. Teghan Booth (Simpson (IA)) While her teammate in this field draws more acclaim, Teghan Booth has had a fantastic season in her own right. Despite entering this spring without a sub-38:00 (10k) mark to her name, she put together an excellent showing with a 35:23 effort and 2nd place finish at the Phil Esten Challenge. Thursday will present the biggest stage that Booth has seen in her career, but she has done plenty to indicate that she will be ready for it. 5. Sophie Bouldin (Centre) Since running 35:40 over this distance at the Washington U. Distance Carnival in March, Sophie Bouldin hasn’t had any performances that have matched that level. She has absolutely earned her spot here, especially given that the cut-off is faster than it's ever been, but it will take a special effort to hang with a lot of these women. 6. Rachel Brennan (Gordon) Like many others in this field, Rachel Brennan’s seasonal best came at Washington U. in March. Since then, she has enjoyed a well-rounded campaign with personal bests in the metric mile and the 5k. Brennan has made big strides this spring and now has an excellent chance to compete well on the national stage given her current momentum, potentially contending for a fringe All-American spot. 7. Riley Buese (Lewis & Clark) With a 40-second gap between her and fourth-seeded Evelyn Battleson-Gunkel, it will be highly difficult for Riley Buese to outperform her seeding this weekend. Even so, she is certainly an All-American favorite following a campaign in which she has improved her personal bests by 28 seconds over 5000 meters and 75 seconds over 10,000 meters. 8. Courtney Drumm (Lynchburg) Having run marks of 4:32 (1500) and 2:15 (800), Courtney Drumm has more speed than the majority of women in this field. At the same time, she has only raced the 10k once in her collegiate career, so a lack of experience over this distance makes her a bit of a wild card in this setting. It's possible that Drumm will struggle in a championship setting, but on the other hand, a breakthrough day would not be a shock, either. 9. Genna Girard (Williams) After missing the majority of the outdoor track season, Genna Girard came back with a national qualifying mark just in time last weekend. A 35:20 (10k) was a really nice result for her first race in two months, but while it was technically a PR, we know that she is capable of even more based on her overall resume. Of anyone in this field, Girard appears to be one of the most likely to outperform her seeding. 10. Penelope Greene (SUNY Geneseo) The 35:24 (10k) mark that Penelope Greene ran at Bucknell wasn’t necessarily jaw-dropping given her prior achievements between the grass and the oval. Even so, she did everything she needed to in order to give herself a chance to compete this Thursday and there’s no question regarding her fitness at this point after a 16:32 (5k) win at Williams last week in which she led almost wire-to-wire. Greene is highly likely to be in the mix for another All-American finish in a few days time. 11. Shaelyn Hostager (Wartburg) This outdoor track campaign has been a highly successful one for Shaelyn Hostager. She came away with massive lifetime bests in both the 10,000 meters and the 5000 meters and earned an American Rivers Conference title in the 10k without having to go too deep into the well. She has raced somewhat sparingly this spring, but Hostager has made the most of every opportunity and will aim to do the same this weekend. 12. Lara Kallem (Simpson (IA)) Other than a highly tactical conference 10,000-meter race in which she finished runner-up behind Shaelyn Hostager, Lara Kallem ran a personal best every time she toed the line this track season. This past winter marked her first time racing at a national meet on the track where she finished 19th place in the 5000 meters. Given the progress that she has made this spring, it seems highly unlikely that Kallem will finish that far back this time around. 13. Rebecca Markham (Hope) Even though she is seeded outside of the top-eight, I would frankly be a little surprised not to see Rebecca Markham finish in one of the All-American spots. She hasn’t touched the 10,000 meters since March, but her endeavors in other events -- including a recent 16:46 (5k) mark -- suggests that her fitness is on a higher level than it was even two months ago. 14. Elle Marsyla (Claremont-Mudd-Scripps) This cross country All-American used the Franson Last Chance meet to run her 10k national qualifying time, posting a 35:30 mark to place 5th in what was largely a Division Two field. Now, in a field in which many of the athletes ran their seed times in March or early April, Marsyla will have the advantage of recent momentum. 15. Sophie Porter (DePauw) Racing nearly every weekend this spring, Sophie Porter has notched personal bests in every flat distance event from the half-mile to the 10k. Her legs have endured a number of hard efforts in the last couple of months, but she hasn’t shown any signs of fatigue. In fact, her most recent effort, a 16:50 (5k) mark at St. Francis, indicates a great deal of positive momentum heading into this weekend. 16. Hannah Preisser (Carleton) This past winter, Hannah Preisser broke her streak of competing on the national stage in every season of her collegiate career as she just missed out on qualifying for the indoor national meet. Now, she has put herself back in position to compete at the high level that she has become accustomed to. Even though she just snuck into this field, Preisser's overall pedigree gives us confidence that she can compete well against many of these women. 17. Grace Richardson (NYU) Latching on to some high-level competitors, Grace Richardson had a big day at the Raleigh Relays with a 34:06 (10k) result. This was her only 10,000-meter effort of the season and she hasn’t finished any race in three weeks, although that may give her legs some extra freshness and pep. If anyone can challenge Fiona Smith, it’s the woman who came within a second of beating her over 5000 meters at the 2024 indoor national meet. 18. Kate Sanderson (MIT) Despite competing at each of the past three track national meets, Kate Sanderson has finished no higher than 16th place in any event in that setting. She has had some nice breakthroughs as of late, though, and appears to simply be a higher-level athlete than she was in prior seasons. Sanderson is in an excellent position to change her luck and add an All-American finish on the oval after doing so on the cross country course last fall. 19. Fiona Smith (St. Benedict) There’s no denying that Fiona Smith is the very heavy national title favorite here. Her 32:57 result over this distance back in March was good for the NCAA #2 all-time Division Three mark and it’s over a minute faster than the next-best seed in this field. It seems almost inevitable that this five-time national champion will add another gold medal to her tally. 20. Estelle Snider (U. Of Chicago) This young U. of Chicago star is already on the way to her third national meet appearance despite holding true freshman status. In her most recent outing, Estelle Snider had a tough day over 5000 meters at St. Francis. However, she has done plenty this spring to show that she can be highly competitive against national-level talents like the ones who she'll face here, so we aren't too concerned. 21. Sophie Tedesco (U. of Chicago) Coming in less than a second behind Rachel Brennan at the Washington U. Distance Carnival 10k, Sophie Tedesco continued to roll into April with a 16:51 (5k) mark at UW-Platteville. Her only competition in the past month came at the UAA Championships where she placed 3rd and 5th in the 10k and 5k, respectively. Tedesco has operated at a high level this spring without having to tap into her reserves too often which should help her succeed at this stage. 22. Ally Verbauwhede (Edgewood) Taking care of business early in the season, Ally Verbauwhede had a breakthrough race at the Washington U. Distance Carnival which locked down her first appearance at a national meet on the track. Just last week, she notched a nice 16:51 PR over 5000 meters. While that was not enough to qualify her for the postseason in that event as well, it was a good display of sharpness and momentum at this point in the season.

  • INTERVIEWS: 2024 Utah Track & Field State Championships

    Our guy Donny Speas was at the Utah Track & Field State Championships this past weekend and was able to snag a large handful of post-race interviews! Be sure to go visit our YouTube channel to check them out! Danny Simmons (American Fork) Jane Hedengren (Timpview) Zach Hillhouse (Pleasant Grove) Lily Alder (Timpview) Austin Westfall (Orem) Cadence Kasprick (Grand County) William Steadman (Herriman) Cailey Bracken (Mountain Ridge) ➤ Running Gear We Found GREAT Deals On (Amazon Affiliate) 👟 ⁠⁠ ➤ SUBSCRIBE! 👇

  • NCAA Headlines: UCLA Director Avery Anderson to Retire, Duke Distance Coach Angela Reckart to Depart After Season

    The often chaotic coaching carousel is seemingly getting off to an early start this year with a few key developments already unfolding. Earlier this year, major coaching positions at both Boston University and Boise State opened up. And now, within the last week, both UCLA and Duke will have two open coaching positions of their own. Here's what you need to know about these recent developments... UCLA Director of Track & Field Avery Anderson Set to Retire On Wednesday, UCLA announced that Avery Anderson, the school's Director of Track & Field, would be retiring at the end of the season. Anderson, who is an alumnus of UCLA, was hired for the team's Director role back in 2017 after serving as the Director for California State University, Northridge (CSUN) for six years. There is an argument to be made that no other coaching position in the country will be more sought after this year than UCLA's open Director role. The Bruins boast prestigious academics, a proven ability to field nationally competitive teams (to varying extents) and a presumably reasonable number of scholarships to work with. It also doesn't hurt that UCLA will be joining the rapidly ascending BIG 10 Conference at the start of the 2024-2025 academic calendar year. But with an attractive job opening also comes a slew of potential candidates who are more than reasonable fits for this Los Angeles-based track and field program. And naturally, that makes predicting a future hire for this position that much more challenging. It feels unlikely, although certainly not impossible, that the Bruins would hire a distance-oriented coach to lead their program for the future. That's because the last three coaches to assume UCLA's Director of Track & Field and Cross Country role (or "Head Coach" role) have covered areas such as the throws, sprints/hurdles, relays and multi-events. Distance Coach Angela Reckart to Depart From Duke Earlier this week, it was announced that Duke's head cross country coach and assistant track and field coach (distance), Angela Reckart, would be leaving Duke University at the conclusion of the 2024 outdoor track season. At the moment, fellow distance coach Adam Cooke remains on the team's staff. Earlier this year, The Stride Report noted that Amina Maatoug, the team's focal superstar, had entered the transfer portal as a graduate transfer. Reckhart was hired by Duke in 2021 after serving as the associate head coach of cross country and assistant coach of track and field at Penn State. Her introduction to Duke came as part of a massive roster revamp following the hiring of a new Director, Shawn Wilbourn. During her time in Durham, Reckart has found mixed results between her men's and women's distance programs. While both cross country teams have been unable to reach the cross country national meet in recent years, a handful of individuals have found respectable success, specifically on the track. Those successes include developing Nick Dahl into an All-American miler, recruiting and refining Amina Maatoug into an NCAA star, landing sub-four high school miler Jackson Heidesch, helping Zach Kinne qualify for the NCAA XC Championships as an individual and guiding Michaela Reinhart and Emily Cole to national qualifying spots at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. The Blue Devils have also begun to see quietly great middle distance depth accumulate on their roster, specifically over 800 meters. This spring, Duke had five different women run 2:05 or faster over the half-mile distance while the men's team had six different individuals run under 1:50. With Reckart gone, a key opening at a Power Five school now opens -- and the candidates will be plentiful. Expect assistant distance coaches at other major ACC programs to be in contention to land the newly-opened position later this summer. But if the Blue Devils do hire the head distance coach (rather than an assistant) from another program, then it wouldn't be unlikely for a number of transfer prospects to hit the portal and follow their coach to Durham, North Carolina. According to one source, no Duke distance athletes other than Maatoug have entered the transfer portal since November.

  • 2024 NCAA Regional Scratch Reactions

    On Wednesday evening, the NCAA released their declared entries (and their declared scratches) for the upcoming Division One East & West Regional Championships. And while there were a good number of entries that were largely unsurprising, there were also a handful of fascinating event decisions. Let's take a look at some of the more surprising accepted entries / scratches that we just saw come across our computer and phone screens on Wednesday night... Florida's Parker Valby to Attempt 10k/5k Double We knew that this was a realistic possibility and sure enough, it has happened. And if you had asked me what the chances were that Valby would double throughout the rest of the postseason vs just go all-in for one event, I would have said that it was a 50/50 split (if I had to guess). On one hand, Valby has a history of injuries. And even though we haven't had any legitimate qualms about her health throughout this academic year, choosing to race 30,000 meters between the regional and national meets is a lot. Plus, with the Olympic Trials on the horizon, one would think that the Gator phenom would want to keep her legs as fresh as possible should she continue to race into late June. But on the other hand, the Florida women almost certainly have team title aspirations and Valby would be heavily favored to give them 20 points with a pair of national titles. And of course, adding two more NCAA gold medals to Valby's resume would put her in rarified air when we talk about the all-time collegiate greats, at least from a distance running perspective. I do like this decision. Valby is on a hot streak right now and there's no reason why her and Coach Will Palmer wouldn't take advantage of her (seemingly) being healthy. Oregon Duo of Silan Ayyildiz & Maddy Elmore Scratch Out of 1500 Meters in Favor of 5000 Meters This pair of scratches certainly wasn't what I was expecting, but in retrospect, maybe I should have expected it. Both Silan Ayyildiz and Maddy Elmore have built their reputations over 1500 meters. Last spring, Elmore broke onto the scene with a streak of excellent metric mile performances, capping her 2023 campaign with a 4:08 PR. Ayyildiz, meanwhile, has been really solid in the mile and 1500 meters this year, posting times of 4:30 and 4:09, respectively. Of course, both of those women have also had grand success over 5000 meters in recent months, each posting jaw-dropping personal bests of 15:15 earlier this spring. I'll admit, I'm a bit torn on this pair of decisions. On paper, both Ayyildiz and Elmore look like heavy favorites to be All-Americans in the 5k. However, Ayyildiz has only ever dipped under the 16-minute barrier for 5000 meters once in her career and Elmore has only ever run under 15:55 (5k) once in her career. But at the same time, Ayyildiz was great over 3000 meters this past winter and has had a (very small) handful of respectable cross country results. As for Elmore, she's run even faster over 3000 meters meters (8:50) and she is far more accomplished in cross country by comparison, showcasing greater aerobic strength. You could also argue that the women's 5000 meters isn't quite as deep, nationally, as the women's 1500 meters is this year. But truthfully, I'm splitting hairs here. Choosing to attack the 1500 meters instead of the 5000 meters wouldn't dramatically change the chances of these women earning All-American honors come June. And with a large handful of top women doubling back from the steeplechase, 1500 meters or 10,000 meters, this Oregon duo will have the advantage of racing on fresh legs. Northern Arizona's Nico Young Scratches 1500 Meters to Go All-In On 5k When it comes to the NCAA Championships, this was the right decision and the decision that made the most sense. Sure, Nico Young could have chosen to run the 1500 meters, but his chances of winning a national title in that event were a good bit lower than his chances of winning a national title over 5000 meters. The only argument that you could make for Young to enter the 1500 meters (while scratching the 5k) is the fact that he would only have to race a total of 6000 meters rather than 10,000 meters between the regional and national meets rounds. And for someone whose clear focus is the Olympic Trials in late June, the idea of preserving Young's legs as much as possible could have potentially played a role. Even so, Young' decision to attack just the 5000 meters not only gives him the greatest chance of winning another NCAA gold medal, but it also gives his teammate, Colin Sahlman, one less title contender to deal with over 1500 meters. Texas Tech's Juliet Cherubet to Attempt 1500/5k Double When Texas Tech's Juliet Cherubet ran 15:25 for 5000 meters earlier this season, it seemed like a forgone conclusion that she would contest that event on the regional and national stages. When you pair that mark with her brilliant cross country success, it felt clear that the aerobic-centric events would be her focus in late May and early June. But then Cherubet toed the line for the 1500 meters at the BIG 12 Championships. There, she would run a blistering time of 4:09 to defeat a very good field which featured Sadie Sargent, Olivia Howell, Billah Jepkirui, Riley Chamberlain and Gracie Morris. In our eyes, it was one of the more impressive wins of the entire conference championship weekend. Even so, despite her excellent run, I still believe that Cherubet should have dropped the 1500 meters and have gone all-in for the 5k. Despite her season-defining win, there is far more evidence which suggests that this Red Raider rookie is a better 5k runner than she is a 1500-meter runner. The inexperience of going through four different rounds of the metric mile (regional and national) isn't going to be easy for a freshman, especially with the women's 1500 meters appearing to be incredibly loaded this year. And while she'll still have the 5k to fall back on if the 1500 meters doesn't go her way, not being fresh for that race is certainly not going to do Cherubet any favors. Stanford's Ky Robinson Scratches 10k to Go All-In On 5k I have to be honest, I don't understand this decision at all. It was more than reasonable to assume that Stanford superstar Ky Robinson would contest both the 10,000 meters and the 5000 meters for the remainder of the postseason. He did, after all, win two national titles in those events last spring. But if this Cardinal ace was going to choose between the two events, then the 10k was absolutely the event that he should have opted to solely pursue -- not the 5k. And generally speaking, I don't think Robinson is dramatically better over 5000 meters than he is over 10,000 meters (and vice versa). Neither Nico Young nor Parker Wolfe, two long distance superstars, have regional qualifying marks over 10,000 meters this spring. That means that the only other long distance superstar who could have given Robinson trouble in that event was Habtom Samuel. Now, in fairness to Robinson, trying to defeat a sub-28:00 (10k) guy like Habtom Samuel is not at all an easy task. That said, championship racing can be fairly dynamic, even with aggressive pace pushers headlining the field. And when you look at the 5k, trying to defeat guys like Nico Young and Parker Wolfe (as well as a doubling back Habtom Samuel) is arguably even harder. There is likely a reason that I simply don't know about which makes Robinson's decision to scratch the 10k easier to understand. But strictly on paper, this one left me a bit puzzled. Virginia Tech's Lindsey Butler Scratches 800 Meters in Favor of 1500 Meters We mentioned in past articles (and on the podcast) that this was a possibility -- and I really like that this was the decision that Butler made. The Virginia Tech veteran surprised many of us earlier this season when she dropped a fantastic 1500-meter PR of 4:07 at the Wake Forest Invite. That was a huge performance which also validated Butler's 4:31 mile PR from the 2023 indoor track season. Butler has built her reputation over 800 meters, but her performances over that distance in the last month or so have left us wanting so much more. With momentum stalling in that event, the Hokie middle distance star was smart to change things up. I wouldn't necessarily say that Butler's chances of being an All-American over 1500 meters are any higher or lower than if she were to contest the 800 meters. However, I do feel a bit more comfortable about her getting to the 1500-meter finals than the 800-meter finals at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Virginia's Margot Appleton Scratches Out of 1500 Meters to Go All-In On 5k With the information that they had, I don't think that Margot Appleton and Virginia's coaching staff could have gone wrong with any entry decision. Whether that was going all-in for the 1500 meters, going all-in for the 5000 meters or choosing to double between those two events, I wouldn't have disagreed with any of those approaches. I will, however, note that Margot Appleton has been an All-American in her last three national meet appearances on the track. And at each of those meets, Appleton ran the mile or the 1500 meters. In fact, if you include her DMR anchor leg at the 2022 indoor national meet, then Appleton has four All-American honors at that distance. Appleton's chances of being an All-American in the 5k this season are probably just as high as they would be over 1500 meters, although I did think that her experience and prior success would push her towards the latter. Other Notable or Surprising Declarations Seeing Sadie Sargent (BYU) opt out of the 1500 meters in favor of the 5000 meters was the right move. The best parts of her resume are in strength-based events and by contesting the 5k, she can take advantage of a field that will have multiple women running on tired legs. Kirami Yego (Arkansas), Patrick Kiprop (Arkansas), Evan Jenkins (Washington), Denis Kipngetich (Oklahoma State), Alex Phillip (North Carolina) and Victor Kiprop (Alabama) all scratched out of the 5k in favor of the 10k. I would have liked to see some of these men try the double, mainly the Arkansas men, but this was generally the right decision for everyone involved. Juliette Whittaker (Stanford) has scratched out of the 1500 meters to put her focus on the 800 meters. Outside of the obvious fact that she is simply a better 800-meter runner than a metric miler, Whittaker likely doesn't have fond memories of racing the 1500 meters at the regional level after getting ousted from national qualifying in 2023. Elliott Cook (Oregon) is deferring the 800 meters in favor of the 1500 meters. Had he not just taken down the Washington men en route to the PAC-12 title over 1500 meters this past weekend, then this may have been a (slightly) tougher decision. Regardless, this was absolutely the right call. I'm a little bummed that we won't get to see Colorado's Bailey Hertenstein contest the 10k. She'll still be racing the 5k, but in a year where the women's 10k feels like it's lacking depth, that would have been a great opportunity for the Buffalo veteran to secure an All-American honor. Jenna Hutchins (BYU) scratched out of the 5k in favor of the 10k and I really like this move. As I just mentioned above, the women's 10k has a handful of All-American spots that are seemingly up for grabs. Plus, with the West region having only 10 women who have run under 33 minutes this year, Hutchins should be heavily favored to advance to Eugene, Oregon. Kang Nyoak (Northern Arizona) opting out of the 1500 meters in favor of the 5000 meters was really surprising to me. With a converted 3:39 (1500) mark, Nyoak sat as the 11th-best runner in the West region before scratches. But over 5000 meters, Nyoak is the 47th seed before scratches. Even if Nyoak's conversion was three seconds slower, he'd be still be listed higher in the West region (before scratches) over 1500 meters. The CBU duo of Matias Reynaga and Valentin Soca also scratched out of the 1500 meters despite their 3:39 conversions. However, they will have two shots at national qualification between the 10k and the 5k. Kiara Carter (Lipscomb) is taking on the 1500 meters instead of the 800 meters, a move that I admittedly struggle to get behind. Carter is a top-ranked name over the half-mile distance with her 2:02 mark while her 1500-meter time of 4:14 puts her in the latter-half of the East region field. Doris Lemngole (Alabama) and Olivia Markezich (Notre Dame) scratched the 5k to focus on the steeplechase while Kimberley May (Providence) scratched the 5k to focus on the 1500 meters. These women could have doubled, but there wasn't really a need for it. That said, Maia Ramsden (Harvard) is opting for the 1500/5k double. I really like the decision for Amaris Tyynismaa (NC State) to scratch the 5k in favor of the 10k. She's looked excellent in both of her efforts at that distance and in general, that field is limited on All-American favorites.

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