NCAA D3 Distance Preview

NCAA D3 Distance Preview

By: Matt Rock, Zeke Cohen, Greg Ferland, and Zach Dulabon Men’s Mile - Prelims Friday 2:30pm; Finals Saturday 2:30pmThe mile often is a crossover event wher

Mar 11, 2016 by Gordon Mack
NCAA D3 Distance Preview
By: Matt Rock, Zeke Cohen, Greg Ferland, and Zach Dulabon

Men’s Mile - Prelims Friday 2:30pm; Finals Saturday 2:30pm

The mile often is a crossover event where the top times come from runners who excel in other distances. That is not the case in this race, as nine of the top ten milers in 2016 will be competing in Iowa. A year ago, the top seed was a 4:10.87; this year, nine men are seeded faster. At the top is Haverford’s Charlie Marquardt, whose 4:02.24, run at the new banked facility on Staten Island, is the fifth best all time in Division III. But Marquardt has historically fared better in time trial-type races than in tactical championship races. His best national finish came last Spring in the 1500 where he finished a close second to Paul Escher of St. Olaf. Unfortunately for Marquardt, Escher is back as the two seed in this indoor mile. In addition to winning the 1500, Escher is the reigning indoor mile champ and finished sixth at the 2015 NCAA cross country championships. He has proven to be exceptionally good at running well when it matters, and repeatedly exceeds expectations on the national stage.

The only other returner in the field besides Escher is Isaac Garcia-Cassani of SUNY Geneseo, who was third as a freshman in 2015. After missing out on qualifying for the 1500 last spring, IGC finished eighth at cross country nationals this past fall and is seeded sixth. Expect to Ramapo’s Jeremy Hernandez duking it out with Marquardt and Escher. Hernandez has the fastest 800 PB in the field at 1:50.32 and was an All-American at that distance indoors and out last year. He also has the strength to hang with the top guys, having run 8:25 for 3k and claiming a 4:07.58 mile PB (banked), second only to Marquardt. Additionally, don’t count out Aron Sebhat of North Central, who was fourth in the 1500 last spring and anchored the fourth place DMR at the 2015 indoor championships. Marquardt, IGC, Sebhat, and Escher (as well at Tom Linner) are all rostered on their respective DMR teams. Depending on who ends up racing on Friday night (one substitution is allowed for each relay), it’s possible the freshest legs will prevail on Saturday.

A podium spot will also likely go to at least one of three men who have made massive breakthroughs this winter: Colin Mulcahy of Fredonia (previous PR 4:13.25), Neil Pederson of UW-Stevens Point (4:23.04), and St. Olaf’s Joe Coffey (4:19.45) all broke 4:10 for the first time in 2016. They are seeded third, fourth, and fifth, respectively. But for the win, Escher’s championship resume makes him the favorite even against the talent of Marquardt.

Predictions: Escher, Marquardt, Hernandez

Women’s Mile - Prelims Friday 2:45 pm; Finals Saturday 2:40pm

Five of the top-10 finishers from last year’s final have graduated, and Sanjuanita Martinez and Jordan Tuin are not competing in this race, leaving only the 2nd, 3rd, and 8th place finishers from last year: Hannah Cappell-Dick of Eastern Mennonite, Maryann Gong of MIT, and Sarah Nielsen of Swarthmore, respectively. The winner is likely to be either Cappell-Dick or Gong. Gong has been ruling the indoor track circuit for almost every distance this season, with Division III leading marks at the mile and 3k--4:52.57 and 9:41.34, respectively--and the second-fastest 5k, in which she is not competing. Although the junior’s seasonal bests have been relatively static since she was a freshman, her championship performance has steadily improved--she is a 9-time All-American, despite some relatively poor championship performances as a freshman and during cross country, and is the defending champion in the indoor 3k. Gong will be competing in the mile, the DMR, and the 3k at NCAAs, but should she make the finals, she’ll have run only a preliminary mile and the DMR anchor leg. It’s likely that she’d want to minimize her efforts in winning this race, since she has a tough 3k matchup 3 hours later, but she’d face trouble in a slow race.

A slow, tactical race favors many runners. Cappell-Dick, who finished 2nd here a year ago, and 3rd in the outdoor 1500, is only competing in the mile this year, and is the 9th seed. She boasts a 57.94 400 and 2:09.37 800, both from last outdoor season. She doesn’t lack strength either, having finished 17th at XC Nationals this fall. In a race that comes down to a final sprint, Cappell-Dick has a great claim to win the race, especially considering Gong’s personal best is a 2:14 and she hasn’t broken 2:21 this season.

Also in the mix will be 10th seed Tricia Serres of Luther, 2nd seed Emily Gapinski of St. Thomas, 7th seed Brittany Kozlowski of St. Norbert, and 4th seed Alanna McDonough of Colby. Serres hasn’t had a great year, failing to make NCAAs in Cross Country, and falling fall short of her previous bests in indoor races, but at her best she is formidable. Last year, she finished 2nd in the 5000 and won the 1500 at NCAA Outdoors; the year before, she finished 2nd outdoors and 2nd indoors, also coming in 3rd in the 3000 indoors. She only started the season in February, perhaps recovering from an injury, but she’s raced her way back into shape, qualifying for Nationals the last possible day. If she’s fully healthy, she could add to her stack of trophies. Gapinski is also a dangerous competitor. She beat Gong and Cappell-Dick last year in the outdoor 1500, finishing in 2nd. Her 800 PR is 2:10.9, and she ran a 2:51.48 1000 this season at MIAC Championships, and she’s been almost unbeatable all winter. Even doubling back from the DMR, she can’t be ignored. Kozlowski is also doubling in the 800, and will have run a mile and an 800 in the preliminaries should she reach the final. With a 58 400 and 2:10 800, she’s speed-oriented, so if the pace is fast from the gun, she may not be a factor, but in a slow race, the two-time All-American has the sprint speed to perform well. McDonough, more known as a steepler, has made an impact this season, and is the 4th seed in the mile. She was on Colby’s 2nd place 4x400 team as a freshman, so she also could kick to victory. She was, however, outpaced by the 3rd seed, Sarah Kelley of Bowdoin, in the State of Maine Championships in the 1000.

The two NESCAC women, Kelley and 5th seed Victoria Kingham of Williams, are dark horses. Kelley has vastly improved on her 1500m PR of 4:49, recording a new personal best in the mile of 4:56.34 at D3 New Englands, losing only to Gong and outpacing Kingham. For her part, Kingham recorded her own PR at Tufts Cupid, breaking 5 for the first time with a 4:56.79, also behind Gong. Both women will be fresh, only competing in the mile. Kingham has good 800 speed and Kelley good 1000 speed. Each will be prepared for a kick or an honest race.

Predictions: Gong, Cappell-Dick, Kelley

Men’s 800 - Prelims Friday 5:05pm; Finals Saturday 4:45pm

Can anyone beat Mitchell Black? The senior from Tufts has been undefeated against DIII competition in the 800m since a 2nd place finish at the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Championships, having won the previous two (Indoor 2015, Outdoor 2015) NCAA Championships. Black certainly is the class of the field, with the fastest time this season by nearly a full second, decent sprint speed, and several very strong mile races. He’s shown great ability to win in either a tactical or honest race. Black will likely be anchoring the DMR, and won’t be fresh on Saturday, but he’s still tough to bet against.

Beating Black will be a tall order, but two stud freshmen, 2-seed Wal Khat of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and 8-seed Jarod Wilson of MIT will certainly try. Khat has burst onto the scene this year. Records show that his personal best of 1:56 from high school, but raced his way into shape this season, culminating with an enormous 4 second personal best at the WIAC Championships, when he beat 3-seed Cyrus Mason and 10-seed Joe Hinz. Khat, who finished 125th at NCAA XC this fall, has obviously never raced at nationals, but has incredible upside. Wilson, too, has a lot of upside, and has the second-fastest unconverted 800 time this year, a 1:49.70, run at Boston University’s banked track. He’s been getting steadily better all season, and is looking championship-ready. Freshmen at NCAAs are always a tossup, but these two certainly have the talent to be on the podium.

Veterans in the race include Tufts’ Veer Bhalla, who has scintillating 600 speed (he broke the Tufts school record this winter, formerly held by Mitch Black) and has made the 800 field at NCAA Indoors twice, Bowdoin’s Jacob Ellis, a sub-1:50 guy who appears finally back in shape after a tough 18 months since his 3rd place finish at 2014 NCAAs, and Deko Ricketts, from Washington University in St. Louis. Ricketts is an enigmatic runner, having already raced nineteen times this season. His personal bests are as good as anyone’s, including a 1:19 600 and a 1:50 (unconverted) 800, but his championships pedigree is somewhat lacking for an athlete who’s been at the top of DIII for several years. His best result was a 4th place finish at 2014 NCAA Outdoors. Watch out for dark horse Cyrus Mason, the 3rd seed from Wisconsin LaCrosse. Mason appeared to have been entirely a 400 specialist--and a 6-time All-American--before this year. He’s only run two 800s, but he’s already at the top of the list, and should he make it through rounds, he’ll be an absolute force.

Predictions: Black, Ricketts, Bhalla

Women’s 800 - Prelims Friday 5:20pm; Finals Saturday 4:55pm

Seven returners from last years indoor field, nine returners from the outdoor race, and one wide open race.  The entire field is separated by only 2.3 seconds.  Emily Richards of Ohio Northern enters this meet as the top seed after having run the fastest flat track time of the season. Richards, who finished 7th at outdoor nationals last season has one key advantage over many of her competitors, she will not be called into relay action nor is she doubling. Rachel Shine of Oneonta qualified in the 800, mile, 3000 and DMR, but is only entered in the 800 and DMR. Shine rand 2:10.25 on a banked track this season, has a personal best of 2:09.9, and finished third in the 800 at indoor nationals last year.  If the race comes down to a fast close, Shine may struggle as she is a strength oriented 800m runner. Two 4x All-Americans, Michelle Dobbs of University of Chicago and Emily Warner of Washington University in St. Louis will be major factors in this race as they boast championship success, top end speed, and sub 2:10 PR’s. Dobbs has run 57.09 for the 400 and Warner 55.9, however their kick might be dulled by the fact that both are competing in the DMR. St. Norbert’s Brittany Kozlowski is a multiple time All-American in the 800 but may struggle to repeat this feat as she is also entered in a competitive mile field. Laura Morrison is seeded third in this year’s field, but has among the slowest personal bess of the field and struggled in her only appearance on the national stage. Logan Harrington, Rachel Atchison, Katie McKay, Kayla Leland and Amy Viti all return from the outdoor field, but only Viti and McKay have advanced beyond the prelims at a national meet.  

Predictions: Shine, Dobbs, Warner

Men’s 5K - Friday 6:25pm

In the absence of the 2015 10k and cross country national champion, Ian Lamere, the distance show goes on. Among the field there are 8 Cross Country all-americans, a 5k national champion, and a handful of athletes who are competing on the national stage for the first time. The depth of the field is not reflected in what is an abnormally large spread of the seed times: 23 seconds separate the first and last seeds. However, consider that 14-seed Mohamed Hussein (Amherst) beat 2-seed Mazaheri (Williams) 4 out of the 5 times they raced this fall. To be fair, Mazaheri’s 3rd place finish at XC nationals dwarfs Hussein’s 27th place, but the fact remains that Hussein (who has raced himself into shape after missing time due to injury), will be vying for a title.

Colin Cotton has also struggled this winter, after posting his nation-leading 14:17 in early December, he did not race again until late in February, when he won a tactical 5k at the Div. III NE Championship. Tim Nichols was a victim of Cotton’s 61s closing 400m. Thorson has also had the chance to race a number of guys in this field, going undefeated this winter save for a loss to his teammate, and seven-seed, Nick Petersson. Since he transferred to Wis.-Eau Claire at the start of the 2014 Cross Country season, he has been a phenomenal competitor, racking up third and runner-up finishes in Cross Country, a third place finish in the 3k last winter, and a win in the 5k at the Outdoor Championships last Spring. Thorson is a smart racer, who is clearly very strong (4:13 mile, in addition to several faster efforts in the DMR), and can stand to kick or run very hard.

Petersson has the fastest mile of the field this winter, and his only shot at winning is if the race is tactical and he has a chance to kick down the leaders. These two are joined by teammate Darin Lau (seeded sixth), one of two underclassmen in the field. Despite his age, Lau has raced with composure throughout his career--rolling off of a 10th place finish in the 10k at Outdoor Nationals last spring, he finished 14th at Cross Country nationals this fall, and qualified for the 3k and the 5k this winter. Also hailing from the WIAC is 9-seed Tony Cass. He will be looking to latch on to the lead pack to grab an All-American finish.

Though the battle at the front will likely be contested by Eau Claire and Williams athletes, Hart Hornor has a knack for competition and a history of breaking his seed. He ran his national qualifying time just a week ago with a solo-effort at the MIAC championship meet, winning the race by thirty seconds. Perhaps fatigued from this effort so close to the title race, Hornor’s experience and racing acumen could carry him to the podium--he was 7th at Cross Country nationals this fall and third in the 10k and sixth in the 5k at outdoor nationals last spring.

Don’t sleep on Tim Vazquez (seeded fifth) and Cole Decker (seeded 8th). Vazquez, who was tenth in the 5k at indoor nationals 2015, failed to make the North Central Varsity squad in country country this fall but his progression this winter was remarkable, culminating in an 8-second PR in a dominant 10-second win over Zach Plank in the 5k at the CCIW conference meet. Decker has had his fair share of national championship experience, racking up All-American finishes in cross country and the 10k over the last year. He will certainly be fighting for an all-american finish on Friday, looking to best his 10th place finish in this race last year.

Predictions: Thorson, Mazaheri, Hornor

Women’s 5K - Friday 6:50pm

One of the biggest stories from last year’s indoor championships was the lap counting error during the women’s 5k. To make a long story short, then-senior Lucy Cheadle won the 4800m race and Amy Regan won the 5000m race, but after official review Cheadle was awarded the national title as she was winning at the point deemed the finish. In any case, Regan returns this year with a chip on her shoulder and a chance at redemption. With Maryann Gong of MIT opting to run the 3k and the DMR over the 5k, Regan now has the fastest seed time by 42 seconds, leaving little doubt that she will take one step up the podium this year.

Behind Regan, it will be a close race for the remaining coveted All-American spots. Megan Costanzo of North Central has the second best seed time of 17:12 and has consistently raced well this year from the mile through the 5k. Another bright spot on her resume is a third place finish in the national championship 10k last spring. However, fourth seed Khia Kurtenbach of UChicago outkicked Costanzo in a 5k in February. Kurtenbach has yet to be defeated in a 5k this year and has improved by over a minute since last spring. If the race is tactical, Kurtenbach will be looking to kick for a top-3 finish.

Cornell College’s Sanjuanita Martinez and Erin Artz of St. Norbert raced head to head in both the 3k and the 5k at their conference meet, with Martinez winning by nearly 30 seconds each time. However, a fast 5k on the BU track with plenty of Division I runners to chase was enough to give Artz the third seed this weekend, while Martinez is seeded tenth. Martinez has plenty of national championship experience, however, with four all-american finishes in the past two years from cross country, the steeplechase, and the mile. Carleton’s Ruth Steinke is seeded fifth, and is coming off an impressive 4:59/9:51 double over two days at the MIAC Championships. She’s a strong cross country runner with two top-five national championship finishes in the past two years. Lisa Grohn of St. Lawrence ran her PB of 17:05 outdoors two years ago, and hasn’t come close to that mark since. But this winter, she’s dropped 10 seconds in the mile to 4:57 and 20 seconds in the 3k to 9:47, which makes her a threat in a kicker’s race. Other runners with a good chance of landing on the podium are Aly Wayne of Washington University (seeded sixth), Sarah Fowler of Ohio Wesleyan (seventh), and Emily Sundquist of Williams (eighth).

Barring a tactical mistake by Regan, she’s a lock for first place. Given the density of the field behind her, the woman who finishes second will need speed to break away from the pack. That gives Grohn (4:57 mile PB), Steinke (4:59), and Martinez (5:00) a distinct advantage.

Predictions: Regan, Martinez, Steinke

Men’s 3K - Saturday 5:25pm

The main question going into the 3k, as it often is, is who’s going to be left standing by the time the race starts. Six of the top 13 will be doubling back. This includes nearly all the presumed favorites, such as Wis.-Eau Claire’s Josh Thorson and Williams’ Bijan Mazaheri. Of these two, Josh Thorson is the absolute class of the field. The redshirt junior is the top seed, and he has the championship pedigree to back it up--he finished 3rd in this event last year to St Olaf’s Jake Campbell, and then-senior, Grant Wintheiser. Thorson definitely has the ability to win this event, and recently beat teammates Nick Petersson and Darin Lau at the WIAC Championships, but he’ll be doubling, running the 5k the day before. With a hard race in his legs, he may be a bit tired. Mazaheri’s résumé is similar to Thorson’s: he finished 3rd at cross country nationals this fall (behind Thorson and Lamere); a 10k star, he finished an agonizing .007 behind Lamere at the 2015 Outdoor Championships. He too will be doubling back from the 5k. Although Mazaheri lacks speed, and certainly approaches the 3k from a distance standpoint, he is undefeated against DIII competition this season in three races, having twice defeated teammate and eight-seed Peter Hale, and could pull off a top-three finish.

The winner of this race may well be one of the fresh athletes. Of this subset, Geremia Lizier-Zmudzinski, a redshirt freshman from Puget Sound, Patrick Hoagland, a senior from Trinity, and 2015 3k champion Jake Campbell stand the best chance of performing well. Lizier-Zmudzinski is incredibly talented. A transfer from Georgetown, he’s run a 4:09 mile this season (albeit on an oversized track), and his converted 8:17 is the fastest time by a freshman in nearly a decade. How he performs at the national level remains to be seen, but he’s certainly capable of winning this race, particularly if it is tactical. Hoagland’s improvement curve is better than almost anybody--he runs the 3k nearly a full minute faster than he did three years ago--and he’s beaten Mohamed Hussein (Amherst), Will McDermott (Widener), Ryan Stender (Brandeis), as well as Tufts’ Luke O’Connor (also racing the 5000m) all in the 3000m at Tufts last week. He also defeated Peter Hale earlier this season. Hoagland finished 12th here a year ago, but fresh, and with much-improved fitness, he stands to finish much higher.

Jake Campbell has earned the right for his own paragraph. Last year, fewer than 24 hours after finishing 4th in the 5k, he ran down teammate and Cross Country national champion Grant Wintheiser for the win. His time was good for 6th all-time in Division III. Last Outdoor season, he showed his speed, finishing 3rd in the 1500m. This fall, he displayed his range, finishing 5th at cross country nationals. Although there have been rumors of injury this season, he’s raced consistently throughout, running a personal record in the mile (4:07) and winning the MIAC 3000m over Hart Hornor in 8:19. He’s only competing in the 3k, and has the speed and endurance to make a bid to win, no matter the sort of race that develops. His fiercest and most experienced competition, Thorson and Mazaheri, will not be fresh (both are racing the 5k) and perhaps unwilling to make the race fast. If Campbell is fully healthy, Thorson would need a herculean effort, and anyone else a miracle, to upset Campbell.

Predictions: Thorson, Campbell, Hoagland

Women’s 3K - Saturday 5:40pm

Maryann Gong of MIT enters this race as both the top seed and the defending champion, and one of only two returning from last year’s field, the other being Amy Regan of Steven’s Institute. Although Regan and Gong are clearly the class of the field, neither will be fresh for this race as Gong is contesting the mile and the DMR and Regan is entered in the 5k. Despite being the two heavy favorites, if Gong and Regan are pushed in their other races, other individuals could make this more than a race for third as this is a deep and talented field. Gong will likely allow a tactical race to unfold and rely on her mile speed to kick for a win. Regan, too, has leg speed and can kick with the best of them.

Seeded 3rd and 4th are the RPI duo of Jamie Lord and Madeline Dery who worked together at the Tufts Last Chance Meet a week ago to run their qualifying times. Beyond these two, there are a plethora of Cross Country All-Americans including the Johns Hopkins duo of Caroline Smith and Tess Meehan who have competed multiple times on the national stage for the Blue Jays. Ruth Steinke of Carleton has finished in the top five at Cross Country nationals the past two seasons, but has yet to translate that success onto the track. However, she will be fresh and looking to mix things up in either a fast or tactical race. If there is one individual who can pull an upset, it would most likely be Megan Kellog of St. Lawrence. Kellog was undefeated in Cross Country until nationals where she finished a disappointing 66th. Still, she has both the championship experience (All-American in the 5k at Outdoor Nationals last spring) and the talent (4:28 1500 and 16:50 5k) to vie for the title. Her teammate Lisa Grohn should be competing for an top eight finish as she is a multiple time national qualifier in the 5k and recently ran a 4:57 mile where she was outleaned by Jamie Lord.

Predictions: Gong, Regan, Kellog

Men’s DMR - Friday 7:50pm

It is a bit dicey to prognosticate about this race because each team can make one substitution for their officially entered rosters. Big names like Josh Thorson (Wis.-Eau Claire), Charlie Marquardt (Haverford), and Paul Escher (St. Olaf) are slated to run the anchor legs for their respective teams, and are also entered in other events. Given that the 1600m is often the deciding leg of this event, it will be interesting to see who actually takes the handoff from the 800m guy.

Wis.-Eau Claire is back to defend their title. Thorson anchored their team in a fast (approximately 4:06) mile to win the race last year. However, he didn’t run the 5000m and this year he will be. The DMR starts under 90 minutes after the 5000m, so it’ll be a stretch for Thorson to come back from that and run fast enough to win. There is similar pressure on the St. Olaf men--either Escher will have to double back from the mile prelims and run (keep in mind he’s running the mile finals and the 3000m on Saturday), or give it to Jake Campbell, who is looking to win the 3000m on Saturday. If they forgo their mile studs, St. Olaf does have a slew of people who can run sub-4:15, but the difference between 4:15 and 4:07 will hurt them when it counts.

The DMR, despite the efforts of the first three runners, often comes down to the anchor leg. Should they opt to run, one of Marquardt, Isaac Garcia-Cassani (Geneseo), Escher, and Mitch Black (Tufts) will likely be the winner of this race. Marquardt is certainly the fittest in the field, having run a 4:02.24 mile (unconverted) earlier in the season. He’ll have run the mile preliminaries earlier in the day, but will have 5 hours of recovery, and is not likely to go too hard in his heat. Garcia-Cassani surprised with a 3rd place individual finish in the mile last year, and has only improved since then, including an impressive 8th place finish at NCAA XC. He will also be running a mile preliminary earlier in the day, but should be capable of anchoring his team to a top-3 finish if he’s on form. Black is underrated in this field--surprising for a 3:50 1500m man who’s won the previous two 800ms at NCAAs, indoors and outdoors. At Tufts Last Chance, he shocked onlookers, splitting a 4:05 in the 1600m. He has the strength to make up serious ground, and if the race is tactical, he is obviously the most accomplished at shorter races, and easily could kick for the win. Other teams will need to work hard to get out of range of Tufts by the anchor leg.

Connecticut College, though seeded only ninth, could put pressure on the field. Anchor Ben Bosworth’s mile PR is only 4:15, but he did that a day after anchoring the DMR in 4:08. Niall Williams (1200) and Connor Trapp (800) have put together very solid seasons, both running consistently better than in previous years. If all four Camels can have their best performances, they have the talent to finish in the top-5, or even the top-3.

Predictions: Wis. Eau-Claire, SUNY Geneseo, Haverford

Women’s DMR - Friday 8:10pm

Eight of the twelve schools that competed in the DMR at last year’s national championships  return teams this year, including St. Thomas team that won last year in a time of 11:45.26.  This year’s version of the team will struggle to repeat this performance as they lost their All-American 400m runner, Angela Tipp,  and Kayla Goeman, who ran 2:09 for the 800.   The top time this year was run by the MIT team composed of; Nicole Zeinstra, Hannah Chen, Bailey Tregoning and Maryann Gong.  How Nicole Zeinstra runs will be critical to MIT’s performance, for although she is a multiple time national qualifier in distances 3k and up, she does not stack up to the 1200m legs of other top contenders.  This season she has run only 3:09 for the 1000 amd 5:18 for the mile, among the slowest times for any of the 1200m legs. That being said Gong is the best miler in the nation, Hannah Chen has run 56.69 for the 400m and was an All-American in the 400 hurdles, and Tregoning has consistently ran around 2:15 for the 800.  If Zeinstra can keep MIT in the race after the opening 1200m leg, Gong and Chen should be able to engineer a victory.

The second seeded women of Johns Hopkins showed that they are in championship form by winning the DMR at the Tuft’s Last Chance Meet over a field that included third seed Haverford, the fourth seeded Williams team, and Bates, seeded fifth.  The only knock on this Johns Hopkins squad is that Lindsay Cheu  has only run under 2:20 for the 800m twice in her three year career, and her 2:16 PB was run on the banked BU track.   If Cheu runs a 2:30, like she did earlier this season, Hopkins might find themselves off the podium. The Haverford women enter as the third seed and are anchored by Nora Weathers, who placed 6th in the 1500m at outdoor nationals and has run 4:58 for the mile this season.

The women of Williams should find themselves in good position after the 1200m as Laney Teaford has proven herself to be a national class athlete with personal bests of 2:12 for the 800, 2:54 for the 1000, and 4:58 for the mile.  In fact Teaford qualified for the individual mile but opted to forgo it to focus on the DMR.  The Williams team also possesses one of the best anchors in the field, in the form of Anna Harleen who took 5th in the 1500m at outdoor nationals with a time of 4:29.27.  Harleen is a fierce competitor who saves her best performances for the biggest stages and with no individual event to distract her, expect nothing but all out effort over 1600 meters. Bates possesses a solid seed time and four strong individuals making them a real threat to crack the top three.  Individual sprint talent constitutes the core of Washington University of St. Louis’s team as Daisy Ogede placed 2nd in the 200m dash at outdoor nationals and Emily Warner is an All-American at the 400 and 800 meter distances.  However, at the championship level for the DMR, distance talent often determines who finds themselves on the podium, and their anchor Alison LIndsay has only run 5:10 for the mile this season.  

Predictions: MIT, Haverford, Johns Hopkins