Men's Events To Watch At The NJCAA Indoor Championships

2017 will mark the third year in a row FloTrack will bring you complete coverage of the NJCAA Indoor Championships. This year's event will be this Friday and Saturday March 3-4 in Pittsburg, Kansas, LIVE on FloTrack.

The men's indoor team crown has swapped hands between NJCAA track and field mainstays Iowa Central and South Plains for the last five years. In fact, only twice over the last decade has neither of those schools won the meet. It's a run of dominance that doesn't figure to end this weekend in Pittsburg-- not surprisingly, Iowa Central and South Plains enter as the top two ranked schools.

The Tritons of Iowa Central should feel pretty good about their chances of repeating. A quick combing of the entries gives them a projected 152 points, enough to win each of the last three championships. But both South Plains and Cloud County are threats, as the former will rely on the field events and excellent relays to bridge the gap, while the latter will bring a balanced attack of mid-distance, relays, and field events to counter the juggernaut that is Iowa Central. They'll have their work cut out for them--the defending champs project to score in 15 of 20 events.

Below, I take a look at the track events that will go the furthest in deciding a team champion. I also break down some entertaining head-to-head races as well.

Big Team Points Up For Grabs

1,000m and 3,000m

: Iowa Central and Cloud County
When: 1,000m: Prelims 9:40 pm Friday, Final 3:45 pm Saturday; 3,000m 9:10 pm Friday
Why: The Tritons could wind up with a third of their total points from the distance races alone if things break right. I have them projected to tally a monstrous 48 points in the 1k-mile-3k-5k, with the 1k and 3k combining for 27 of that total. Ashenafi Hatte (2:29.85) and Esu Alemseged (2:30.29) of Iowa Central are the top two seeds in the 1k and could bring an avalanche of points here; their Cloud County counterparts, Moses Dirane and Thobile Mosito, aren't too far off and will look to slow the Tritons mid-d guns.

Dirane and Mosito are back for more in the 3k-- an event which will surely be dominated by Central Arizona's distance maven Gilbert Kigen-- but Iowa Central has studs here as well. With two men in the season's top four 3k times, the rich should keep getting richer once again.


Who: Iowa Central and Cloud County
When: 3:20 pm Friday
Why: The distance medley relay doesn't require any extra incentive to watch, but here you get one anyway as Iowa Central and Cloud County will square up with the top two seed times. Each school's top names from the 1k, Moses Dirane (Cloud County) and Ashenafi Hatte (Iowa Central), will anchor, setting up a spicy duel between two of the NJCAA's best mid-distance stars. A win in the DMR on early Friday afternoon could set the tone for the rest of the weekend's distance action between the two schools.


: Cloud County and South Plains
When: Prelims 6:05 pm Friday, Finals 1:55 pm Saturday
Why: There aren't many events where Iowa Central seems likely to come up empty, but the 600m is one of them. South Plains and Cloud County need to take care of business here. Cloud has the top seed in Stephen Marindich (1:19.29), while South Plains' Montel Hood, Okeen Williams, and Rayan Holmes are all within a second and a half of that. These teams both desperately need double-digit to keep pace with Iowa Central.

Three Match-Up Races To Watch


: Gilbert Kigen, Karim Achengli
When: 4:45 pm Friday
Why: Central Arizona's Gilbert Kigen has been Mr. Everything in his just over a year in the NJCAA. The Kenyan has won six NJCAA titles in that time -- including the 5k-10k outdoor double crown last spring-- and he'll be favored to take down a similar trifecta in Pittsburg. His first shot will come in the 5k, where he'll battle 14:25 man Karim Achengli of Iowa Central. While Kigen has won almost every championship he's been faced with, he just might have a real test in Achengli-- Kigen's indoor PR lags four seconds back in 14:29.


Who: Gilbert Kigen, Elias Gedyon
When: 2:20 pm Saturday
Why: This will be Kigen's third event of the weekend and he'll look to collect the only distance crown missing from his mantle. There's no doubt who the favorite is, but an interesting foil presents itself in Trinidad State's Elias Gedyon. That name may ring a bell-- Gedyon was once a 4:02 high school miler and an Oregon signee. It never worked out with the Ducks, but here he enters the weekend with the top seed time (a converted 4:11.02). Kigen and his 4:04 PR will be tough to topple, but Gedyon did run a 3:48 1500m last spring, and he presents an interesting wrinkle to the Kenyan's seemingly inevitable triple.


Who: Keitavious Walter, Andre Ewers
When: Prelims 6:40 pm Friday, Final 1:35 pm Saturday
Why: NJCAA sprints are known for producing top flight NCAA stars-- say, Andre De Grasse and Vernon Norwood-- and two men with potentially bright D1 futures will battle in the 60. Defending champ Keitavious Walter of Hinds owns a 6.59 PR and will run for Arkansas next year. Butler CC's Andre Ewers shared the season's top mark of 6.65 with Walter and has been a little sharper of late than his speedy counterpart. Both men will double back in 200m this weekend, so we'll get plenty of chances to check out their skills. 

Watch the 2017 NJCAA Indoor Championships LIVE on FloTrack on Friday March 3, 10:30AM CT - Saturday March 4, 12:30PM CT!

How To Watch

ON TV: Now available on Roku and Apple TV 4 -- download the FloSports app today!
STREAMING: Available only on FloTrack. SIGN UP HERE 
  • A yearly FloPro subscription provides access to ALL FloSports sites

Join The Conversation On Social

• Follow us on Twitter @FloTrack
• Follow us on Instagram @FloTrack_TrackIsBack
• Follow us on Facebook

Archived Competition Footage

Video footage from the competition will be archived and stored in a video library for FloPRO subscribers to watch for the duration of their subscription.

2018 DIII NCAA XC All-American Projections

Below are FloTrack's 2018 projections for the men's and women's DIII NCAA XC All-Americans:

Former NCAA Stars Make Their XC Predictions

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

Watch the 2018 DI NCAA XC Championships LIVE on FloTrack, Saturday Nov. 17th!

DIII NCAA XC Women's Preview: Hopkins Hones In On Dynasty

Workout Wednesday: Johns Hopkins Men & Women

The 2018 DIII NCAA women’s cross country championships will feature a favorite in Johns Hopkins looking to expand on their recent dynasty, and a slew of challengers seeking to put an end to the Blue Jays’ dominance. Hopkins will race for their sixth title since 2012 on Saturday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a run that only one other DIII women’s program in history has accomplished. It should be fascinating to watch it all unfold in brutal cross country conditions this weekend.

Deep Field Tries To Take Down New Mexico, Kelati Goes For First Title

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

It didn’t take long for the narrative of the women’s NCAA cross country season to shift. New Mexico entered the fall with three of the nation’s best runners, high profile transfers, and a clear line to their third team title in four years. 

NCAA XC Champs Confidence Picks: NAU Three-Peats, McDonald Edges Fisher

The stakes are clear and the storylines are well established. 

NAU Goes For Three, Fisher/McDonald Finally Meet

2018 Men's DI NCAA XC Rewind

It was only minutes after they stepped off the track at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, that Tyler Day and Matt Baxter were thinking of the fall. 

DIII NCAA XC Men's Preview: North Central Goes For No. 19

Workout Wednesday: North Central Crushes Mile Repeats

The winningest program in NCAA cross country history will look to add another title to their storied legacy as North Central College races for their record 19th DIII XC men's national championship on Saturday November 17, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Cardinals will enter the meet as big favorites to take their third straight NCAA crown on the icy terrain of Lake Breeze Golf Course, but it won’t be easy as they battle experienced foes and freezing cold conditions. Another notch in North Central's hefty championship belt is at stake on race day, but it’s a notch they will really have to earn.

House Of Run: NCAA Sleepers And Storylines

Jason and Kevin discuss the sleepers, spoilers and storylines for Saturday’s NCAA Cross Country Championships. Can NAU and New Mexico continue their winning ways? Will the men’s race come down to Grant Fisher and Morgan McDonald?

DIII Regional Recap: Favorites Look Strong In NCAA Rehearsal

Workout Wednesday: North Central Crushes Mile Repeats

Below are the 32 men’s and women’s DIII NCAA cross country teams heading to nationals in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this Saturday, November 17. We highlight the top stories from regionals underneath the NCAA fields.

PLAY NOW: 2018 FloXC Fantasy League

Introducing the season long FloXC fantasy league. A chance for you to compete against the FloTrack staff and be in the running to win a FloPRO subscription for a year! The final round is upon us where points are worth triple, meaning even if you have not played FloXC Fantasy this past season you still have a chance to win if you play this final round!