Abbey D’Agostino Looks For History To Repeat Itself, Laura Roesler Looks For Individual Glory And A Wide Open Women’s Mile

March 13, 2014

At the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships, Dartmouth’s Abbey D’Agostino made history. D’Agostino became the first American in history to win the 5,000 and 3,000 indoors in a career, let alone at the same NCAA Indoors (the 5,000 began in 1989), as she pushed the pace from 1,650 out in the 5,000 to win and then came back in the 3,000, where each of her final 7 laps was faster than the one before, to win again.

This year she’s looking to repeat the task as Laura Roesler looks to emerge from the shadow of Jordan Hasay and grab individual NCAA title #1 in the women’s 800. And a wide-open women’s mile field is there for the taking as many of the top milers run other events.

Below we break down all of the mid-d and distance events for you at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships which start Friday in Albuquerque, NM in the order that the finals occur.

Women’s 5,000 – Friday – 10:45pm ET – D’Agostino Looks To Get Halfway Home To The Double

D’Agostino and Coogan prior to last year’s NCAA domination. *More NCAA Banquet Photos
Event 23  Women 5000 Meter Run
     Name                        Year School                 Seed           
  1  Abbey D'Agostino              SR Dartmouth          15:40.55 
  2  Emily Sisson                  JR Providence         15:40.62 
  3  Emily Stites                  SO William and        15:43.69 
  4  Elinor Kirk                   SR UAB                15:44.38 
  5  Meghan McGlinchey             SR La Salle           15:46.50 
  6  Elaina Balouris               SR William and        15:46.92 
  7  Juliet Bottorff               SR Duke               15:49.80 
  8  Erin Finn                     FR Michigan           15:52.11 
  9  Emma Bates                    SR Boise State        15:52.61 
 10  Kathy Kroeger                 SR Stanford           15:53.35 
 11  Aisling Cuffe                 JR Stanford           15:53.95 
 12  Sara Sutherland               SR Texas              15:53.98 
 13  Hannah Walker                 JR Florida Stat       15:58.15 
 14  Shalaya Kipp                  SR Colorado           16:00.15 
 15  Pippa Woolven                 SO Florida Stat       16:01.57 
 16  Molly Grabill                 SO Oregon             16:01.91

D’Agostino last year won the 5,000 by running 15:28 to beat a very stacked field that included Jordan Hasay (who would go on to Worlds in the 10,000) and 31:15 woman Betsy Saina.

Most of that stacked field has graduated as Duke’s Juliet Bortoff, who was seventh last year, is the only scorer back from last year’s 5,000, and she comes in as the seventh seed. She was the winner of the Iowa State 5,000 so should likely do better than seventh.

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However, there is ZERO logical reason to think D’Agostino won’t win this race. Last year’s race was much more stacked and she won, so why not again this year? Now she could lose if she’s sick or simply is horrible at running at altitude.

We don’t think anyone else in the field beats D’Agostino, but if she slips up, “loses her head” and beats herself the way Jenny Barringer did at NCAA Cross-Country in 2009, then who else wins?

There are three women besides D’Agostino who have broken 15:45 this winter.

Emily Sisson – The seventh placer at NCAA cross won the Big East 5,000 and was second in the 3,000. She’s got decent mid-d speed with her 4:38 mile PR. The only underclassman in last year’s 5,000 – she’s a potential champion in 2015, not 2014.
Emily Stites – The sophomore may be the one to watch if you are looking for the potential 2015 champion but she’s only got a 4:51 mile PR and it’s hard to think the pace would be crushing from the front at altitude.
Elinor Kirk – The senior is enjoying a dream final indoor campaign. She’s undefeated on the year and has run big PRs across the board (4:39, 9:10, 15:44). That being said, it’s hard to fathom that someone who was 87th at NCAA XC and only 19th at the NCAA 5k last year outdoors is your winner.

2013 NCAA Cross-Country runner-up Emma Bates, who was third in the 2013 NCAA 10,000, also is in the field. Since Boise State is at altitude, she would be a good wild card to pick if you are looking for a big upset.

LRC: Abbey D for the win.

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Women’s DMR – Friday – 11:30pm ET – A Fresh Stanford Team Takes On All Challengers

As we said in the men’s preview, it’s hard to handicap the DMR as you don’t know who is going to actually run it.

Fedronic has Diamond League experience.

But the Stanford women are the #1 seed and certainly seem to be the team to beat for a very simple reason. The entire team of Amy Weissenbach (3:20.7), Krystyn Williams (52.7), Claudia Saunders (2:06.9) and Justine Fedronic (4:33.3) that ran 10:54.04 – the #1 time in 2014 and the #4 time ever in college – is only running the DMR at Nationals.

How anyone beats that is beyond us. Fedronic is a stud. She’s run 2:00.97. The DMR normally comes down to the anchor and with the meet being at altitude, it very well could be tactical, which plays into her 800-meter background. Game, set, match Stanford.

We say that, but then Georgetown has a very good team as well. They ran 10:55.63 totally fresh at the Big East meet and that team didn’t even include Big East 400 champ Deseree King, who has run an open 54.87 this year, whereas their 400 leg in the DMR was over 56.

However, Georgetown’s two 2:04 800 runners are both in the open 800 (Andrea Keklak and Sabrina Southerland). But making up for that is the fact that 2:06 runner Andrea Keklak, who ran the 400 in qualifying in King’s absence, can run the 800, and Georgetown should be in the mix assuming opening 1,200 leg Hannah Neczypor, who split 3:20.3 at Big East and is running fresh here, comes up with another strong start. Then it comes down to presumably Katrina Coogan – daughter of Olympians Mark Coogan and Gwyn Coogan. Now Coogan has run 4:33.44 for the open mile this year and split 4:32.8 at Big East. She’s very, very good. We wouldn’t quite put her in the Fedronic category – yet – but she’s got a hidden ace in the hole – she was born at altitude. If she’s on the anchor, the Hoyas have a VERY legitimate shot. If she’s not anchoring because they want to keep her fresh for the 3,000, they aren’t a contender.

The opening leg is crucial for the Hoyas. Neczypor ran very strongly to split 3:20.3 at Big East. Her PRs are 2:09 for 800 and 4:24 for 1,500, which pale in comparison to Weissenbach for Stanford (2:02/4:17).

Oregon is another potential winner. Actually if the Ducks just stacked this team, they could conceivably run away from it from the front with 4:40 miler Annie Leblanc leading off, one of their many studly 400 runners on the quarter, 2:01 runner Laura Roesler on the 800, and 4:38 miler Megan Patrignelli on the anchor. But the Ducks best 400 runners are needed for the 4 x 400 and aren’t even running this so we doubt they get out to an insurmountable lead (Update: At the pre-meet press conference, we were reminded that Oregon can run anyone at the meet so watch out for them). Patrignelli is running DMR/3k here, however, so she – like Coogan and Fedronic – will be fresh on the anchor.

Arkansas has underperformed mightily as the last two NCAA XC Championships but they have three women at 4:36.11 in the mile or better – Grace Heymsfield (4:34.22), Stephanie Brown (4:35.11), Dominique Scott (4:36.11). Heymsfield and Scott are both in the 3,000, so they’ll be fresh. Villanova would need big kicker Emily Lipari to win but she’s in the mile and thus will be tired from the prelims, so we are discounting them.

LRC Prediction: Last year, the Michigan women opted to forsake individual glory and were rewarded with a DMR title. History repeats itself. Stanford FTW.

Event 26  Women Distance Medley
     School                                                  Seed           
  1  Stanford                                            10:54.04 
     1) 241 Amy Weissenbach SO          2) 243 Kristyn Williams SO        
     3) 240 Claudia Saunders SO         4) 237 Justine Fedronic SR        
     5) 239 Rebecca Mehra SO            6) 242 Kaitlyn Williams SO        
  2  Georgetown                                          10:55.63 
     1) 92 Hannah Neczypor JR           2) 88 Emma Keenan FR              
     3) 89 Andrea Keklak JR             4) 87 Katrina Coogan SO           
     5) 91 Deseree King JR              6) 90 Amanda Kimbers SR           
  3  Oregon                                              10:56.77 
     1) 196 Annie Leblanc SO            2) 198 Chizoba Okodogbe SR        
     3) 201 Laura Roesler SR            4) 199 Megan Patrignelli SR       
     5) 197 Samantha Murphy SR          6) 195 Molly Grabill SO           
  4  Arkansas                                            10:57.15 
     1) 20 Grace Heymsfield SR          2) 28 Chrishuna Williams JR       
     3) 17 Stephanie Brown SR           4) 24 Dominique Scott JR          
     5) 25 Rebekka Simko JR             6) 21 Keri McClary SR             
  5  Villanova                                           10:59.74 
     1) 298 Stephanie Schappert JR      2) 299 Michaela Wilkins SO        
     3) 297 Angel Piccirillo SO         4) 295 Emily Lipari SR            
     5) 294 Nicky Akande SR             6) 296 Kelsey Margey SO           
  6  Florida                                             11:00.16 
     1) 69 Rebekah Greene FR            2) 67 Ebony Eutsey SR             
     3) 75 Agata Strausa SR             4) 72 Cory McGee SR               
     5) 66 Loreal Curtis JR             6)                                
  7  Michigan                                            11:00.20 
     1) 151 Jaimie Phelan FR            2) 147 Maya Long SO               
     3) 150 Danielle Pfeifer SO         4) 146 Brook Handler JR           
     5) 153 Megan Weschler SR           6) 148 Jamie Morrissey FR         
  8  Florida State                                       11:01.59 
     1) 79 Linden Hall JR               2) 80 Elizabeth Ichite SR         
     3) 82 Georgia Peel SO              4) 83 Colleen Quigley JR          
     5) 81 Sydnee Over FR               6) 85 Pippa Woolven SO            
  9  Dartmouth                                           11:02.21 
     1) 48 Dana Giordano SO             2) 51 Jennifer Meech SO           
     3) 49 Megan Krumpoch SR            4) 46 Abbey D'Agostino SR         
     5) 50 Elizabeth Markowitz SO       6) 47 Margaret Donovan JR         
 10  Notre Dame                                          11:05.57 
     1) 187 Kelly Curran SR             2) 186 Michelle Brown SR          
     3) 183 Danielle Aragon SO          4) 182 Alexa Aragon SR            
     5) 184 Margaret Bamgbose SO        6)                                
 11  Duke                                                11:06.87 
     1) 52 Anima Banks SO               2) 58 Elizabeth Kerpon JR         
     3) 60 Haley Meier FR               4) 56 Audrey Huth SR              
     5) 55 Abby Farley JR               6) 59 Madeline Kopp FR            
 12  North Carolina                                      11:11.69 
     1) 172 Elizabeth Whelan SO         2) 168 Cori Floyd JR              
     3) 166 Mattie Blue FR              4) 170 Annie LeHardy JR           
     5) 167 Lianne Farber JR            6) 171 Karley Rempel SO

Women’s Mile – Saturday – 8:10pm ET – Someone Has To Win

Event 21  Women 1 Mile Run Prelims
           Name                        Year School                 Seed           
  1     83 Colleen Quigley               JR Florida Stat        4:32.11 
  2     79 Linden Hall                   JR Florida Stat        4:32.25 
  3    155 Leah O'Connor                 JR Michigan Sta        4:34.35 
  4     72 Cory McGee                    SR Florida             4:35.03 
  5    125 Allison Peare                 SR Kentucky            4:35.14 
  6    295 Emily Lipari                  SR Villanova           4:35.24 
  7    172 Elizabeth Whelan              SO North Caroli        4:35.69 
  8     95 Carly Hamilton                JR Georgia             4:35.79 
  9     17 Stephanie Brown               SR Arkansas            4:35.86 
 10    170 Annie LeHardy                 JR North Caroli        4:35.94 
 11    165 Elinor Purrier                FR New Hampshir        4:36.14 
 12    244 Olivia Burne                  SR Stony Brook         4:36.22 
 13     38 Monica Adler                  JR Boston U.           4:36.35 
 14    298 Stephanie Schappert           JR Villanova           4:36.40 
 15     14 Shelby Houlihan               JR Arizona Stat        4:37.52 
 16     69 Rebekah Greene                FR Florida             4:38.03
Colleen Quigley at last year’s NCAA outdoors.

Looking at the women’s mile descending order list is a bit strange. Why? Because most of the top people on it aren’t milers. The fastest miler in the country collegiately this year is Abbey D’Agostino of Dartmouth, who is in the 5,000 and 3,000, so the #1 seed is Colleen Quigley of Florida State, who beat her teammate Linden Hall – the #2 seed – by .14 at ACCs. Quigley is primarily known as a steeplechaser – the same label that applies to Michigan State’s Leah O’Connor – the #3 seed. The women with the actual fourth fastest time in the country – Katrina Coogan – is in the 3,000 as is the fifth fastest (Grace Heysmfeld).

But the #4 person in the mile field in terms of time is Florida senior Cory McGee, who made the World Championships team in the 1,500 last summer. McGee is a miler for sure but she lost to Heysmfeld by .21 at SECs and has never finished higher than 10th in three previous tries at NCAA indoors. It’s hard to pick her for the win as a result. Villanova’s Emily Lipari has a monster kick and can’t be discounted at altitude.

LRC Prediction: We don’t like picking this one. There are a slew of people we’d pick to win it ahead of the people in this race, but they are in other events. To be honest, if one of the contenders on this mile list avoids DMR duty on Friday night, they are our pick. If they all do the DMR on Friday night, just see who looks the best there. It’s hard to pick Quigley with her 2:11 800 PR although we are tempted to. Since we have zero idea, we’ll go with Lipari in an upset as it will make us look better if she wins it. But if everyone does the DMR, the mile final will be everyone’s third race, so that would benefit strength and someone like Quigley. So we’ll change our minds in that case and go with Quigley FTW.

Women’s 800 – Saturday – 9:30pm ET – Laura Roesler Looks To Shine As An Individual Star

Event 20  Women 800 Meter Run Prelims
           Name                        Year School                 Seed           
  1    201 Laura Roesler                 SR Oregon              2:01.32 
  2     98 Megan Malasarte               SR Georgia             2:03.08 
  3    110 Ejiroghene Okoro              SR Iowa State          2:03.91 
  4      9 Yanique Malcolm               SR Alabama             2:03.97 
  5     49 Megan Krumpoch                SR Dartmouth           2:04.13 
  6     89 Andrea Keklak                 JR Georgetown          2:04.64 
  7     93 Sabrina Southerland           FR Georgetown          2:04.85 
  8    158 Alena Brooks                  SR Minnesota           2:04.90 
  9    103 Erika Veidis                  JR Harvard             2:05.00 
 10    302 Amanda Smith                  JR Virginia Tec        2:05.25 
 11    136 Nikita Tracey                 SR LSU                 2:05.28 
 12    248 Alexis Panisse                SO Tennessee           2:05.38 
 13    190 Savannah Camacho              FR Oklahoma St.        2:05.41 
 14    296 Kelsey Margey                 SO Villanova           2:05.43 
 15    191 Kaela Edwards                 FR Oklahoma St.        2:05.59 
 16    294 Nicky Akande                  SR Villanova           2:05.77

As tough as we found it to pick the women’s mile, the women’s 800 more than makes up for it. Laura Roesler of Oregon is the HEAVY FAVORITE. She’s run 2:01.32 this year, which is the 2nd fastest time indoors in NCAA history (the NCAA indoor record is held by Nicole Cook – 2:00.75 Tennessee 2005). She was the runner-up at NCAA last year indoors and out to Natoya Goule of LSU, who followed her coach Mark Elliott and transferred to Clemson and has to sit out this year.

The #2 seed is Megan Malasarte of Georgia. Having run 2:03 outdoors last year and 2:03 indoors now, she’s a proven commodity, but she isn’t winning this as she was just 13th outdoors at NCAAs last year. With Goule sitting out, there is only one woman in the NCAA who could possibly beat Roesler and that’s Stanford’s Justine Fedronic (2:00.97 PR) who is doing just the DMR. Even if she was in this race, we don’t think Fedronic is quick enough right now to touch Roesler.

LRC Prediction: Roesler for the win. We just came across this interview – she’s enjoying being in the limelight. It’s time she’s not overshadowed by the likes of Jordan Hasay and English Gardner. With the top five seeds seniors, we were going to say pay attention to the top non-senior for next year but then remembered Goule is coming back.

Women’s 3,000 – Saturday – 9:55pm ET – D’Agostino Looks To Complete The Second Straight Double

Event 22  Women 3000 Meter Run
           Name                        Year School                 Seed           
  1     46 Abbey D'Agostino              SR Dartmouth           8:51.91 
  2    108 Kate Avery                    SO Iona                8:56.20 
  3    212 Laura Nagel                   JR Providence          9:01.35 
  4     24 Dominique Scott               JR Arkansas            9:02.33 
  5     37 Emma Bates                    SR Boise State         9:03.61 
  6    280 Kelsey Smith                  JR UCLA                9:04.31 
  7    236 Aisling Cuffe                 JR Stanford            9:04.57 
  8    199 Megan Patrignelli             SR Oregon              9:04.96 
  9     20 Grace Heymsfield              SR Arkansas            9:05.16 
 10     14 Shelby Houlihan               JR Arizona Stat        9:05.86 
 11    156 Rachele Schulist              FR Michigan Sta        9:06.85 
 12    238 Kathy Kroeger                 SR Stanford            9:07.23 
 13     34 Rachel Johnson                JR Baylor              9:08.36 
 14     39 Mara Olson                    JR Butler              9:08.83 
 15     87 Katrina Coogan                SO Georgetown          9:10.27 
 16    278 Elinor Kirk                   SR UAB                 9:10.40

Assuming all goes well for D’Agostino in her first race at altitude in the 5,000, we don’t see how she doesn’t complete her second straight double and win the women’s 3,000. Only one other woman in the field has broken 9:00 for 3,000 so far this year and 9:00 soon needs to be a split in the middle of a 5,000 for D’Agostino if she is going to make it as a top pro.

Iona’s Kate Avery has run 8:56.20 and will be motivated after getting snubbed for World Indoors by yet another incompetent governing body – no, not USATF – in her case, it was UK Athletics. But Avery isn’t known for being a kicker although she does have a 4:15 1, 500 PR.

We think there is only one woman in this field who might be able to beat D’Agostino. And n0, it’s not Big East champ Laura Nagel (the #3 seed) of Providence, who has good wheels with her 4:36 mile, or NCAA Cross-Country runner up Emma Bates of Boise State. Now our wild card pick for the upset win is none other than Katrina Coogan – the daughter of Mark Coogan, who is D’Agostino’s coach. Don’t be fooled by the #15 seed.

No less than two NCAA coaches have told us in recent weeks, “If anyone beats D’Agostino in the 3,000 it’s Coogan.” The reason why people like Coogan is Coogan has good speed – she’s run a 4:33.44 mile this year. And as mentioned above, we think it’s big that Coogan was born and spent her early years in Boulder, CO. As a result, you’d think she’d have no problem with the altitude.

Nagel crushed Coogan at Big East and we’re not saying Nagel isn’t likely to finish ahead of Coogan – she is. But if you are looking for an upset winner in a slow, tactical race, Coogan is the pick.

D’Agostino last year didn’t let either race go tactical, but since she’s got the best mile speed of anyone, she might be content to let it go slow, particularly since it’s at altitude. We doubt that’s what happens but are just raising it as a possibility.

LRC Prediction: Unless Mark Coogan has been purposely sabotaging his star runner’s workouts to help his daughter out or his new employer (he now works for New Balance, so fewer wins by D’Agostino would mean she’d be able to be signed cheaper), D’Agostino completes the double.

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