Who is the Next Great British NCAA Miler? - USA Athletics Scholarships

Who is the Next Great British NCAA Miler?


For the first time since 2008, there were no British or Irish athletes in the NCAA indoor mile. Britain and Ireland has such a rich tradition of milers in the NCAA, so rather than be negative and ponder the ins and outs of this anomaly, we instead have decided to look to the future and open up the question, who is the next great British NCAA miler to fly the flag for the British Isles?

After frequent discussion, we have ranked a shortlist of freshman and sophomore athletes that we think have the potential to make their mark in the USA.

#1 – Matt Fayers – Oklahoma State

800m – 1.48.12 1500m – 3.44.96 Mile – 3.59.55

NCAA Appearances – 1

A freshman who ran sub 4 for the mile. He appeared in 3 DMRs this indoor season and got invaluable experience running at NCAA’s indoors in March. Combine this with his 800m and 1500m times and a great team in the Oklahoma State Cowboys and you have your number 1.

#2 – Sean Tobin (above) – Ole Miss

800m – 1.47.99 1500m – 3.42.07 Mile – 3.59.91

NCAA Appearances – 0

The Irishman’s times are impressive at any age. His 3.42.07 1500m outdoors was a gutsy performance where he kicked from 400 out and just ran out of steam in the final 80m. Despite the lack of exposure to NCAA Championship competition, he has had great experience in representing Ireland on the world stage and he certainly has the potential to easily convert this over to an NCAA level.

#3 – Liam Dee – Iona

800m – 1.51.14 1500m – 3.45.87 Mile – 4.05.13

NCAA Appearances – 0

The highest ranked true freshman* on this list and for a good reason. Liam Dee ran 4.05 this indoor season and followed that up with a conference win. A 4.06 conference win doesn’t seem all that impressive in the grand scheme of things. However, he ran it entirely from the front, kick finished hard and destroyed a field of athletes with a great deal more experience than himself. One to watch and my prediction for the next British sub-4 in the NCAA. *True freshman – straight from High School into NCAA competition – no Redshirt or gap year

#4 – Robbie Farnham-Rose -Alabama

800m – 1.49.61 1500m – 3.45.47 Mile – 4.01.34

NCAA Appearances – 1

Farnham-Rose got experience from running on the Crimson Tide’s DMR team at indoor nationals. His times are close to being there and a little more improvement should see him make an NCAA Championship individually.

#5 – Kieran Clements – Iona

Mile – 4.00.36 3000m – 7.57.67 57th NCAA XC 2013

NCAA Appearances – 2

This is Kieran’s 3rd year in the NCAA. However, he still returns for 2 more indoor seasons. Clements flew under some people’s radar when he ran 4.00 for the mile last year. This makes him the 3rd fastest on our list. His strength is obvious from his distance track performances and his XC pedigree but does he have the raw speed at the end of the race to compete with the lightning fast finishes in the NCAA? I predict his aspirations in the 3k and 5k may supersede his mile goals and for that reason I hesitate to rank him higher.

#6 – Neil Gourley – Virginia Tech

800m – 1.52.77 1500m – 3.48.62 Mile – 4.03.25

NCAA Appearances – 1

Many athletes on this list have flown under the radar. Gourley ran for Virginia Tech at the recent indoor championships in the DMR, having had a great indoor season. He will undoubtedly take this experience and wish to become the 3rd Scot to go sub-4 in the NCAA.

#7 – Kieran Reilly – Indiana

800m – 1.52.13 1500m – 3.45.99 Mile – 4.06.73

NCAA Appearances – 1

This Hoosier has contributed successfully to a thriving program which has produced numerous great milers in recent years. His times are very similar to those he ran at home but with anything good, sometimes it takes a little time to get it right.

#8 – Alex George – Arkansas

1500m – 3.46.44 Mile – 4.07.46 3000m – 8.08.41

NCAA Appearances – 0 A

lex George looks to have settled into his freshman year successfully. With a rich history of great milers at Arkansas, he will undoubtedly aspire to add his name to that list. There are only 2 true freshmen on this list and both certainly justify their names being on here.

#9 – Michael Ward – Bradley

1500m – 3.47.63 Mile – 4.06.35 3000m – 8.10.22

NCAA Appearances – 0

With a very consistent start to his NCAA career, Bradley makes this list. It is difficult to make the transition from the UK to the USA and run even comparable times. With good runs in both his indoor and cross seasons so far, it is just a matter of time before he can hit one right out of the park.

#10 – Elliot Slade – Villanova (DARK HORSE PICK)

800m – 1.48.91 1500m – 3.52.39

NCAA Appearances – 1

This is a massive dark horse pick for a few reasons and relies on so many factors to be successful. Firstly, Slade is a proven 800m runner. 1.48.91 makes him a serious contender to run at NCAAs  in the 800m in the coming years. His 3.52.39 is nowhere near comparable to his 800m time. However, he is at Villanova. This is what makes him a dark horse. There has consistently been a stream of good milers coming out of Villanova with Coghlan and Delany two prime examples who appeared in our recent top 10 British and Irish athletes of all time. Their recent mile group is second to probably only Oregon in the NCAA with Australians – Jordi Williamsz, Sam McEntee and Canadian Rob Denault all sub 4 minute milers and making their mark on the NCAA. If Slade was given the chance in the mile, I predict he would thrive.

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