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2017 FloXC Countdown: #4 Oregon Men

Follow our 2017 FloXC Countdown, where FloTrack ranks the top 25 cross country teams and individuals in the NCAA this season which will be LIVE on FloTrack. The No. 4 men's spot goes to Oregon, and here's why:

Probable Top Five:

JR Matthew Maton (3:38 1500; 7:52 3K; 9th in '17 NCAA Mile; 16th in '17 NCAA 3K; 29th at '16 NCAA XC)
FR Reed Brown (3:59 Mile; 8:50 3200; 1st at '16 FL XC)
FR Cooper Teare (4:00 Mile; 8:41 3200; 16th at '16 NXN)
SR Travis Neuman (14:10 5K; 29:09 10K; 46th at '15 NCAA XC; 151st at '16 NCAA XC)
JR Tanner Anderson (13:51 5K; 29:21 10K; 13th at '17 NCAA 10K; 68th at '16 NCAA XC)

Impact Freshmen/Transfers:

Cooper Teare via Alameda, CA(4:00 Mile; 8:41 3200; 16th at '16 NXN)
Reed Brown via Southlake, TX (3:59 Mile; 8:50 3200; 1st at '16 FL XC)
James West via England (3:39 1500; 7:58 3K; 14:01 5K; 1st at '15 U20 National 1500)
Connor Clark via Dartmouth (3:49 1500; 14:10 5K; 19th at '16 NCAA Northeast XC)

Analysis:

The spring of 2017 marked the end of an era for the Oregon Ducks when 17-time NCAA champion Edward Cheserek graduated. While wearing the green, Cheserek earned three NCAA cross country crowns and helped lead the team to unprecedented success. Although the King is no longer competing in the NCAA, the Ducks have reloaded with several top freshmen, transfers, and a more experienced returning class.

The top returner is Matthew Maton, who finished 29th at the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Maton also executed an impressive 2017 indoor season which included a ninth-place finish in the NCAA indoor mile and a 16th-place finish in the indoor 3K.

The Ducks are bringing in two talented freshmen who are expected to make an immediate impact. Foot Locker champion Reed Brown and 8:41 3200m star Cooper Teare have the ability to be top scorers for the Ducks. But as freshmen, the transition to the 10K could prove to be tough.

Returning senior Travis Neuman should continue to contribute to that top five scoring order after notching a 46th-place finish in 2015. And Tanner Anderson should carry momentum after finishing 13th in the 10K at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.

Along with the returners and freshmen, Oregon welcomes transfers James West from Loughborough University in England and Connor Clark from Dartmouth. West holds major middle distance speed as well as a 14:01 5K best. Clark enters the cross country season after finishing 19th at the 2016 NCAA Northeast Region Championships.

Even without Cheserek, the Ducks should put together a team that is more than capable of cracking that podium finish.

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