Follow our 2018 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. 2 men's spot goes to BYU, and here's why:
Probable Top Seven:
SR Connor McMillian (8:07 3K; 13:38 5K; 28:09.55 10K; 30th at ‘17 NCAA XC)
SR Clayton Young (7:49 3K; 13:37 5K; 28:27 10K; 77th at ‘16 NCAA XC)
SR Rory Linkletter (7:54 3K; 13:37 5K; 28:43 10K; 39th at ‘17 NCAA XC)
SO Matt Owens (3:44 1500; 8:08 3K; 8:38 3K SC)
SO Clayson Shumway (8:02 3K; 13:54 5K; 8:36 3K SC)
SO Daniel Carney (8:41 3K SC; 13:39 5K; 42nd at ‘17 NCAA XC)
SO Conner Mantz (8:02 3K SC; 13:52 5K; 28:57 10K)
After a third-place finish in 2017, BYU looks to upgrade their position at the national championships and, perhaps, contend for the title. They have the star-power and the depth to pull it off. Three seniors--Connor McMillan, Clayton Young and Rory Linkletter--lead the way.
The trio qualified for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 5000m and 10,000m in June. In fact, six of the seven men above qualified in at least one event for Eugene. Matt Owens and Clayson Shumway finished sixth and seventh in the steeplechase, the best performances for the Cougars.
But their depth extends even beyond the top seven. Runners eight through 14 for BYU would make the top seven on virtually any other team in the nation. That deep bench gives head coach Ed Eyestone a bounty of options to use throughout the season.