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. 3 men’s spot goes to Portland, and here's why:
Probable Top Eight:
JR Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse (7:57 3K; 13:57 5K; 28:55 10K; 11th at ’17 NCAA XC)
SR Noah Schutte (8:39 3K SC; 14:05 5K; 28:34 10K; 148th at ’17 NCAA XC)
SR Nick Hauger (14:03 5K; 29:16 10K; 26th at ’17 NCAA XC)
SR Simon Grannetia (8:40 3K SC; 14:21 5K)
FR Riley Osen (8:41 3K SC)
SR Gabe Arias-Sheridan (29:33 10K; 47th at '16 NCAA XC)
JR Caleb Webb (8:14 3K; 14:00 5K; 54th at ’17 NCAA XC)
SR Logan Orndorf (8:01 3K; 14:07 5K; 64th at ’17 NCAA XC)
Gabe Arias-Sheridan via Saint Mary's (Cal.) (29:33 10K; 47th at '16 NCAA XC)
Justin Hazell via Woodland Hills, CA (8:54 3200; 2nd at ’17 CA State 3200)
The Portland Pilots return five men from the 2017 team that shocked many to take home runner-up team honors at the NCAA XC Championships. While it’s certainly possible that head coach Rob Conner has a few secret weapons up his sleeve again, we know enough about this line-up to grant them a pre-season podium ranking.
No. 1 runner Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse made a huge impact late in the game last year by winning the West Region title and placing 11th at NCAAs. After placing 17th in the NCAA 10K final, he looks poised for another All-American finish in cross country. Nick Hauger is also a returning All-American (26th last year) and Noah Schutte should be significantly better than 148th this fall after improving his 10K to 28:34.
One athlete to keep an eye on will be Saint Mary's transfer Gabe Arias-Sheridan. Arias-Sheridan was 47th at NCAAs in 2016 and could be a late factor for the Pilots similar to how Minnesota's Matt Welch made an immediate impact for the Pilots in 2017.
The Pilots’ strength lies in their depth. Some of the men listed as probable top seven athletes have not raced since last cross country season due to injury, but there’s also guys like redshirt freshman Evert Silva (14:07 5K) and redshirt junior Michael Teran-Solano (13:59 5K/30:15 10K) who could reasonably step into those positions if healthy.