2019 DIII FloXC Countdown: #6 U. of Chicago Men

Follow our 2019 FloXC Countdown, where FloTrack ranks the top 10 cross country teams in NCAA DII/DIII this season. The 2019 NCAA Cross Country Championships will be LIVE on FloTrack for all three divisions. And be sure to watch our LIVE FloXC Podium Reveal Show Monday, Aug. 26, at 10 AM CT. The No. 6 DIII men’s spot goes to U. of Chicago, and here's why:

Projected Top Six:

JR Ryan Cutter (8:23 3K; 14:35 5K; 20th at ‘18 NCAA XC)

JR Jordan Olson (7th at ‘18 UAA XC)

JR Chase Gardner (8:29 3K; 123rd at ‘18 NCAA XC)

FR Cy Chittenden (9:11 3200; 8th at ‘18 CIF SS XC)

SR Andrew Kates (14:53 5K; 146th at ‘18 NCAA XC)

SO Sam Craig (195th at ‘18 NCAA XC)

Impact Freshmen/Transfers:

Cy Chittenden via Manhattan Beach, CA (9:11 3200; 8th at ‘18 CIF SS XC)

Alexander Hastings via Jacksonville, FL (9:25 3200; 15:32 5K; 6th at ‘18 FL State Meet)

Analysis: 

The Maroons of U. of Chicago will certainly miss the services of Henry Myers, who finished 52nd at nationals last fall as a true freshman, but is no longer on the roster. However, there’s ample reason to believe that Chicago can leap into DIII’s top five despite this.

It all starts with junior Ryan Cutter, who had a breakout sophomore campaign to place 20th at NCAAs. Cutter led the team last year in their 12th place finish, and an even higher showing will be expected for him this November after he ran several solid track marks.

A big key will be the progression of several members of last year’s NCAA squad as well as the development of two true freshmen. Chase Gardner, Andrew Kates and Sam Craig all scored for the Maroons at NCAAs, but they’ll need to be much higher this year for Chicago to reach their ceiling. All three hinted at that type of improvement with strong results on the oval this spring.

Freshmen Cy Chittenden and Alexander Hastings should also contribute given their prep credentials. The wildcard on the roster is junior Jordan Olson, who was seventh at the conference meet as a frosh but has not matched that level since. If the best version of him returns, coach Chris Hall won’t have to rely so heavily on his newcomers.

Chicago doesn't have a hugely successful history in men's DIII cross country, as their best ever nationals finish is ninth all the way back in 2005. Look for this group to change that in 2019, and possibly put a scare into the podium.

FULL RANKINGS HERE

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