Teare Announces Decision to Pursue Pro Career
EUGENE, Ore. – Two-time NCAA champion and collegiate-record holder Cooper Teare will forego the remainder of his collegiate eligibility and sign a contract with Nike to begin his professional career.
"Being a professional runner has been a dream of mine ever since I can remember, now it's a reality," Teare wrote in an announcement Wednesday afternoon on Instagram.
"I cannot express how thankful I am for everyone who has gotten me to this point, from my early days of running to winning championships with (Oregon), it takes a village."
Already a multiple-time All-American entering the 2021 season, Teare turned heads when he anchored the Men of Oregon to the collegiate record in the distance-medley relay (Jan. 29) in Fayetteville, Ark. He turned in a final split of 3:54.61 on the 1600-meter leg and when he crossed the line, the Ducks had run 9:19.42 to take more than five seconds off the previous record—a mark set the year before by another Teare-anchored UO quartet.
Teare combined with Cole Hocker, Luis Peralta and Charlie Hunter for the new record.
Two weeks later, the Alameda, Calif., native added a second collegiate record to his ledger when he clocked a time of 3:50.39 in the mile to take down the old mark—3:52.01 set by Edward Cheserek in 2017—and become the seventh fastest indoor miler in world history.
At the NCAA Indoor Championships, Teare won his first-career national title after anchoring Oregon to the win in the distance-medley relay. The team of Teare, Hunter, Reed Brown and Xavier Nairne posted a winning time of 9:19.98 to break the meet record. Teare ran 3:52.99 on the final leg. The next day, he returned to the track for a runner-up effort in the 3,000 meters.
Teare won his second NCAA title in front of the Hayward Field faithful in Eugene with his school-record performance in the 5,000 meters. He stopped the clocked in 13:12.27 to break the NCAA Championships meet record, surpass the previous UO record—13:14.8 by Bill McChesney Jr.—and secure the No. 2 time in collegiate history.
At the Oregon Twilight (May 7), Teare ran a personal best of 3:35.97 over 1500 meters, an effort that makes him the No. 10 performer on the all-time list for the event. He went on to win the 1500 meters and add a second-place finish in the 5,000 meters at the Pac-12 Championships.
"This is an incredibly exciting time for Cooper and we can't wait to follow his success at the professional level," Oregon head coach Robert Johnson said. "The work he has done with Coach Thomas has resulted in record-breaking successes at Oregon and put him in position to perform at the next level. Anyone that has been around Cooper or seen him race knows the kind of competitor he is and the high standard he sets for himself. Down to what turned out to be his final race as a Duck, he showed that competitive spirit we came to know throughout his career in Eugene."
Following the collegiate season, Teare finished fourth in the 5,000 meters at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, and in the recently completed cross country season, he was the Pac-12 Championships runner-up and an all-region performer.
Teare was a 2021 semifinalist for The Bowerman and the USTFCCCA West Region Men's Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. Additionally, Teare was a member of the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team.
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