For the second weekend in a row, Syracuse ran without some of their top runners. But the Orange men and women were still able to capture second-place team finishes behind Penn State at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. The Nittany Lions, coached by Orange alum John Gondak, scored 27 points to take the women's title, and 41 points to win the men's race. The SU women were second with 38 points, while the men totaled 47 points.
The Orange women's Sydney Leiher finished second with a time of 21:01 for the 6k distance. Meanwhile, Joel Hubbard paced the men with a time of 26:14 for the 5.2-mile race, which was also good enough for second. As a result, Leiher and Hubbard were named ACC Cross-Country Performers of the Week.
As with last week’s race, there are a few points of interest to pull from the Syracuse performances:
- Once again the depth of the Syracuse programs were on display. The top 5 men finished within 22 seconds of one another. The gap for the top 5 women was a bit larger at 43 seconds, but 11 Orange runners finished in the top 33 in the race.
- For the 2nd week in a row, freshmen TJ Hornberger and Mickey Burke competed as unattached runners, which keeps their red-shirt option available.
- The men remained 8th in the latest USTFCCA poll, while the women dropped two spots to 15th. I don’t know how the women drop when their top runners haven’t raced yet, but it goes to show that even early season cross-country polls are flawed.
- The Orange will compete next at the Boston Inter-Regional Meet on Friday September 26th. I would expect that we see the top runners for the first time this season. After Boston, the Orange won't race again until October 17th in Wisconsin.