Hehir on the podium pic.twitter.com/Yyp9P96qRj— Brien Bell (@suxc) March 15, 2015
Syracuse Orange distance star Martin Hehir exceeded expectations at the NCAA Indoor Track Championships on Saturday evening, and put a. Ranked 15th in the 16 runner field heading into the 3,000m race, Hehir closed strong and took 7th place, and along with it 1st-Team All-America honors, with a time of 8:03.38.
The Men's 3000m took on a very different feel than usual, due to the significance that the race had on the team competition, and the place of the race in the meet schedule. With only the 4x400m relay to follow, the 3000m became Oregon's last chance to wrap up the team title. With 5 runners in the field, the Ducks were looking to control the race and wrap up the victory for their squad.
Full replays of the entire meet are available at ESPN3.com. Like he did at the ACC Championships, Virginia Tech runner Thomas Curtin set the early pace and since most of the field had already competed in other events, he was allowed to control the pace for the first 2k. At that point, Hehir was in 13th place, and when the Oregon contingent, led by Edward Cheserek took over, Hehir was able to move his way up through the pack. Cheserek led until the final 50m, when his teammate Eric Jenkins sped past for the victory, while Hehir was able to run his last 200m in 27.94, which was enough to hold off Curtin and secure his place in the top 8. That finish enabled Hehir to become Syracuse's 1st distance runner to earn All-American honors indoors since Jim O'Connell in 1982.
The team champions were Oregon for the Men, and Arkansas for the women.