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Syracuse Track & Field: NCAA Regionals Preview

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A group of 19 Syracuse athletes, who will compete to advance to the NCAA Championship meet in Eugene, Oregon. Let's take a look at the list and discuss their chances.

Justyn Knight is one of the Syracuse athletes favored to advance to Eugene
Justyn Knight is one of the Syracuse athletes favored to advance to Eugene
Glenn Biel

19 athletes (11 men and 8 women) from the Syracuse Orange track and field team will compete this week at the NCAA East Regional meet in the hopes of advancing to the NCAA Championships. The top 12 finishers in each event will move on to compete in Eugene and Syracuse has a number of top contenders. You can follow live results from the meet online, but we'll look at all of SU's competitors in the order of their event.

Thursday:

  • Joel Hubbard will compete in Heat 1 of 4 in the 1500m. The top 5 from each heat of 12 runners, plus the next 4 fastest times advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday. Hubbard has the 8th-fastest seed time in his heat.
  • Shaina Harrison will be in Heat 6 of 6 in the 100m. The top 3 from each heat of 8 runners, plus the next 6 fastest times advance to the quarterfinals on Friday. Harrison has the 2nd-fastest seed time in her heat, and 11th-fastest seed overall.
  • Rebecca Robinson will be in Heat 2 of 6 in the 400m. The top 3 from each heat of 8 runners, plus the next 6 fastest times advance to the quarterfinals on Friday. Robinson has the 7th-fastest seed time in her heat.
  • Four Syracuse runners will compete in the women's 10000m. Margo Malone, Jesse Petersen, Maura Linde, and Shaylyn Tuite will be part of the field of 48 runners looking to place in the top 12 and qualify for Eugene. Malone has the 2nd-fastest time among entrants in the field and will be looking to make her 2nd straight trip to the NCAA Championships. Linde (15th) and Petersen (16th) are ranked just outside the top 12 and will be in contention to advance.
  • The Syracuse men will send 6 entrants to the starting line in the men's 10000m. Martin Hehir, Dan Lennon, Reed Kamyszek, Max Straneva, Philo Germano, Kevyn Hoyos will have the advantage of working together among the 48-runner field. Hehir, Lennon, and Kamyszek have 3 of the top 4 seed times in the event and are good bets to advance. Germano was named by Hehir and Justyn Knight as someone to watch this week, but he's ranked 29th and would need another leap forward.

Friday

  • Freddie Crittenden (5th heat) and Donald Pollitt (6th heat) will take to the track on Friday night in the 110m hurdles. The top 3 from each heat of 8 runners, plus the next 6 fastest times advance to the quarterfinals on Saturday. Crittenden has the 3rd-fastest seed time in his heat while Pollitt has the 2nd-fastest seed time in his.
  • Sydney Leiher will be in the 2nd heat of the 3000m steeplechase. The top 3 from each heat, plus the next 3 fastest times will advance to Eugene. Leiher is seeded 15th out of the 16 runners in her heat.

Saturday

  • Justyn Knight and Colin Bennie will compete in the 2nd heat of the 5000m. The top 5 from each heat, plus the next 2 fastest times will advance to Eugene. Knight enters with the fastest seed time of the 24 runners in his heat and is a strong favorite to move on. Bennie has the 5th-fastest seed time in the heat and has a very good chance if he runs as well as he has this season.
  • Regine Hunter is the only field event athlete to qualify for the Regional meet. She will compete in the 2nd Flight in the women's triple jump. The top 12 finishers in the event will qualify for Eugene and Hunter enters with the 36th best jump this season.
  • In addition to the triple jump, Syracuse athletes will hope to compete in the quarter-finals of the 110m hurdles and 1500m.

Since the goal of the athletes is to advance to Eugene, the distance events often become slower, more tactical races, which can be harder to predict, but the strength of the Syracuse numbers in the 10000m can be an advantage. I'd look for Hehir and Malone to sacrifice time to run with teammates and try to pull them into the top 12. In the 5k, Knight and Bennie have the advantage of having the 2nd heat. They will be able to see if the times from the 1st heat and will know what they need to advance.

It does seem as though Syracuse should stand a good chance of sending 5 or more athletes to Eugene for the NCAA Championships and I think you'll see that total closer to 10. I'm predicting that Hehir, Lennon, Kamyszek, Knight, Bennie, Pollitt, Harrison, Malone, and Petersen will advance.

Good Luck to all those competing. Daily updates will be added as comments to this story.