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Syracuse Track & Field: Meet the Eugene Eight

Eight members of the Syracuse Track & Field program have advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene Oregon, which will be held June 10-13.

Martin Hehir and Max Straneva are two of Syracuse's NCAA Championship qualifiers
Martin Hehir and Max Straneva are two of Syracuse's NCAA Championship qualifiers
Sara D Davis

The successful season for the Syracuse Orange track and field season continued this past weekend at the NCAA Eastern Regional meet. Eight Syracuse athletes qualified for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, which will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.

Last week, I thought that 9 Syracuse athletes would advance, and I was correct on 6. Margo Malone got the meet started for the Orange when she finished 4th in the 10000m run on Thursday evening. Malone will make her 2nd straight trip to Eugene to run the 10k, last year she placed 19th in the event.

She will be the only member of the Syracuse women's team to compete in the Championships. Sprinter Shaina Harrison finished .003 seconds out of the final qualifying place in the 100m, and finishes her successful track season just shy of Eugene.

As expected, Syracuse men fared very well in the distance races. In the 10000m, Martin Hehir finished 3rd and he will be joined in Eugene by Max Straneva, who was seeded 43rd, but ran well enough to finish 9th, and Dan Lennon, who held onto 12th place, and the final qualifying spot by less than a second. Straneva has a history of performing well when it matters, as he was 3rd in the ACC Cross Country Championship, 5th in the ACC 5k outdoors, and just missed All-American XC honors in the fall.

In the 5000m, Justyn Knight placed 2nd and Colin Bennie took 8th to give Syracuse two freshmen heading to Eugene. The Orange runners in both the 5k and 10k will have to battle the formidable Oregon Ducks duo of Edward Cheserek and Eric Jenkins, who qualified in both events.

Rounding out the Syracuse qualifiers were Donald Pollitt and Freddie Crittenden in the 110m hurdles. We talked about the success of not only these two, but past hurdlers at Syracuse, before the indoor season, and Pollitt (4th place) and Crittenden (11th) put it together at the right time.

Oregon leads all schools with 45 total entries, but the Syracuse men rate highly among the private schools.

Next week, we will take a more detailed look at the Syracuse athletes and their chances at Eugene