The Syracuse Orange Track & Field team kicked off the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship with 5 members competing on the first day in Eugene.
My pre-race prediction: Pollitt (13th) and Crittenden (15th) earn 2nd-Team All-American Honors
The 110m hurdles was the first event for the Orange with Freddie Crittenden and Donald Pollitt competing. Crittenden was placed in the 1st heat, which was won by race favorite Omar McLeod from the Arkansas Razorbacks in a time of 13.08. The 1st heat was the Crittenden finished 6th in a time of 13.63, which was an improvement on his Regional time, and while it wasn't fast enough to advance to the final, he will finish 10th overall.
Pollitt was in the 3rd heat and struggled out of the blocks and had to work hard to catch the rest of the competitors. He closed strong over the final hurdle, but it wasn't enough to earn 2nd place in the heat. Pollitt's time of 13.68 was just .02 seconds behind the 2nd-place finisher Joshua Thompson of the LSU Tigers. We said that the hurdles is so tough because any small error can make a huge difference. With a slightly better first 15-20 meters, Pollitt probably advances. In his final race of his Syracuse career, Pollitt will finish in 13th place overall. Both Crittenden and Pollitt will earn 2nd-Team All-American honors.
Men's 10,000 m
Pre-Race Prediction: Cheserek defends his title. Hehir (3rd) earns 1st-Team All-America honors, Lennon (12th) earns 2nd-Team All-America, and Straneva (18th) earns Honorable Mention All-America
Syracuse had three runners in the 10,000 meters: Martin Hehir, Dan Lennon, and Max Straneva. As expected, the pace from the beginning was comfortable for these runners as no one was willing to make an early move. After going through the first 2 miles in 4:40 mile pace, the race then slowed down to 4:50 pace. Hehir was in a solid position running in the top 6 or 7 when Craig Lutz from the Texas Longhorns broke from the pack and started to string out the group of 24.
As a lead pack of 5 runners (Lutz, Cheserek and Jenkins from Oregon, Witt from BYU, and Kipkoech from Campbell) pulled away from the rest of the field, it started to become clear that this was the race Oregon wanted as they look to take the team title. Cheserek and Jenkins made a strong move in the final 1000m and finished 1-2 with "King Ches" taking his 7th NCAA Title in only his 2nd year.
Hehir led the Syracuse finishers with a 13th place finish in a time of 29:47, Lennon was close behind in 15th place, in 29:55 and Straneva again ran a strong race against top competition with his 18th place finish in 30:06. Hehir and Lennon earn 2nd-Team All-American honors and Straneva receives Honorable Mention All-American honors.
Prediction: Cheserek defends his title. Hehir (3rd) earns 1st-Team All-America honors, Lennon (12th) earns 2nd-Team All-America, and Straneva (18th) earns Honorable Mention All-America
After the race, Hehir expressed these sentiments online:
I was really expecting a big night tonight. I'm sorry for not delivering. I've got some things to figure out. Thanks everyone— Martin Hehir (@mardyheh_her) June 11, 2015
I don't think there is anything he needs to apologize for after what has been one of the best years (and careers) a Syracuse distance runner has ever produced (which I hope to discuss in more detail later this summer). Hehir will be back in the fall for one more season of cross-country where he will lead a team with legitimate national championship hopes, and look to defend his ACC Cross-Country Championship.
Junior Margo Malone takes the track on Thursday evening at 6:38 Pacific as she competes in the Women's 10,000m final.
Post NCAA 10,000m. All 3 born in New York State. Assembled and developed in Syracuse, NY. 13244. pic.twitter.com/gUUQxRlvu5— Brien Bell (@suxc) June 11, 2015