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Syracuse XC: Get to Know Your Orange Runners: Meredith Speakman and Colin Bennie

Next up in our "Get to Know Your Orange Runner" series are Meredith Speakman and Colin Bennie. The two had very different 2014 seasons, but both will be important to the success of the Orange in 2015.

With the Nationally ranked Syracuse Orange Men's and Women's Cross-Country teams preparing for the 2015 season, I decided to take a page from our wildly successful "Get To Know Your Orange" series. Helping me out will be former Orange runners Jessie Petersen and Max Straneva who will give us some insight on their former teammates. Syracuse begins their season on September 5th at Colgate's Harry Lang Invitational.

Today we will profile two key runners for the Orange in 2015: Meredith Speakman and Colin Bennie.

Name: Meredith Speakman

Year: Junior

Hometown: Boiling Springs, PA

High School: Boiling Springs

2014 Results : Did Not Compete

2013 Results:  NCAA Championships- 110th place (21:23.2 for 6k)

NCAA Northeast Regional- 19th place (20:48.3 for 6k)

ACC Championships- 15th place (20:53.7 for 6k)

Jessie's Thoughts: "Speakman, when healthy is a consistent and impressively talented runner. She regularly times her seasons well in order to peak at the appropriate times. She is a very smart runner and can be dangerous when healthy"

Kevin's 2015 Preview: Meredith was a big loss for the Syracuse women in 2014 as she would have provided some additional depth behind Margo Malone. While she might not be able to return to her 2013 form, having her back this Fall will no doubt help the Orange.  Even if she's unable to reach those times, having a smart and experienced runner can help the Orange women in big meets. If Meredith is able to run close to what she ran in 2013, then Syracuse might surprise a lot of people this Fall.

Name: Colin Bennie

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Princeton, MA

High School: Wachusett

2014 Results :

NCAA Championships- 95th place (31:30 for 10k)

NCAA Northeast Regional- 15th place (30:43.68 for 10k)

ACC Championships- 13th place  (23:39.8 for 8k)

Wisconsin Meet of Champions- 54th place (24:22 for 8k)

Coast-to-Coast Battle- 23rd place (24:55 for 8k)

Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational- 3rd place (26:15 for 5.2 miles)

Harry Lang Invitational- 3rd place

Max's Thoughts: "I do not know what exactly clicked for Colin after last XC season, but whatever it was, it was so much fun to watch. Colin had one of the strongest, most consistent track seasons I have seen at SU this past season. I think it will translate nicely this XC season and you will see a new and improved Colin Bennie."

Kevin's 2015 Preview: Colin was the only Syracuse runner who ran in both the opening meet and NCAA Championships last Fall. His progression throughout 2014 didn't stop in the Fall. After finishing 14th in the NCAA Outdoor 5k in the Spring, Colin could be ready to help fill the departures of MJ Erb and Max Straneva this Fall. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Colin make an improvement of 50 places at the NCAA Championships. His continued progress will be something to watch this season. His teammates may draw more attention, but Colin's going to be a key piece for the Orange in 2015.