The Syracuse Orange track and field squads head to Boston this weekend to compete in the 2016 ACC Indoor Track Championship. Last year, the men finished 6th while the women were 10th. This year, the Syracuse men have emerged as a contender for the team title, which is something that most didn't see coming, due to the lack of competitors in several events.
In preparation for the meet, we're going to break the preview into two sections: sprints and jumps, and then the distance events. First up- the Sprints and Jumps, with added bonus preview of the Distance Medley Relay, since the DMR will be run on Thursday evening.
60m Dash- The only returning ACC Indoor winner for Syracuse is Shaina Harrison in the 60m. She is tied for the 2nd fastest time coming into the meet behind Myasia Jacobs of Clemson. One advantage for Harrison is that unlike most of her competitors, she will not be competing in another individual event. Khadejia Sellers is tied for the 10th fastest time in the 60m and will be looking to make the final to earn points for the Orange. Victoria Parker (7.84) will also be competing for the Orange.
60m Hurdles- Tia Thevenin holds the 7th fastest time in this event. Her season-best of 8.35 is just one-tenth of a second from 4th place. Notre Dame's Kaila Barber heads into the weekend as the leader in the event.
200m- Khadejia Sellers' school record time of 23.90 is the 6th fastest in the ACC this year. Shakima Wimbley from Miami is the ACC leader. Victoria Parker will also be completing the 60m/200m double.
400m- This is the 3rd event where Sellers is in the top 10, she's 6th in which speaks not only for her versatility, but also for a very bright future, but she won't be competing in the 400 in Boston, as she focuses on the shorter sprints. Senior Rebecca Robinson (ranked 12th) returns home to the Boston area looking to finish her Syracuse indoor career on a strong note. The top seed in this event is Margaret Bamgbose from Notre Dame.
4x400m Relay- The Syracuse team of Brittany Belo, Danielle Delgado, Rebecca Robinson, and Khadejia Sellers, comes into the meet ranked 6th with a time of 3:44.69. Miami and Clemson should be the schools battling for the win here.
Triple Jump- Regine Hunter enters the meet with the 7th-best jump this season. Bria Matthews from Georgia Tech leads in both jumps and will be looking to take home two titles.
DMR- The Syracuse team of Karina Ernst (1200m), Elizabeth Reynolds (800m), Brittany Belo (400m), and Sydney Leiher (Mile) enter with the 9th-fastest time. Clemson and Notre Dame are expected to battle for the title.
60m Dash- Winston Lee holds the 5th-fastest time behind current leader Tevin Hester of Clemson.
60m Hurdles-Freddie Crittenden leads the ACC this season, and is over a tenth of a second faster than the 2nd place runner, Spencer Allen of Georgia Tech. Richard Floyd (3rd), David Gilstrap (5th), Chevis Armstead (6th), and Powel Deslandes (15th) give the Orange the chance to have four scorers in the event. Along with the distance events, this should be one Syracuse's highest scoring event. It will also be a key event in the Orange's attempt at a team championship.
200m- Syracuse will enter two athletes in this event: Kashif Miller enters with a time of 22.0 and Zack Warden, who will be competing for the 1st time this season.
High Jump- Jabari Butler is 2nd behind Damar Robinson of Louisville. Butler has jumped 7' 0.5", which is right behind Robinson, and Jabari will be hoping to earn his 1st conference title this weekend.
Long Jump- Reggie Morton has the 5th best jump in the ACC (24'1.75") and a strong performance this weekend will help the Orange's chances in the team battle. Jonathan Addison of NC State is the heavy favorite in the event.
Triple Jump- Pascal Bastien has the 15th best jump this season and would need a big performance to break into the scoring. Clemson's Shai Carpenter enters the meet with the best leap this season.
4x400 Relay- Syracuse's team of Joel Hubbard, Pascal Bastien, Paul Lovell, and Adam Palamar are entered in case there is a need for team points
DMR- Syracuse's team of Joel Hubbard (1200m), Adam Palamar (800m), Paul Lovell (400m), and Justyn Knight (Mile) enter as the 9th seed, but this is the 1st meet for this A group. Syracuse has a good chance to win and qualify the relay for the NCAA Championships.
I've said it multiple times, but it's still worth mentioning that the performances in the jumps events come without having indoors practice areas at Syracuse. The results that the sprints/jumps group produce with the facilities they have for practices are remarkable, and even with limited numbers, these athletes will be crucial to the Syracuse Orange teams this weekend.
You can watch coverage of the meet on ESPN3.com. Details on the schedule are available here, and we'll be providing updates throughout the weekend.