Day One of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships went pretty well for the Syracuse Orange. Adam Palamar started things off in the second heat of the 1500m. Being in this heat allowed Palamar the opportunity to see the times from the first heat and adjust accordingly. With the winning time in Heat 1 being 3:49, it was clear that the top 7 athletes in Heat 2 would be able to advance to the final if the race was run honestly. As you can see below, Palamar was able to establish a solid position early on in the race.
Washington's Izaic Yorks took over the pace, but Palamar held a spot in the top five throughout the race. With about 600 meters to go, he looked as though he might get caught on the inside and you could see the Syracuse standout looking for options to avoid getting boxed inside. As the field spread out a little in the final lap, Palamar's patience paid off as he found some clear track and cruised home to a 4th place finish in the heat, in a time of 3:40.97. Palamar advanced to Friday's final, which will be run at 5:42 PM (Pacific).
Next up for the Orange was Freddie Crittenden III who competed in Heat 3 of the 110m hurdles. Crittenden was matched next to another event favorite, South Carolina's Dondre Echols, and the Orange star used a strong start to be able to cruise to 2nd place in the heat in a time of 13.64. This finish advanced Crittenden to Friday's final where he'll be able to improve upon his previous NCAA Championships best finish of 10th. Crittenden will take the track again on Friday at 6:12 PM (Pacific).
The first day ended with the 10,000m. Colin Bennie earned 2nd-Team All-American honors for the second consecutive year with his 10th place finish in the event. As expected the pace was cautious and the field of 24 was pretty tightly packed together, as you can see here:
The pace played right into the hands of Oregon's Edward Cheserek who broke away in the final lap to capture his 12th individual NCAA title in a time of 29:09. Bennie finished in 29:26 and while the race didn't turn out as he hoped, his first 10k season showed promise and the sophomore will be a contender in the event the next two years. Philo Germano started, but did not finish last night's race.
Tonight is the women's turn and Syracuse's Margo Malone and Shaylyn Tuite will run the 10,000m at 7:08 PM (Pacific). In addition to Palamar and Crittenden, Justyn Knight will be in the 5,000m on Friday at 7:25 PM (Pacific).