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Syracuse Track & Field: Current and Former Athletes Preparing for Olympic Trials

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IAAF World Indoor Championships - Day 3
Jarret Eaton is one of the athletes with SU Track ties competing for an Olympic berth
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images for IAAF

The Syracuse Orange Track & Field program has a number of current and former athletes looking to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The US Trials begin in Eugene, Oregon on Friday and the first Orange alum to compete is Martin Hehir in the Men’s 10,000m run. Hehir who was an integral part of SU’s Cross-Country National Championship team enters the event with a seed time of 28:27. His race will start at 6:15 pm Pacific time and will be broadcast on NBC.

Also competing in the 10,000m at Eugene will be alum Sarah Pagano, who competes now for the Boston Athletic Association. Pagano enters the meet with a seed time of 32:16. Her event is Saturday at 11:04 am Pacific and coverage of the race will be on NBC.

The Men’s 110m hurdles features 3 athletes with Syracuse ties competing- alums Jarret Eaton and Donald Pollitt II will take the track along with Freddie Crittenden III. Eaton enters the Trials with the 6th-fastest seed time and has enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2016 capped by a 4th-place finish in the 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Championships. Crittenden returns to Eugene after earning 1st-Team All-American honors there a month ago, and he has a seed time of 13.48. Pollitt’s seed time is 13.59. The heats for the 110m hurdles begin on Friday July 8th at 3:00pm Pacific with the Finals to be held on Saturday July 9th at 5:52 pm Pacific.

Uhunoma Osazuwa was a participant in the 2012 Olympics, and she is poised to return to Rio to represent Nigeria. Osazuwa recently set a Nigerian record in the heptathlon with 6,153 points to take 1st at the Africa Athletics Competition. She’ll join her fellow Cuse alum Michael Gbinije in representing Nigeria in Rio.

A number of athletes with Syracuse connections will be in Edmonton, Alberta from July 7th-10th hoping to qualify for the Canadian Olympic team. Michael Leblanc brings a 10.30 seed time to the 100m dash. Jillian Drouin will compete in four events in Edmonton- 100m hurdles, long jump, high jump, and shot put. Joining Drouin in the 100m hurdles will be Syracuse sophomore Tia Thevenin, who enters with a seed time of 13.57. Distance standouts Justyn Knight (seed time of 3:39.23) and Adam Palamar (seed time of 3:39.49) will compete in the 1500m on July 8th.

These individuals will be hoping to join alums Flings Joyner Owusu-Agyapong (100m dash for Ghana) and Katie Hursey Zaferes (Triathlon for the US), who have already qualified for the Rio games. We hope to have profiles of each Olympian before the Rio Games, so keep an eye out for that.