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Syracuse cross country sweeps season opener

The 2016 XC season gets off to an expected strong start

Cross Country: NCAA Championships
The chase for a championship begins
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Much like their Syracuse Orange football counterparts, the Cuse cross-country teams started their season with an easy win. Both the men and women rolled to 1st-place finishes at the Harry Lang Invitational hosted by the Colgate Raiders. Leading the way were individual winners Madeleine Davison and Griff Molino, and their performances earned them ACC Freshmen of the Week honors.

As expected, the women were led by a group of newcomers last weekend. Following Davison (17:49 for 5k) were Emma Wilson (Fr.-17:50.7), Paige Stoner (transfer- 17:50.9), and McKenzie Altmayer (Fr.- 18:01). This group’s continued contribution will determine how far the Orange women will go this season, so this weekend’s results are very encouraging. Alexandra Cooper (18:02), Stephanie Bitcon (18:17), Mary Malone (18:23), and Chelsie Pennello (18:27) were the other Syracuse runners to finish in the top 10.

The men raced on the 6400 meter course at Hamilton on Saturday and Molino made his Syracuse debut memorable with his victory in a time of 20:08. He was followed by three members of the current Freshmen class, who were all running unattached (thus saving their redshirt option): Dom Hockenbury (20:09.1), Joe Dragon (20:09.3), and Aidan Tooker (20:09.6). Shawn Wilson (20:09.8), Nick Ryan(20:19), TJ Hornberger (20:20), and Simon Smith (20:26) completed the Syracuse sweep of the top 5 scoring spots.

Syracuse will travel to Penn State this weekend to compete in the Spiked Shoe Invitational. I’d expect that we see a couple more members of the men’s team compete this weekend as the Orange look to solidify their top 7 before the Virginia and Wisconsin meets.