Loyal readers know that the Syracuse Orange have enjoyed great success under Chris Fox, but to see the Orange picked as the preseason #5 team by the USTFCCCA is still surprising. This isn’t because of a lack of talent on the squad, but rather because Syracuse still does not field any athletes in the throwing events, and only a small number of competitors in the jumps. What they lack in depth across all events, the Orange make up for in depth in the distance and hurdles.
Returning All-Americans Justyn Knight, Colin Bennie, and Freddie Crittenden III are back to lead the squad. Based upon the preseason USTFCCCA list (best performances from indoor in 2016), Knight ranks 4th in the Mile and 2nd in the 3k, Bennie ranks 4th in the 5k and 12th in the 3k while Crittenden ranks 2nd in the 60m hurdles. These three will be vying to earn Syracuse’s first NCAA individual championship since Jarret Eaton won the 60m hurdles crown in 2012.
Joining them in the preseason rankings are several other Syracuse athletes:
- Winston Lee- 46th in the 60m dash
- Joel Hubbard (12th), Adam Palamar (14th) and Philo Germano (36th) in the Mile (Palamar and Hubbard were All-Americans last season in the event)
- Adam Visokay (11th) in the 3k
- Germano (24th) and Knight (27th) in the 5k
- Richard Floyd (23rd) in the 60m hurdles
In order to claim a top-10 team finish, the Orange will need these athletes to follow through on the strong potential they have. This would be a tremendous accomplishment for a program which has to conduct practices in a facility lacking the space for the sprint/hurdle/jumps group to adequately prepare for their events. Stay tuned to TNIAAM throughout the season for updates.