A unique running event will take place tomorrow in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Great Edinburgh XCountry meet is an event where athletes compete as part of one team (US, Great Britain, or Europe) and results from four races are combined to declare one winner. Competing as part of the US team will be three athletes with Syracuse Orange ties.
Alums Sarah Pagano and Martin Hehir will compete in the men’s and women’s 8k races while 2017 recruit Noah Affolder will participate on the junior men’s 6k squad. This is the first US team appearance for both Pagano and Hehir as they have found success as professional runners. Pagano finished in 2nd place at the USA Club XC Championships last month, while Hehir was 6th in the men’s race.
Since she graduated from Syracuse in 2014, Pagano has competed with the Boston Athletic Association (BAA). After a strong track season, she has been on the rise to close out 2016. This past fall, Pagano was 2nd in the US 10K Road Racing Championships, won the Big Sur 1/2- Marathon, and won last week’s 4-mile Midnight Run in NYC. Sarah is certainly someone to watch as she continues to make a name for herself in the US distance running circles.
Martin’s also delivered a strong 2016 season. Running for the Naz Elite club in Flagstaff, Hehir has shown the range that made him one of Syracuse’s best runners. After a 7th place finish in the Olympic Trials 10k, Martin has turned in a 4th place finish at the US 10 mile Championships, and a 3rd place finish at the Big Sur 1/2.
The success of Sarah and Martin as professionals is another sign of the progress of the Syracuse program. Their development during their Orange careers, and ability to continue to improve will help the staff continue to recruit top talent like their US teammate Affolder. Affolder was the Foot Locker East Regional Champion this fall and finished 6th in the National Race in San Diego. He’ll be someone to keep an eye on during his Syracuse career.
Good Luck to Sarah, Martin and Noah in Edinburgh. You can follow the results of the races at USATF.org