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Five Syracuse athletes qualify for NCAA Outdoor Track Championships

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Justyn Knight and Colin Bennie will be joined in Eugene by three newcomers. Let’s find out how they qualified

Track and Field: Payton Jordan Invitational
Justyn Knight will be one of the favorites in the 5k in Eugene
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange track and field teams wrapped up competition at the NCAA East Regional on Saturday. Five Syracuse athletes finished in the top 12* in their respective events, and will advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, which will be held in Eugene, Oregon June 7th-10th. *-Last week I said it was the top 8 who advanced from Regionals, that is the number for indoor, not outdoor track. My apologies.

Colin Bennie finished 12th in the Men’s 10k in a time of 30:04.04 and will return to Eugene for the 3rd straight season. Last year Bennie finished 10th in the 10k and he’ll return looking for an improved performance. Philo Germano was unable to replicate his strong ACC performance and ended up 20th in 30:36.31. After returning from injury which held him out of indoor, Philo will continue to be one of the Orange’s top runners in 2017.

Shannon Malone turned in her best career performance in the Women’s 10k running a big PR of 34:08.98 to finish 14th. Malone improved by 41 seconds from the ACC meet to the Regional and the performance should be a big lift as she heads into her Senior season.

In the 1500m, Adam Palamar was eliminated in the heats after running 4:00.46 in the preliminaries. Palamar ends an outstanding career in Orange, having earned three All-American honors after his transfer from Tulsa.

Kadejhia Sellers ended her outstanding 2017 season with a 38th place finish in the 400m with a time of 54.77. With two years left at Syracuse, Sellers will be someone to watch closely in the future.

The second day of the East Regionals was all about the Steeplechase. First, Paige Stoner grabbed 11th place with a time of 10:06.26. This was Stoner’s fastest time in the event and after just three career races in the steeple, she’ll be appearing in her 1st NCAA Championships. Sydney Leiher finished in 25th place in a time of 10:28.46.

Freshman Aidan Tooker turned in the performance of the meet for the Orange when it was his turn to compete in the 3k steeple. Tooker dropped 15 seconds off his ACC time, running 8:39.34 to finish 6th. The time is just a second off of the Syracuse school record and is the 4th-fastest time for a US Junior (under 19) runner in the event. Tooker is off to his 1st NCAA Championship and this performance should excite Syracuse track fans.

Hurdler Danielle Delgado finished 34th in the 100m hurdles (13.67) and 18th in the 400m hurdles (59.05).

The final day of competition saw the highs and lows of the all or nothing nature of NCAA Track qualifying. Tia Thevenin had to sweat out one final heat before learning she had finished 12th in the 100m hurdles. Thevenin’s time of 13.27 was three hundreths of a second ahead of the 13th-place finisher and sends Thevenin to Eugene for her 1st NCAA meet.

Justyn Knight cruised to the win in his heat in the men’s 5k in a time of 14:13.64, which was good enough for 9th place at the regional. Knight will head to his 3rd straight NCAA Championships and he’ll be one of the 5k favorites.

In the women’s 5k, Madeleine Davison closed a strong freshman campaign with a 31st place finish in a time of 17:06.91. Davison will be one of the runners the Orange women will be counting on as they work towards a NCAA Championship qualifier in cross-country next fall.

The toughest result for the Orange last weekend was in the 110m hurdles. Senior star Freddie Crittenden III was in great position, but pulled up after hitting the 3rd hurdle. It’s a disappointing result for Crittenden, but like Palamar, it should not take away from an outstanding career in Orange, which included a school record, 4 ACC Championships and two runner-up finshes in the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Keep an eye out for previews and interviews leading into next week’s NCAA meet as we take a closer look at the five Syracuse Orange athletes heading to Eugene.