Syracuse Orange fans, it’s time for this year’s “Get to Know Your Orange Runner” series. This year, former XC runners Sydney Leiher and Joel Hubbard have contributed their thoughts as we look at some of the anticipated top runners from the men’s and women’s squads. Both teams are looking to make it to the NCAA Championships in Louisville this November.
Today’s profiles look at two runners who found themselves in the top 5 during their first year in Orange- Emma Wilson and Iliass Aouani
Name: Emma Wilson
Hometown: Romeo, MI
High School: Romeo
Harry Lang: 2nd 17:50.7
Harry Groves: 17th 21:47
Panorama Farms: 23rd 17:50
Wisconsin Invite: 91st 21:19.6
ACC Championships: 79th 21:50.4
NCAA East Regional: 43rd 21:32.4
Sydney Says: “Last season Emma was a key scorer for the team, and this season will be no exception. After red shirting indoor and outdoor track, Emma is excited to be back racing in an Orange uniform. Likes: Avocados, Coffee, Australia ”
Emma started 2016 strong and hit a bit of a rough spot in the middle before rebounding at the NCAA Regional meet. As I mentioned with Madeleine yesterday, she’s shown that the ability to be at the front of the Syracuse pack. If she can find that form on a consistent basis, the Orange might reach (or exceed) their predicted ACC finish.
Name: Iliass Aouani
Hometown: Milan, Italy
Previous College: Lamar
Harry Lang: Did Not Race
Harry Groves: 1st 26:17.1
Panorama Farms: 12th 24:13.7
Wisconsin Invite: 86th 24:53.5
John Reif: Did Not Race
ACC Championships: 6th 23:22.4
NCAA East Regional: 7th 30:41.2
NCAA Championships: 128th 31:06.4
Joel Says: ”Iliass had one of his best weekends at the ACC Indoor championships before finding himself on Injured Reserve with a stress fracture. After quite a bit of recovery, Iliass will be looking to pick right up where he left off during the indoor season this fall. If Iliass stays healthy and finds himself running along side Philo come championship season, things will be looking really positive for the Orange come November. ”
After a full year in the Syracuse program, it’s reasonable to expect we’ll see a big improvement from Iliass in 2017. He’s certainly got the talent to finish nearly 100 spots better than he did at the 2016 NCAA meet. The Louisville course might set up nicely for a guy with his speed. Going sub 14 in the indoor 5k is a strong indicator of his ability and if Iliass can find that form, he’s going to give the Orange another All-American candidate.
Syracuse starts their season tomorrow at the Harry Lang Invitational hosted by Colgate. Stay tuned to Nunes Magician all season as we follow the Orange as they look to go “Back to Bat” in Louisville in November.