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Get to Know Your Orange Runner: Pennello & James

Today we preview two program veterans who could push for a top 7 spot

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 are two program veterans who are hoping to solidify their positions this fall: Chelsie Pennello and Kevin James

Name: Chelsie Pennello

Year: Senior

Hometown: Poolesville, MD

High School: Poolesville

2016 Performances

Harry Lang: 10th 18:27.9

Harry Groves: 35th 22:50

Panorama Farms: 91st 19:31.5

Wisconsin Invite: 98th 23:16.9* (*Open race)

ACC Championships: 107th 22:33.5

NCAA East Regional: Did Not Race

Sydney Says: “Chelsie definitely made huge steps on the Track this past spring where she ran her first sub 17:30 5k at Princeton. I’m confident she will continue building on that success this fall in XC. She is also my roommate/best friend and a TV RADIO FILM major who managed to balance running while directing in/starring in her first full production short film this past spring that she is currently submitting to film festivals. Likes: Cats, Netflix Comedy Specials, Bubble Tea”

Kevin’s Take:

When we talk about the depth on a cross-country team, we are talking about more than just the top 7. In order to get the most out of each runner, a team needs a group of people who can be counted on to keep pushing those in front of them. With her experience in the program, Chelsie can help provide this push to a group of younger athletes making the transition to Division 1 racing. Syracuse had 7 freshmen compete at Colgate over the weekend, so even if Chelsie isn’t a scorer for the Orange this season, she has an important role on the squad.

Name: Kevin James

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Clifton Heights, PA

High School: Cardinal O’Hara

2016 Performances

Harry Lang: Did Not Race

Harry Groves: 6th 26:38.3

Panorama Farms: 18th 24:29.1

Wisconsin Invite: 5th 25:02.1* (*Open race)

John Reif: Did Not Race

ACC Championships: 21st 23:51.2

NCAA East Regional: Did Not Race

NCAA Championships: 118th 30:58.6

Joel Says: ”KJ has the potential to be a key contributor for the orange this fall. As a redshirt freshman last year, Kevin ran two of his best races at the ACC Championships, followed by another great race at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute. After impressive performances on two big stages, Kevin will be ready to make another jump into a big sophomore year.”

Kevin’s Take:

In his 3rd year in the program, Kevin’s a runner to watch as Syracuse looks to solidify their top 7. Kevin was in front of the Orange pack in the 1st race this season and he’s going to be counted on to perform well as Syracuse builds toward the Championship portion of the season. We could see Kevin challenge for a top 15 spot in the ACC this year.

Syracuse heads to Penn State this Friday to compete at the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational. Stay tuned to Nunes Magician all season as we follow the Orange as they look to go “Back to Bat” in Louisville in November.