The Syracuse Orange cross-country teams started the 2017 campaign with a sweep at the Harry Lang Invitational hosted by the Colgate Raiders. While the early meets don’t count for NCAA at-large points, they allow the athletes an opportunity to race and prepare for the “real season”.
Syracuse typically uses the Colgate meet to give younger members of the team an opportunity, especially on the men’s side. As the women’s race is only 4800 meters, you’ll see some more returners participate, which is what I saw on Saturday afternoon.
Madeleine Davison led the Orange women with a second-place finish in a time of 17:06.5. After Davison, the next five Syracuse runners to finish were freshmen: Rachel Bonner (4th), Olivia Elston (5th), Maggie Toczko (6th), and Kelsey Potts (8th) helped the Orange past Buffalo 25-38. Rounding out the top 7 for Syracuse on Saturday were Eva Scott (10th) and Chelsie Pennello (12th).
For the Syracuse men, a group of four runners controlled the pace and finished the 6400 meter course in a pack. Kevin James got the win in a time of 20:35.4 with Dominic Hockenbury, Joe Dragon, and Simon Smith finishing only six tenths of a second behind. Andrew Paladino was 6th and completed the scoring for the Orange who easily outpaced Buffalo 16-41.
Next up for Syracuse is the Harry Groves Spiked Shoe Invitational on Friday. Expect to see a few more familiar names in the results as more Syracuse runners make their season debut. One runner we won’t see this week is Justyn Knight. I spoke with Justyn at the meet on Saturday and he’s not planning to race this month as he gets back into his training following his World Championships performance last month. There’s no reason to rush him back as Syracuse needs him at his best in November.