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.
Name: Olivia Elston
Hometown: Goshen, NY
High School: Goshen
High School highlights:
1st-team All State in New York. 11th in Footlocker Northeast Regional.
Olivia didn’t join her high school cross-country team until her junior year yet she almost made the Foot Locker National race last season. That says a lot about her natural ability and it also means we should expect some ups and downs as she adjusts to the level of competition in college. Olivia started strong with 5th place finish at Colgate and while she might not find herself in the top 7 this Fall, her future at Syracuse looks promising.
Name: Dominic Hockenbury
Year: Redshirt Freshmen
Hometown: Harveys Lake, PA
High School: Lake Lehman
Harry Lang: 2nd in 20:09.1 * (*Ran Unattached)
John Reif: 3rd in 15:22.4 * (*Ran Unattached)
Joel Says: “Dom is destined for the 10k on grass. I don't think I've ever seen this kid break 65 for 400m. Hockenbury will be entering his first season of eligibility for the Orange, and will have the opportunity to learn a lot from the guys who have run ACC's and Nationals. Dom will have a good chance to earn himself a varsity spot on this Orange cross country team.”
Joel’s comments show how tough it can be to predict cross-country outcomes. You can’t assume that track times translate to the real XC courses, especially those contested over the 10k distance. Speed is useful for sure, but there is a certain amout of “grit” and mental toughness that comes into play when dealing with the weather and course conditions. Hearing what Joel has to say makes you think that Dom might be the next in the line of standout XC/10k guys at Syracuse. He certainly seems like he’ll be pushing for a top 10 spot this season.
Syracuse heads to Penn State this Friday to take part in the Harry Groves . Stay tuned to Nunes Magician all season as we follow the Orange as they look to go “Back to Bat” in Louisville in November.