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Syracuse XC: Pre-Nationals Preview

Orange will face off against a number of ranked teams in Madison

FloSports: FloTrack ACC XC Championships Matt Lunsford-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange cross country teams will return from their three-week training period at this Saturday’s Pre-Nationals meet hosted by the Wisconsin Badgers. This will be the final race before the ACC Championships so Syracuse is looking to make a strong showing in Madison.

Due to the number of schools entered, both the men’s and women’s competitions will be split into two races. The 8th ranked Orange men will compete in the White Race on Saturday where they will face the defending meet champions and #2 ranked BYU Cougars and the 4th ranked Portland Pilots. This will be a good test for Syracuse as those two squads are big favorites to land on the podium at the NCAA Championships next month. I’m curious to see how the Orange compete with BYU and Portland at the front and how the 4-7 runners respond to running “in traffic”.

Other ranked teams in the race are the #9 Purdue Boilermakers, #10 Air Force Falcons, #12 Washington Huskies, #17 Washington State Cougars, #21 Indiana Hoosiers and #25 UCLA Bruins.

The Syracuse women will be in the Cardinal Race. The Orange will be in the same race as the #1 Colorado Buffaloes, #4 Oregon Ducks, and ACC favorite #13 NC State Wolfpack. This is a great opportunity for Syracuse to pick up some momentum after a disappointing performance at their last meet. Syracuse misses Paige Stoner in meets like this but if the 1-5 runners can maintain a tight pack throughout it will help offset that lack of a top 10 finisher. We’ll see how the Orange respond to the challenge in front of them as a strong showing can boost the young team’s confidence.

The meet will be broadcast on FloTrack Live but we’ll provide a recap next week.