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Syracuse Cross-Country NCAA Northeast Regional preview

NCAA berths are on the line Friday in Buffalo

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

The Syracuse Orange cross-country teams head to Buffalo looking to grab automatic NCAA qualifiers on Friday. For the 10th ranked men, qualifying seems to be a foregone conclusion while the 22nd-ranked Orange women are hoping to avoid sweating out the at-large selections with a top two finish.

Coming off their best performance of the season at the ACC Championships, Syracuse is hoping to continue that momentum in Buffalo. The women’s 6k race will start at 11:00 am and the Syracuse team will be looking for Shannon Malone and Laura Dickinson to lead them. According to projections from Isaac Wood, the BYU Cougars Director of Operations, Syracuse looks to be in a strong position to punch their ticket to Madison.

While I’d be surprised if Syracuse won that easily, they should be in position to grab an automatic bid in what shapes up to be a battle among the Orange and the Ivy League. The key will be the 3-5 runners: Madeleine Davison, Rachel Bonner and Mary Malone coming through as they did at ACCs. If that group delivers the Orange will be on to NCAAs.

For the men, it will be Syracuse and the Iona Gaels once again well in front of the rest of the region. The Wood Report projections have Iona with an edge among the top runners but the Syracuse depth should push them to a win.

The Orange are looking to rebound from a disappointing ACC meet where they were unable to deliver the type of late race push we’ve been accustomed to seeing from them. As the men step up to the 10k distance this is where Syracuse is typically stronger and they will need Kevin James and Joe Dragon to perform as well as they did in Boston last week to support Aidan Tooker at the front of the pack.

You can follow live results here and we’ll be back over the weekend to recap both races.