The Syracuse Orange track and field teams kicked off the 2018 outdoor season last weekend at three meets. The top distance runners went out to the Stanford Invitational looking to post early regional qualifiers against a strong field. In the outdoor season, the top 48 qualifiers in each event advance to the Regionals where the top 12 will move onto the NCAA Championships. Getting a strong early time allows the athletes the opportunity to be selective in the number of competitions and to focus on peaking for the NCAA meets.
Paige Stoner turned in the best performance of the weekend as she broke the school record of Margo Malone in the 10k. Stoner ran 32:23 to better Malone’s previous record of 32:29.89. This is the 3rd Syracuse track record for Stoner and her 6th place finish soldifies her as one of the top women’s distance runners in the country. Shannon Malone was 12th in the 10k in 33:13 and she and Stoner have the top 2 times in the event in the East.
For the men, there were some familiar names leading the Orange distance group at Stanford. Colin Bennie was 7th in the 10k in a time of 28:37 which is nearly a minute faster than his time last season. Bennie’s return to form is good to see in his final season. He’s had an outstanding career and is looking to end it as an All-American again. Iliass Aouani ran 29:19 and his time ranks 11th early in the season.
In the 5,000 Philo Germano and Aidan Tooker were 2nd and 4th in their section. Germano’s 13:50 and Tooker’s 13:52 are top 5 times in the East early in the season and moving forward I’d expect we’ll see Tooker drop down to the steeplechase while Germano moves up to the 10k.
The cold and snowy March weather makes it harder for the sprint/hurdle group to make the transition as they have been forced to practice indoors. Matt Moore turned in the top performance of the 110m hurdlers with his 14.00 at the Florida Relays. Moore’s time puts him in the top 20 in the East. For the women, Kadejhia Sellers ran 53.67 in the 400m to place her in the top 25 in the event in the East.
Syracuse is back in action this weekend in Miami and Princeton and we’ll recap those meets next week.