It was a good weekend for the Syracuse Orange track program at the NCAA East Regional in Tampa Florida. Despite challenging weather, the Orange saw seven athletes qualify to advance to the NCAA Outdoor Track Championships in Eugene, Oregon.
Paige Stoner stole the spotlight with her win in the 3000m steeplechase. Stoner broke her own Syracuse school record with her winning time of 9:48.73 and she continues to add to the best year ever from an Orange women’s distance runner. Paige has the 3rd fastest time in the country and while everyone expects Allie Ostrander of the Boise State Broncos to win the event, Stoner is poised to challenge in her 2nd straight trip to Eugene.
Matt Moore becomes the latest Syracuse hurdler to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Moore finshed 11th in the 110m hurdles in a time of 13.97 and he’ll be heading on to Eugene for the first time in his career.
We already told you about Colin Bennie’s qualifying effort in the 10k on Thursday evening, but Bennie will be joined by five more Orange distance runners. Noah Affolder and Aidan Tooker finished 1st and 2nd in their 3,000m steeplechase heat which put them 7th and 9th overall in the event. Tooker heads back to the NCAA Championships for the 2nd straight year and the freshman Affolder makes his 1st appearance.
The final Orange qualifiers are two very familiar names. Justyn Knight cruised to a win in his 5,000m qualifying heat in a time of 14:08.56 while Philo Germano had to watch that heat and hope his 6th place finsh and time of 13:56.55 in the first heat held up. It did and Germano grabbed one of the two time qualifiers and he will join Knight and Bennie in ending their Syracuse careers at the NCAA Championships.
We’ll take a longer look at the expectations of these athletes next week as we get closer to the NCAA Championship meet.