The Syracuse Orange track program made history last week at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon. Syracuse earned the best NCAA finishes from a distance runner at the outdoor championships and saw two school records fall.
Paige Stoner finished the meet with a 3rd place finish in the 3000m steeplechase and she broker her existing school record by two seconds in the final running 9:46.98. Stoner pressed to stay with Boise State Broncos standout Allie Ostander who led from the gun. Paige kept on Ostrander after the first two laps and she certainly ran to win. Unfortunately the heavy effort left her unable to hold off New Mexico’s Charlotte Prouse in the final lap, but Stoner finshed her year by recording the best Syracuse finish ever in cross=country, indoor and outdoor (distance events). She’s back for both indoor and outdoor next year and will be once again a top contender nationally.
Aidan Tooker and Noah Affolder both qualified for the final in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Tooker came back on Friday and bested Kyle Heath’s school record as he ran 8:35.41 to take 4th place in some difficult conditions. Affolder won his semifinal heat and came back in the final to run 8:43.72 to finish 9th in his first NCAA meet. This duo is poised to take the reins of the Orange distance program and they served notice that they are ready to keep Syracuse moving forward.
Justyn Knight and Philo Germano closed their careers in the men’s 5000m on Friday evening. Knight’s quest to add an outdoor title to his resume fell just short as he was unable to catch Sean McGorty of the Stanford Cardinal. Knight took 2nd in a time of 13:55.03 as he earned his best outdoor NCAA finish. McGorty took the lead in the 2nd to last lap as Knight and others waited just too long to pull him in.
He finishes the best year (and career) for a Syracuse distance runner with two NCAA individual titles and two second places. We’ll have more on Justyn’s Syracuse career later this week.
Philo finshed 14th in a time of 14:03 as he also ran for the last time in Orange. This was Germano’s best NCAA finish as he finished a year which saw him show that he was more than just a cross-country runner.
Colin Bennie also earned his best NCAA outdoor finish with his 9th place finish in the 10000m on Wednesday evening. Bennie ran 29:13 and just missed out on First-Team All-America honors. His four straight NCAA Outdoor appearances matched Knight and Colin’s been instrumental in taking Syracuse to the next level.
Matt Moore finished in 18th place in the 110m hurdles. This was Moore’s first NCAA outdoor meet and the sophomore will take over the leadership role for the Syracuse hurdlers. Moore will be looking to become the next Orange 1st Team All-American hurdler and he’s got two more years to accomplish the feat.
The Georgia Bulldogs won the Men’s Team Title while the USC Trojans women’s team won the competition on the final event thanks to this amazing finish in the 4x400 relay
This concludes the 2018-19 Syracuse Orange Track & Field season. I’m hoping to do some more Cross-Country/Track related writing throughout the summer, starting this week with a look at Justyn Knight’s place in Syracuse Athletics history. Thanks for taking the time to read as the athletes appreciate the support.