The Syracuse Orange men’s cross-country team entered the 2019 NCAA Championships looking to finish the year on a strong note. Battling rain and mud in Terre Haute, Indiana the Orange fell short of expectations placing 27th out of 31 teams one spot ahead of the Georgetown Hoyas.
Nathan Henderson was the top Syracuse runner covering the 10k course in a time of 31:49 for 82nd place. Matthew Scrape was 97th in 31:58 followed by Noah Beveridge in 178th place (32:42), Dom Hockenbury (181st 32:44), Kevin James (193rd 32:54), Joe Dragon (213th 33:29) and Nathan Lawler (230th 33:55) were the other Orange runners on Saturday.
It’s a disappointing end to the 2019 season but Syracuse was able to win another ACC title while competing without team leader Aidan Tooker. With the potential return of Tooker and Michael Phillips in 2020 along with the return of six of the seven runners from the NCAA meet (only James is a Senior) there is hope for a much more consistent season. Henderson emerged as a strong xc runner in 2019 and Scrape was the 9th fastest freshman in Terre Haute.
There is no question that the Orange have a deep roster but they need to have some of these runners make a step forward. Every team that finished in the top 10 had at least one runner in the top 30 so it’s important at these big meets to have at least one low stick. Tooker would give the Orange one of those and with the continued emergence of other runners Syracuse could find themselves in the top 10 next November in Stillwater.
The men’s competition was won by the BYU Cougars with Edwin Kurgat of the Iowa State Cyclones the individual winner. The Arkansas Razorbacks won the women’s team competition with New Mexico Lobos star Weini Kelati taking the individual crown.