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ACC cross-country championship preview

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Will we see any Syracuse Orange on top of the podium?

Cross Country: NCAA Division I Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This morning in South Bend the Syracuse Orange cross-country teams will look to bring back some hardware. While neither team is among the favorites to win there is an opportunity for both squads to play spoiler and earn All-ACC honors.

The NC State women’s squad is a heavy favorite to defend their title. They lead a group of five nationally-ranked squads but the Wolfpack have the talent and depth to continue their reign. Florida State, UNC, Syracuse and Notre Dame will likely be racing for second along with some valuable NCAA at-large points. Amanda Vestri was 2nd in the championship last spring and she’ll be vying for the individual title. Vestri gives the Orange the opportunity to start with a “low stick” in what should be a close team race behind NC State. Can the rest of Syracuse’s top five continue to run as a pack in the pressure of a championship race?

On the men’s side the host Notre Dame squad is the favorite. The Irish haven’t looked great this Fall but they have the deepest team in the ACC and should be able to use the home course advantage to hold off Florida State, Duke, UNC and Syracuse. The Orange have had an up and down fall and we’ll see if the team can bounce back from a disappointing performance in Wisconsin.

Joe Dragon has been very good for Syracuse all season and he’s going to be pushing for a top-5 finish. It’s up to the rest of the Orange to be closer to him in this race. Syracuse has a lot of potential and is waiting to get five guys putting it all together on the same day.

The ACC is giving this meet a lot of attention this year. This is an exciting development and hopefully becomes the standard for Olympic sports coverage moving forward.

For the first time ever, ACCN will have live coverage of the ACC Cross Country Championships at the Burke Cross Country Course in South Bend, Ind. The women’s 6K race is slated to start at 10 a.m. ET, while the men’s 8K race will follow at 11 a.m. In addition to ACCN’s live coverage of both races, Packer and will ride in the pace cart for both races while Shawn Kenny and Norm Ogilve call the action. Packer and Durham, with guest host Eric Mac Lain filling in for Wes Durham, will also originate from the Burke Cross Country Course during its regularly scheduled 7-10 a.m. window leading into the championship.

In addition to the broadcast you can follow the live results online and we’ll have a full recap. Good luck to the Orange.