The Syracuse Orange cross-country squads headed to South Bend last Friday without a lot of expectations. Both teams exceeded the pre-meet rankings and will take some positive momentum into NCAA Northeast Regionals.
Amanda Vestri broke up the Wolfpack party in the women’s top 5 with a third place finish. Vetri covered the 6k course in 20:12 as she helped the Orange earn fourth-place as a team. NC State scored 20 points, UNC was second with 87 followed by Florida State with 102 and the Orange with 105. Syracuse’s other scorers were once again in a solid pack behind Vestri. Annie Boos (21st in 20:50), Savannah Roark (23rd in 20:52). Holly Bent (29th in 21:00) and Abigail Spiers (33rd in 21:06). The last three Syracuse runners were just edged out by FSU athletes proving that last second three point losses aren’t just for football.....but seriously the women are running well at the right time of the year. The transfers might have needed a little time to adjust to the training routine but with Vestri leading the way Syracuse is looking stronger than the last few seasons.
After a disappointing performance in Wisconsin the Syracuse men delivered a strong run to capture second behind host Notre Dame. The Irish dominated with a team score of 32 points to Syracuse’s 84 with Wake Forest in third with 104. Once again Joe Dragon led the way for the Orange with an 8th place finish and a time of 23:53 on the 8k course. Aidan Tooker was back with his best race in two years taking 12th in 23:56 with JP Trojan close behind in 23:58 for 14th place. The final two scorers were Matt Scrape (21st in 24:16) and Brody Smith (29th in 24:22). Syracuse was without Nathan Henderson on Friday and we’ll see if he’s back for Regionals where the Orange will have to worry about more than just Iona this year.
Syracuse will be in action next in Boston when they race in the Northeast regionals at Franklin Park on Friday November 11th.