Friday afternoon was a good one for the Syracuse Orange cross-country teams. The squads kept their momentum from the ACC Championships at the NCAA Northeast Regional and earned automatic qualifying spots for next weekend’s NCAA Championships in Tallahassee, Florida. This is the women’s first time back as a team since 2017 while the men will be making their 13th straight appearance.
Once again Amanda Vestri led the way for the Syracuse women. Vestri won the 6k race in a time of 20:05 which put her 23 seconds ahead of second place. Vestri will be a candidate for All-American honors next week so we’ll see if she can finish her season on a high note. Annie Boos was next for Syracuse with a 12th-place finish followed by Abigail Spiers in 17th, Holly Bent in 25th and Savannah Roark in 26th. The Orange scored 81 points which put them 10 behind Harvard. If the Syracuse pack can run together next week and Vestri can land a top-20 finish could challenge the program’s best finish of 10th back in 2010.
The Syracuse men were able to beat Harvard by a score of 51-68 for the region title. Aidan Tooker was 3rd overall finishing the 10k course in 30:15. Joe Dragon (6th in 30:22) and JP Trojan (8th in 30: 24) also finished in the top-10 for Syracuse. The Orange overcame the 2-4-5 finish of the Crimson thanks to the work of their 4th and 5th runners- Matt Scrape (13th in 30:47) and Alex Comerford (21st in 30:59). Syracuse has rallied after the disappointment in Wisconsin and will look to improve on last spring’s 30th place finish.
The course in Tallahassee is fast and while neither Syracuse team are considered title contenders heading in, they can both push into the top 10 if the top runners deliver to their potential. BYU is the defending women’s champ while Northern Arizona is the The women’s 6k race starts at 10:10 am while the men’s 10k starts at 11:10 am. Both races will be shown on ESPNU and the ESPN+ app. Good luck to the Orange!