It’s been a challenging year for all college athletes and members of the Syracuse Orange track and field teams were in Jacksonville last week hoping to keep the year going for one more meet. Syracuse had thirteen regional qualifiers head to Jacksonville for the East Regional and they returned to campus with four national championship qualifiers.
Headed to Eugene next week for the NCAA Outdoor Championships will be Aidan Tooker, JP Trojan, Amanda Vestri and Annie Heffernan. Trojan got the Orange’s first spot in Eugene with his 11th place finish in the 10k. His time of 28:59 was only four seconds off his season-best as he moved up two spots from his qualifying seed. The other Syracuse finishers were Joe Dragon was 30th in 30:02, Matt Scrape 40th in 30:56, and Silas Derfel 44th in 31:58.
On Thursday evening in the women’s 10k, Vestri’s 3rd place finish in 33:32 was followed closely by Heffernan who took 5th in 33:39. The other Syracuse finishers were Jordan Jacob 30th in 34:52 and Abigail Spiers 42nd in 36:17.
The men were back on the track Friday and Aidan Tooker rallied in the final 100m of the 3000m steeplechase to claim the 3rd and final qualifying spot in his heat.
Closing your way to an automatic spot in Eugene.— Syracuse XC/Track (@CuseXCTF) May 29, 2021
What a kick. pic.twitter.com/3TVhu0QeOs
Tooker’s time of 8:44 was good for 9th overall and after dealing with injuries the last two seasons he’ll return to NCAA Championship competition.
The other Syracuse competitors in Jacksoville were Simon Smith who finished 41st in the 1500m, Shaleah Colaire who was 33rd in the 400m hurdles and Justus Holden-Betts who was 39th in the women’s 3000m steeplechase.
The Orange qualifiers will be off to Eugene next week with the men’s competition starting on Wednesday June 9th and the women starting on Thursday June 10th. We’ll do an in-depth preview next week.