The 2020-21 Syracuse Orange sports year came to a close at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships last week. Four Syracuse athletes took to the Hayward Field track and the Orange brought home two 2nd-team All-American honors.
Aidan Tooker got things started last Wednesday in the 3000m steeplechase semifinal. Tooker ran a season best time of 8:40.42 to finish 10th in his heat and 16th overall. This was Tooker’s best race in two years and as I said in the preview his improving health and fitness bodes well for the Orange next year.
He’ll be joined next fall by law student JP Trojan who ended his first year with Syracuse by running 29:24 for the 10000m which was good enough for 21st. The race was the fastest in championship history as the top ten finishers were under the previous meet record of 28:01.
As expected it was the Syracuse women in the 10000m who were the top competitors in Eugene. Amanda Vestri stayed among the leaders for the first 7k of the race which was won by Oregon’s Carmela Cardema Baez. Vestri ended up 10th in a time of 32:52 while Annie Heffernan moved up from 21st at 5k and ran a personal-best 33:09 to finish 15th. Both women earn 2nd-team All-American honors for their efforts.
Two in the top-15 of the women's 10k! pic.twitter.com/Nk5iTY1OA4— Syracuse XC/Track (@CuseXCTF) June 11, 2021
In other Syracuse track news alum Justyn Knight set a huge PR in the 5k as he turned in the 2nd-fastest time by a North American runner with a 12:51 in Italy. Knight has the Olympic standard in the 1500m and 5k and he’s not the only Orange alum with their eyes on Tokyo so we’ll keep you posted as Olympic berths are determined.
SMCS grad Justyn Knight ‘14 on Thursday June 10th 2021 became the 2nd fastest person EVER in NORTH AMERICA to run a 5k. Clocking a time of 12:51. With the Olympics just around the corner things are looking good. Good luck Justyn. @SMCS1852 @SMCSParents pic.twitter.com/DSj5YchHW4— John Walsh (@walsh1852) June 13, 2021